Concept makes it possible for North East business to grow


A family-owned direct mail business in Gateshead has announced details of a major expansion and investment programme as it makes a significant move into digital printing.

Washington Direct Mail (WDM) has acquired the print production arm of marketing agency IGNIFI – relocating key staff and equipment – and has made a significant investment in a top to bottom building refurbishment to create an improved production environment and a new digital print suite.

The acquisition sees WDM take on a further 80 clients adding to the 200 it already has on its books.

Technical director Jon Beasley said: “Our core business has always been predominantly direct mail – and that will, of course, remain hugely important for us. But we’ve been improving our range of services, from design and data, through to colour print over the last five years, and this investment is the next stage in our development. We are very excited for the future.”

WDM expects to increase turnover by around 20% and a catalyst for that growth will be the two Xerox Versant 2100 digital presses supplied by Concept Group Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xerox.

As its market place changes and demands increase, WDM says its printing solutions need to be more “configurable, modular and flexible” to allow it to produce the variety of jobs that customers are looking for. With the Versant 2100 Press’ performance, quality and automation, it says it can also tackle more jobs of greater variety and deliver in new ways that are even more valuable to their customers.

Like WDM, Concept Group began as a family business in 1984 and has also undergone major growth. With six branches operating throughout the UK, the company now employs more than 200 people. The 16 strong staff of the Newcastle branch – based on the Newcastle Business Park – has seen turnover increase by more than a third in the last 12 months.

As well as WDM, Concept Group works with some of the best-known names in the North East, including Newcastle United, The Sage Music Trust, Muckle LLP, Vantec and around 40 schools.

Area sales manager Stewart Hunter has worked for the company since the Newcastle office was set up in 2007. “How we help our clients progress their business to the next level is so important to get just right. We have evolved with changes in technology to deliver dramatic improvements for companies of all sizes, getting the best fit for their businesses now and in the future,” he said.

“The North East is a close knit community and we want to work with businesses to add value.”


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