10 September 2017 Print Companies

John Charnock fills top seat at Nicholson & Bass

Bradley Group chief executive Peter Bradley has convinced John Charnock to take charge of the group's latest acquisition.

John Charnock is moving from consultant to the expansion minded Bradley Group to managing director of Nicholson & Bass, its newest acquisition.

Charnock was involved in the setting up of the Quinns The Printers site in Speke near Liverpool as well as the decision to buy the top quality Northern Irish printer. Chief executive Peter Bradley “asked my opinion about the business” says Charnock, leading to the offer to run the company. He takes up the post on 1 October.

This allows Charnock time to wind up any other projects or work out ways to continue in a couple of non executive positions, “but quite a lot of work will take a back seat”.

Nicholson & Bass is accustomed to winning categories in the Irish Print Awards and Bradley has spoken of his ambitions for the business to take this habit into the UK mainland and beyond. Through this it gained a reputation for high quality book work for galleries and museums in the province. But this is just part of the business, and while the plan is to grow, there are other areas that can also expand, says Charnock.

The company has a very experienced workforce he says. Jonny Megarry has already agreed to continue as sales director. However, it has fallen behind in terms of technology. Its press line up is led by a six-year-old ten-colour perfecting KBA Rapida 106. “It has been a bit tired for a while, a classic case of a company that has been doing the same thing for a period of time,” says Charnock. “The challenge is to get the momentum back into it. We need to find out what the customers need and bring the business back into focus, providing a reason for customers to come here.”

He will be treading cautiously, aiming to work with the culture of the business rather than to change it, hence the need to understand the customer base. “It is not about buying a lot of technology at the moment,” he explains. “We have to decide who we are and what we are.”

He mentions a logistics and fulfilment arm to the business that has been under developed, calling it an “attractive aspect to the business” that can be offered to customers in other parts of the business. “We do a lot of good stuff for blue chip customers, so this is an area with potential for growth,” he says. The company will also be able to call on other resources in the group while Quinns or Manin will be able to work with Nicholson & Bass.

Peter Bradley says: “When you have a group that is growing as quickly as we are I knew we needed to bring in someone who has seen acquisition and turnaround before and I believe that John is perfectly placed to do this. We have great plans for the group and more specifically Nicholson & Bass where we anticipate investment and significant growth over the next couple of years.”

Charnock set up Print Research International as a consultancy business after leaving St Ives where he had been executive board member in charge of technical development. He has also been instrumental on committees driving standard in binding, in printed electronics andp printed furniture.

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John Charnock

John Charnock

John Charnock will commute weekly from Luton Airport to the Nicholson & Bass factory, 20 minutes from Belfast International Airport. The task will be to breathe new life into the business that Bradley Group acquired earlier in the summer.

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