NSW sign business Signage One has invested in a new HP R2000 Latex flatbed and new Aristo TL1925 cutting table with conveyor as part of its new focus on the bespoke packaging market.
The new HP R2000 at Signage One. (l-r) Print operator Golam Dastogir; Signage One director Craig Maddren, and Jonny Rumney, NSW state manager Celmac.
The new technology was recently installed by supplier Celmac in Signage One’s facility at Finlay Road, Goulburn - 90 kilometres north-east of Canberra and 195 kilometres south-west of Sydney. The well-established sign company, which employs a staff of 15, has built a healthy business out of corporate display, billboard and directional signage work.
Craig Maddren, director Signage One
Director Craig Maddren told Wide Format Online that his decision to make "a major investment” was helped along by a good deal from Celmac. “Because I bought two machines, Wayne [McIntyre, CEO Celmac] looked after me by offering a package, and I thought, ‘You’re not going to get money any cheaper than you are at the moment.’ When I bought some of my other machines about 15 years ago, interest rates then were about 12 or 13 percent. You know, it was a lot of coin. And now with them being about 4 percent, I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll take the big punt. I’ll go and buy the best I can get my hands on.’”
The new machines are now up and running and creating a lot of interest among customers, which include high profile clients in the Canberra region and beyond. “The R2000 gives us much higher productivity than before and a higher colour gamut,” says Maddren. “And HP Latex inks have no odour and no VOCs.”
“It’s also opened up the door to packaging, which we’ve never done in the past,” Maddren said. “We’re looking at chasing smaller companies like micro-breweries that can’t afford to get a thousand boxes but they might want 50 or 100 and they want each of them individually customised, sometimes numbered. It makes no difference to us what you want on it, we’ll print it and we’ll package it for you. We are a service based industry and when the customer wants it, the customer gets it.
“We’re just trying to find another space in the market that is not being well serviced at the moment. And, you know, I could be wrong, but I haven’t found anyone else that’s offering what we’re offering in terms of one-off uniqueness in small lot runs.”
Maddren believes sign businesses need to evolve in order to survive.
“I think we have to continue to expand into new areas. If you rewind the clock, I remember when vinyl cutting came out and everyone said, “Who’s going to want to do that?” But it didn’t take very long before the brushwork was gone and everyone was doing vinyl. Then digital printing came along and I got my first digital printer in ’99. I was one of the first in Canberra, me and Joe Deren. I remember trying to convince other blokes in the industry at the time but they didn’t want to know.”
He also stresses the importance of good management workflow software.
“The biggest thing I find in the sign industry, most people are really good at what they do, whether it’s wrapping a car or brushwork or whatever, but where they’re often poor is in business management and the reason is that they don’t see the value in putting money into software.
“I had eight staff in 2003 and everything was in my head. So I went to a huge trade show in Florida, my first time in America, and I bought Cyrious software and spent two weeks in New Orleans learning how to use it. Then I came back to Australia and spent three months putting all my products into it, night and day, learning, learning, and now my system is like MacDonald’s. If you ring me and ask for advice on a banner, you’re going to get the same price from the receptionist or any other staff member.”