Print has fared relatively poorly in the Queen’s Award for Enterprise this year, collecting just three of the 250 awards made. None was for Sustainability. Part of the problem lies with the cyclical nature of the awards – each lasts for five years during which time a company cannot enter that category again.
It is a second accolade for GIS, having achieved the same award in 2013. That was also for outstanding export sales growth which has continued. The company supplies the electronics which control how an inkjet head operates to companies in more than 20 countries. This enables them to deploy new print head technology in a shorter time scale.
In 2017, the company had achieved 81% of sales from exports with the US and Asia as the strongest growth markets. The US accounted for 13% of overseas revenues last year, Asia 17%.
The growth has enabled the company to move to new premises in August last year and to increase the headcount. In 2015 there were 32 employees and today there are 60, with demand increasing for those developing industrial applications for inkjet. This covers 3D printing, corrugated, textile, labels, product decoration, functional coatings and more.
GIS CEO Neil Geddes says: “We are very honoured to have won a second Queen’s Award. GIS continues to grow and flourish and we are proud of our track record in exporting our technology across the world.”
The second print winner in the trade section of the Queen’s Award is Runcorn cheque and security printer Tall Group. Before 2000 the idea of expert success would have been considered a pipe-dream. Now exports are close to £4 million a year and the company can point to achievements in business awards for this success.
Earlier this year, it was placed sixth in the Sunday Times' Lloyds SME Export Track 100 and at the end of 2016 as International Business of the Year by the Halton Chamber of Commerce. It was also a finalist in the 2018 Leicester Mercury Business Awards. These were simply tasters for success in the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
Like GIS it is a second time winner having won in the innovation category in 2005 for its cheque processing software.
At the time of earning recognition by the Sunday Times, Tall CEO Martin Ruda said: “We’ve taken on some very high-profile and complex contracts over the last year. They have allowed us to demonstrate the skills in designing, printing and finishing major projects through the work of our brilliant dedicated teams across our three sites. I’m very proud to lead this group of experienced individuals who give everything each day to make sure we help our clients and their customers succeed.”
Moo has also found international success, particularly in the US for its high quality business cards. Its international sales exceed 85% of all revenues, 66% of the total coming from the US alone in 2016. It has customers in more than 190 countries.
It has however won the accolade in the innovation section, having succeeded in the vision of disrupting the print industry when starting out in 2006.
Moo has been at the forefront of online printing and has not compromised its focus on delivery high quality products around the business card concept. These range from mincers to square business cards, printing letterpress as well as on HP Indigos, with spot varnish and foiled. The range includes notebooks, postcards, greetings cards and flyers.
It is growing rapidly from a production base alongside DG3 and Precision Printing in Dagenham. Sales in 2016 were £75 million, 40% higher than the previous year.
GIS has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise for its export led success enabling the company to move and double its head count in recent years. The company supplies inkjet printer providers across the globe with the electronics sub systems to cut time to market for new applications.