Friday, 15 Jun 2018 14:23 GMT

Signmaster hits purple patch

Meet Lucy Ratcliffe and Sam Kehoe. The duo are the driving force behind Signmaster Systems based in Whitchurch, Shropshire. And they have been on a mission to transform the image and performance of the business since they took it over by tackling the project on three fronts: the website, a major rebrand, and bringing Mimaki back into its fold.

“It’s been so great about bringing Mimaki on board,” says Ratcliffe, who adds: “What’s been great about it is the sales we have done have been with some of our old customers, so it has been great to rekindle the relationships. There has been a relief from a lot of them, as we have had loads of people contact us and say ‘it’s great you are back with Mimaki’—and that they will be ready for a new machine in a few months’ time. So, it’s been an incredibly easy transition into that brand.”

Another part of the plans to transform the company was a website update. Ratcliffe takes up the story: “The old website didn’t reflect the re-branding of Signmaster Systems, so it was important to update that. Our philosophy is to keep changing things with the times, to update things, and keep tweaking things so we don’t get left behind.”

Websites can create a barrier between customers and the staff. Many people like to have a chat and interact with their suppliers, so Ratcliffe explains it was important to make the website open, modern, and easy to navigate.

“It was important that the new website gives customers an option,” says Ratcliffe, who adds: “Some will phone us up to keep us in the loop with their latest project or to have a chat and ask questions while others just want to order their product and not have a chat about it. It provides a platform in both ways. Customers will still see us at the shows and keep up to date with us on social media.”

Our philosophy is to keep changing things with the times, to update things, and keep tweaking things so we don't get left behind

Kehoe explains her aim is to ensure that their customers receive the best possible experience, and that they implement new ways to continue supporting their customers. Those new ways include the revamped website which was officially launched at Sign and Digital UK. 

Ratcliffe comments: “We had customers placing orders that night which blew us away. The old website didn’t reflect the rebrand, so it was important to update that. It was important to get that first stage out there and it was vital that we updated it to be crisp and modern so that it reflected how we wanted to be viewed.

“But the website is just the start of creating a better means for customers to contact us. We will keep improving and updating our business and that is Sam and I’s philosophy. We must keep evolving, as it is easy to get left behind. Now we are looking to the future to see how we can improve things again.”

The company plans to have a couple of open days later this year and have some exciting plans for further expansion in the future. Ratcliffe and Kehoe key message is to ‘watch this space’, as their next step in the development of Signmaster Systems will see it take another step towards the top spot in the UK’s wide-format print technology supply sector. 

One thing the duo can reveal is they will be at The Print Show in September at the NEC, where they will be showcasing a raft of new technology, services, and systems to help strengthen your businesses productivity, output quality, and efficiency.

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