AITKEN Spence Printing, one of the top firms in the industry, is gearing up for a two year upgrade of its facilities in continuing to provide quality at a competitive price, the company said yesterday.
Completing 55 years in printing built on trust, innovation and the ability to change and produce solutions for customers in the tea, FMCG, garment, cosmetic and pharmaceuticals sectors, Aitken Spence Director Dinesh Mendis told the Daily FT in an interview yesterday morning at his Colombo office.
The company that initially was engaged in the printing of stationary is now involved in the a wide cross section of sectors such as coffee table books, periodicals, magazines, Annual Reports and for its commercial, government corporates and high street world renowned brand customers.
The company is currently involved in the investment of Rs.50O million in new machinery and the upgrading of the plant that is likely to be shifted to a different location. At present discussions are underway for the construction of a new facility in Gampaha or Katunayake that will be taken into consideration in line with the company’s customer base.
We will have a state of the art printing facility within the next two years,” Mendis said. He noted that in a bid to ensure they are abreast of the developments in the industry they will be carrying out such work that is also aimed at offering the same quality and assurance to its customers both local and overseas in keeping in line with global standards. The reason behind the upgrade is also to ensure that they are able to manage the business and be environmentally friendly while at the same time providing a sustainable production facility.
Aitken Spence Printing has a customer base of 600 with an active base of 150 with a clear target on the up-market clients although they will cater to all that come along. Sri Lanka being their biggest market, the company also caters to its overseas clients in the European market in terms of book work and packaging, the US for packaging, and the new emerging market of the Middle East for both these segments.
Ace Printing is targeting at ensuring that the customer base in Sri Lanka for the local industry is moving towards overseas markets whereas there is a possibility of these customers getting their expert services within the country alone. In terms of packaging, 95% is carried out in Sri Lanka while only a mere 5% is done overseas, the company’s General Manager Rohana Navaratne said.
He observed that coffee table books were likely to be tapped by the overseas market with approximately 60% lost to markets such as Singapore, India and China and only 40% were given to the local market.
Stressing that the company had not sufficiently advertised itself in this field, Navaratne said “We have failed in informing the Sri Lankan market that Sri Lanka has the capability of producing globally renowned quality coffee table books within the country”
Navaratne elaborating on the company plans observed that they were currently seeing more potential in the market and there was in need to bring down technologically advanced machinery keeping in lines with quality standards. He noted, the company would be going in for machines of German and Japanese makes that could handle multi-colours with facilities for online coating and varnishing that would enhance competitiveness and turnaround time. In the past three and a half years around Rs.500 million had been invested in new machinery by Ace Printing. “One area we have expanded is in book work that is carried out in—house,” he said. Navaratne explained that currently a press that could handle six colours was in use with a change in the concept of digital printing brought in due to the adoption of this new technological advancement. While retaining the market share through its quality of service, he pointed out that even in times of recession the company was able to service 90% of its customers. With the provision of colour – management systems they were able to provide the exact colour on the computer screens in its printing. Computer to plate improves the quality and there is consistency in reproduction, he noted. The company also hopes to create increased awareness of its market presence in the market in the form of advertisements and its sales staff in a bid to clear the misconception that Ace Printing is expensive. “We provide quality and at a competitive price”, Mendis noted adding that they wanted to provide total solutions with proven reliability for which they have gained prominence in the market and much accolades.
As seen on DailyFT, 11 May 2010, Page 3
Media Release – 13 May 2010