The Anapurna H2500i LED systems were installed just four weeks ago and have been running 24 hours a day, 6 days a week ever since, helping to satisfy a healthy increase in orders during May. The new 2.5m wide hybrid engines not only print at twice the speed of the printers they replaced, the cost of ink has halved due to Agfa’s unique Thin Ink Layer Technology. They also enabled Solopress to offer rigid print products too, on their competitive next day delivery promise.
“We are in a strong growth phase on wide format where we are seeing 35-40% growth year on year.” Said Simon Cooper, Solopress MD, who joined the business at the beginning of 2019.
“We were looking at the next step on our wide format journey and the Agfa Anapurna is quite uniquely positioned as a quality hybrid at the right price point, enabling us to buy two machines for failover and massively increasing our capacity. It may be early days, but the quality of the machines has surpassed our expectations and the sleek installation and training meant we were up and running in just a few days. We have been very impressed with both the service from Agfa and the product performance. It’s been a positive experience so far from a new supplier to the business.”
Solopress became part of Online Printers two years ago, a German Group with sales in excess of €200 million pa. Solopress are based on a 100,000 sq ft site in Southend-on-Sea and employ 270 people. The company is 20 years old this year and started, as the name implies, as a one-man, one press set-up. A key turning point for the business was in 2005 when they started a serious online platform which has grown sales exponentially, now over £30 million a year, with a large proportion of orders coming via their online portal. They offer an outstanding service of next day delivery on a wide variety of litho, digital and wide format products. It’s a service that’s certainly appreciated by their customers, who have scored them an impressive 9.3 rating on Trustpilot with over 20,000 customer reviews. They quote 100,000 customers on their website, made up mainly of small businesses across the UK plus a proportion of personal (consumer) shoppers for special events, through to larger resellers and agencies. They’ve also achieved an impressive NPS score in the mid 70’s making them a world class business according to their customers.
Their selling proposition is fairly unique in the industry, promising that orders taken up to 5pm will be dispatched at 9pm for next day delivery anywhere in the mainland UK. They have recently added Saturday as a working day, so orders before 12 noon on a Saturday will now be delivered the following Monday. To enable them to achieve this service Solopress rely on an impressive kit list with 8 offset presses, 9 digital presses and the two new Anapurna’s taking them to a total of 5 wide format printing machines.
Simon concludes: “We have a loyal customer base. We service them well and they appear to be happy working with us, so growth is now coming from new products. The Agfa printers are a great example of this growth plan and they couldn’t have come at a better time, we certainly would not have coped with the influx of orders received in May without them.”