Case study: CA Design & Print

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Tucked away on a busy business estate – there is a team working hard to make businesses stand out from the crowd.

Graphic design and print company CA Design & Print, based in Ellesmere Port, has been providing print solutions since 1989.

Offering a range of printing services from business stationary to pop up banners, leaflets and brochures to point of sale graphics and all types of signage.

Mike Forster joined the team in 1999, and after buying the business in 2006 Mike is now the company’s managing director.

“I joined the team as general manager in 1999 shortly before CA Design & Print became a limited company; seven years later one of the owners retired which is when I stepped in,” said Mike.

Today CA Design & Print has a team of 10, two Litho print presses and two digital presses; as well as its own in-house design studio and finishing department.

“When I first started the majority of printing work was carried out on Litho printers,” said Mike.

“These are our conventional Litho presses and what we use for high volume print runs, for example a job of 100,000 letterheads.

“Now the world has gone digital.

“Digital gives you the capability to do shorter runs and smaller quantities, we would run a printing job for 250 business cards using a digital press for the fraction of cost, compared to a Litho printed job.

“Over the last ten years digital has become very important indeed, using our digital printers gives us the flexibility of producing between one and 10,000 copies with ease.”

Another side of the business is its in-house graphic design studio.

Using Mac and PC platforms the design team are able to take a design brief and turn it into something ‘truly unique’.

“Our designers enjoy the toughest of briefs, working closely with our customers we are able to produce a product that will give them a selling edge in today’s fast moving graphic arena,” said Mike.

On taking on his new role as managing director in 2006, Mike appointed a new firm of accountants – Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers.

“Ellis & Co have been with me since I took over the business,” said Mike.

“The team has a clear understanding of the business and its aims and objectives, I know if ever I had any questions that I could pick up the phone and someone would always be able to help me.

“I would highly recommended them.”

Despite the huge shift in technology over the last 17 years, Mike admits the biggest change is the customers’ expectations.

“The turnaround of the job is definitely the biggest change I have witnessed,” said Mike.

“The customer expects their product to be completed and back with them within a few days.

“When I first joined CA Design & Print jobs would be turned around in two to three weeks, now it’s between two and three days.

“This isn’t that our customers are demanding, far from it; it’s a sign of the times.

“Going digital allows us to offer a faster service, so of course the customer is going to request it.

 “It’s the world in which we live in nowadays.”

For further information about CA Design & Print visit www.ca-design.co.uk