After taking a couple of years break from the print industry, Steve Small, Managing Director of Bolton-based DMS Reprographics, came back into the business in 2008 and hasn’t looked back since
Small, working alongside his wife Michelle, had built a solid print dealership and back in 2005, they sold it to the Arena Group. “We made the decision to sell and take some time out to get a bit of perspective,” he explained.
Three years later, at the height of the recession, they set up DMS Leasing Ltd, a business that provided leasing facilities for clients. “2008 was a tough year, the job market was not buoyant and as a family we agreed the time was right to get back into business,” Small said. This time around the husband and wife team were joined by their two children – Stephen, who heads up IT, and Sarah, who works with Financial Director Michelle, overseeing admin and accounts.
In 2011, the reprographics division was established. DMS Reprographics is an authorised Develop reseller, which accounts for the majority of installations, as well as a Sharp and Ricoh dealer.
Room to grow
DMS Reprographics has grown from a standing start to a turnover of £3 million, and Small says the plan is to double that in the next five years.
This summer, the firm is relocating into a brand new 21,000 sq. ft. purpose-built HQ in Egerton, Bolton. “We have invested £1.2 million and bought these brand new premises which will provide us with office space and warehousing all on one site,” Small said. At present the company’s stock holding and logistics is off-site.
The office move forms a key part of the company’s growth strategy and will provide it with room to further expand and grow the business. DMS Reprographics currently has a staff of twenty four which includes nine engineers and will shortly launch a new engineering apprentice scheme.
“We are working with DSales (the UK distributor of Develop MFPs) and our local college to get this new training programme of the ground,” Small explained. “It’s an exciting project and one we are very much looking forward to launching. We are very pro giving back to the community, there are lots of good young people in our area who just need a chance, and we’re looking to grow our team by recruiting young people on our apprentice programme, giving them the opportunity to gain work experience, learn on the job and acquire a skillset that will equip them for the future.”
DMS Reprographics has built a niche in the education sector. “The majority of the business we win is within the education sector,” Small said. “For us, the schools’ market is particularly strong. We have grown our presence here quite rapidly, and won many new clients. We work closely with the North West Local Authorities and an ever-increasing number of local schools.”
He added: “We do a lot of networking, and meet school business managers at regional events. We are often asked to give talks and offer advice on best practice on the contract side and compliant leasing. We also provide support if schools need to get out of contracts that are not fit for purpose or unfair for example.”
The company is also working closely with education clients, helping them to be compliant with GDPR.
“Our go-to-market strategy is very much relationship-based, customer service is very important, for example we don’t have voicemail – our clients’ calls are always answered by a person, and we believe that is a real value-add,” Small said.
The company has grown its presence within the corporate market significantly within the last twelve to fifteen months. “We’ve been successful and it’s here that we are targeting future growth,” Small said.
DMS Reprographics recently won a nationwide MPS deal with Persimmon Homes. “Our relationship with DSales allows us to tap into a national service framework, meaning we can pitch for contracts nationwide and remain confident that the service delivery will be excellent,” Small stated.
“We will be further developing and building up our presence within this sector, which we see as key to supporting our growth plans,” he added.
Acquisitions are also firmly on the agenda. “In 2019, we will be actively looking to acquire like-minded businesses, we see acquisition as a strong way to complement organic growth,” Small said in conclusion.