University of Manchester case study

University of Manchester

The University of Manchester traces its roots back to the formation of the Mechanics’ Institute in 1824, and its heritage is linked to Manchester's status as being the world's first industrial city.

Established with the principle of ensuring that workers could learn the basic principles of science, the University of Manchester today is a public research university and is a member of the Russell Group, the N8 Group, and the worldwide Universities Research Association.

It is therefore not surprising that University of Manchester have the largest alumni community of any campus-based university in the UK, with more than 500,000 graduates in more than 190 countries around the world.

University Alumni Magazine

Belmont Press have successfully tendered and retained our  place on the University’s print framework for over a decade. The contract covers a wide variety of printed media including personalised projects, principal publications and alumni communications. Our most recent project, awarded under the current framework agreement, was the production, fulfilment and mailing out of the University of Manchester Alumni Magazine Pack. This consisted of the alumni magazine “Your Manchester”; a personalised cover letter; two versions of reply envelopes; an alumni form; and a compostable outer paper wrap. The completed packs required mailing to multiple destinations across the globe.

This was a large complex project with a requirement for 80,000 copies, and is the University of Manchester’s flagship publication. The print production of the Alumni Pack was produced in-house at Belmont Press, on our own machinery, operated by our full time skilled production team.

Colour consistency

The magazine specification was to produce a 48pp full colour magazine, PUR bound, on uncoated FSC certified paper. The significant print run was produced on our Heidelberg printing presses, equipped with impress bar technology, which measures and adjusts colours every seven sheets to ensure colour consistency and brand integrity throughout the entirety of the project.

After production of the cover letter, alumni form, and two versions of the pre-paid reply envelopes, the Belmont Press mailing and fulfilment team ascertained the most cost effective route to market.

The completion of the Packs was project managed by the dedicated Belmont Press account manager assigned to the university.

Over 78,000 packs were mailed for distribution worldwide, all on schedule, with the balance of the “Your Magazine” delivered to the University of Manchester.

Manchester Metropolitan University

MMU undergraduate prospectus printing

Manchester Metropolitan University is The Sunday Times University of the Year for Student Retention 2021. It hosts over 33,000 UK and International students. In December 2020, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) went out for formal review of their 2021/22 Undergraduate Prospectus printing contract.

A key component of the Invitation to Tender (ITT) was the supplier's ability to offer a market-leading print and fulfilment service supported by an in-house IT team. MMU required their chosen print partner to print and bind their prospectus, fulfil and mail it out in an eco cardboard wrap. The University team also required a bespoke Application Programming Interface (API) to integrate within MMU's own system, fetch student prospectus request data and report back on stock usage figures automatically.

The solution

Once Belmont Press were awarded the contract, we immediately assigned a dedicated Account Management team to MMU. The team consisted of one internal Senior Account Manager, one Manchester based Project Manager a web developer and our IT Manager. The team worked with the University and together set out key mile stone dates to ensure a smooth transition from MMU's current fulfilment partner, while our IT specialists designed a powerful, branded, online Management Information Systems (MIS).

The MIS enabled MMU staff to monitor and order goods we hold on their behalf. It provided regular pre-agreed reports at intervals to suit MMU's Student Recruitment team so they could monitor their UG Prospectus request conversion rate. All the information was harvested via a bespoke API, designed specifically to integrate within the MMU system.

The result

As a value-added service the Belmont print team applied an antimicrobial coating to the prospectus. The coating, which prevents 99.9% of bacteria from living on it, is completely transparent and didn't detract from the finished article.

In summary the production of the Manchester Metropolitan Undergraduate Prospectus was managed with the following objectives achieved:-

  • A full printing, finishing, fulfilment, mailing and distribution service was provided.
  • Full stock and mailing reporting was made available via secure log in.
  • The prospectus was mailed out in a fully recyclable environmentally friendly printed wrap.
  • Antimicrobial coating was used to finish off the prospectus.

After a successful delivery of the 2022 prospectus, MMU extended the contract for our team to produce the 2022/23 publication.

Catalogue printing

Industville

Industville catalogue printing

Industville are a London based manufacturer of hand-crafted, high quality, industrial style lights and furniture. They market themselves to high-end restaurants, wine bars and retail clients as well as the general public.

Their product is premium, made from high quality materials, so when it comes to their flagship marketing brochure, the quality of the catalogue printing must reflect the product it’s selling.

The cover needed to be printed as a solid block, using Industville’s brand Pantone 431 grey ink. To finish off the completed PUR bound catalogue, the outer cover was soft touch laminated and a copper foil block needed to be applied. This finish would provide the luxury feel that Industville required. After a successful tender submission, Belmont Press was chosen as Industville’s key partner for the project. While our pricing was competitive, the driving factor behind the decision was the proven quality of our work along with the vast printing fire power we had at our disposal.

The pitfalls and solution

6,000 catalogues were required in total and the delivery date was a 'no fail' deadline. This was for an important exhibition taking place on 26th April 2019. Industville were also up against a ticking clock - hundreds of images needed to be inserted into the artwork before they could send it on for printing. In actual terms this meant that over 3 million A4 sheets of paper needed to pass through press, be bound together and special finishes applied within a 10 day period. This was from receipt of artwork on 15th April. Brand integrity was also extremely important to Industville. Their grey particularly has to be on point.

While artworking was still ongoing we provided a print test, illustrating the brand solid grey. We printed a ‘double hit’ of the Pantone colour to create a lovely smooth solid finish. Their key photography was also used within the print test, so the marketing team were safe in the knowledge the chosen paper provided exactly the right results. We then implemented a colour standard on the grey and programmed it into our presses. This meant we knew colour consistency would be achieved once the final artwork was made available.

The result

In order to take the pressure off of the Industville team, we requested artwork for the cover ahead of schedule. This allowed the design team to focus on the text, while Belmont printed and applied the special finishes to the covers. Upon receipt of the remaining text artwork, we immediately ascertained how many finished books were required for the exhibition. This enabled us to prioritise a smaller quantity of key, advanced catalogues to meet the no fail delivery. 

The end result is a striking 30mm thick, PUR bound premium catalogue. We distributed all 6,000 publications on time and on budget, to the quality that the brand demanded. The copper foil blocking on the front is given a platform by the smooth soft touch laminate. The solid grey underneath and Industville’s lovely portfolio of imagery is given justice by our high definition printing.

In May 2021 we were once again delighted to be invited to produce main catalogue and updated price list.

London 2012

London 2012

With over a decade having passed since London 2012, we look back fondly, and with pride, at the part we played in helping to deliver a successful Olympic Games. In 2010 Belmont Press took part in the formal tendering process to be awarded a place on the official print partners framework. After an in-depth review, we were successful in our bid to provide the games with a brochure printing service as well as event guides, ticketing guides, large format items and signage.

Midway through 2011 LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) started to produce literature in preparation for games commencement in June 2012. While the requirements started off at a slow pace, Belmont were quickly established as LOCOG's favoured 'go to' partner for the vast majority of their printing requirements.

 

Brochure printing

One of the largest and most important print projects that LOCOG required was the London 2012 Official Ticketing Guide. This A4 4-colour 64pp publication (plus 4pp cover) allowed the public to understand the ticketing process and order tickets via post. It was the first major visible publication of the Games, and over 2.6 million copies of the guides were printed and distributed all around the country.

Once we had printed the guide we quickly invested in a second HP Indigo digital press in preparation for the surge in requirements going in to 2012. The year kicked off with two more major projects: -

For every ticket bought at the Games, a spectator guide to the relevant sport was required. This A3 publication, folded to DL size, provided information about the event and venue. There were 63 variants, each one referring to a different Olympic or Paralympic sport.

Olympic legacy

Additionally, all tickets were to be delivered in a bespoke ticket wallet, totaling nearly 2 million copies, all of which were printed and finished in-house at Belmont Press. The ticket wallet was the first branded item that each spectator saw when receiving their tickets, so they needed to be of the highest quality.

During a 12 month peak period for London 2012, Belmont Press worked on over 650 different projects with LOCOG, many of which came with a 24 – 48 hour no fail deadline.

Our lithographic brochure printing and digital print offering to the Olympic Games was, along with the games itself, a huge success and remains a project that we are exceptionally proud to have been a part of.

Wide format printing

Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints

The Northampton Saints are a world class, professional rugby team playing in the English domestic premiership league. They attract in excess of 15,000 fans at home games, with games regularly aired on live television. In 2017 the Saints approached Belmont Press to utlilise our wide format printing services.

They wanted to completely refit their ground with updated signage, hoardings and wall decals. In addition we were commissioned to put together a show stopping piece on the main stand, in partnership with their leading sponsor, Church's Shoes.

Wide format printing brief

The project window was time critical. There was a large amount of work involved, which couldn't start until the completion of the last home game in May 2017. It was also a no fail installation completion date before the first home game of the following season, in early September 2017.

The Belmont Press wide format printing team worked closely with Church's and the Saints throughout the project. We were issued with imagery from their stock photography and put together a design which was a good fit for the 130m x 3m space required.

The solution and result

Our installations team started off by building a frame to attach to the rear of the stand, before fixing 3mm white di-bond to which we could apply the printed graphics. We then set the wheels in motion, printing out the imagery onto 900mm x 3m strips of self adhesive vinyl. Our team then got to work applying the graphics, smoothing out the bubbles and joining the edges to create the finished article. The project was completed on time and on budget. It forms an impressive backdrop visible to all visiting fans as well as viewers from around the world on Sky Sports and the BT Sports channel. The durable and striking display has weathered superbly and is still in place for the 2021 season.

Moonpig

Moonpig

Online retailer Moonpig approached Belmont Press, initially to utilise our fast turn-around digital printing on demand facility for their Business Continuity Plan. This was to support their own internal printing facilities based in Guernsey and London, in the event that a disaster recovery option was required.

When the Moonpig business demands exceeded forecasts, we were subsequently asked to step in on a short term 12 month contract, to print all cards ordered online in conjunction with a gift.

IT expertise and printing on demand

The Service Level Agreement (SLA) stated that all orders for cards received prior to 4pm had to be printed, reconciled with the requested gift, mailed out and delivered the following day to Moonpig clients. We immediately teamed up with Northampton based gift fulfilment operator Dalepak in order to deliver the contract. Dalepak held all gifts in their warehouse, while the Belmont Press team were responsible for printing and delivering cards into Dalepak for reconciliation.

Our internal IT team developed a bespoke system that integrated within the Moonpig website. The system would recognise if a card was ordered with a gift and would then automatically send the card order to our digital printing on demand team.

Large digital print capacity

We also utilised our own fleet of delivery vehicles to deliver cards into Dalepak at regular intervals throughout the day.  This enabled the Dalepak team to keep up with the high demand at peak periods. Throughout the Christmas period the Belmont Press digital print department printed and delivered over 10,000 cards per day to Dalepak.  This level of service and large digital print capacity provided peace of mind to Moonpig that their clients were receiving continuity of service while they invested in the infrastructure to eventually bring the printing back in house.

Our project management team actioned a smooth transition management plan once Moonpig were ready to take ownership of the printing again.

Digital printing

The Open University

End-to-end print on demand solution

Since The Open University (OU) launched in 1969, almost 1.8 million people worldwide have achieved their learning goals by studying with the University. In terms of student numbers, The Open University is the largest academic institution in the UK with more than 240,000 students and almost 7,000 tutors. Belmont Press has been working with the OU for over 20 years, regularly winning competitive tenders to print prospectuses and marketing material. So when the OU wanted to develop an entirely new digital printing service for its students, it approached Belmont Press.

A cost effective digital printing solution

The OU team said: “We were getting requests from some students for the option to buy printed copies of selected online study content, rather than them printing it out themselves at home. We needed to be able to offer the choice of a cost-effective solution that was both cheaper and better quality for students, rather than using a desktop printer. Working with Belmont Press, we launched a print on demand service on selected University study modules. Linked directly from the OU website students can order and pay for the printed materials, these are printed and despatched by Belmont Press within 24 hours. Belmont Press provided a complete seamless answer to a potentially complicated process.”

A bespoke solution

The print on demand solution for The Open University provides a website that looks and feels like the OU website. It also collects and manages individual payments delivering a reconciliation report each week and cost-effective study materials printed to a consistently high standard. The OU team concluded: "Belmont Press have always been very approachable, innovative and willing to look at new ideas. They delivered the whole package, listening to what we wanted and providing a tailored solution to meet our needs: everything from building the website, receiving the orders, processing the payment in a secure environment, to digital printing and despatch."

Print on demand

A-Z Maps

A-Z Maps

The Geographers’ A to Z Map Company Limited is the largest independent map publishing company in the UK, producing iconic products such as the London A-Z and many award-winning maps. The business started in 1936 as The Geographers’ Map Company Limited and now produces over 320 mapping products in lithographic print as well as print on demand.

In common with many other book publishers, A to Z moved a proportion of its print to China some years ago. There were two main reasons for this; firstly, to reduce cost and secondly, due to the use of more durable sewn binding for the same cost as perfect binding. However, it has since moved this work back to the UK, with some being placed with Belmont Press. A to Z came across Belmont Press as both companies were suppliers to the London 2012 Olympic Games. A to Z then selected Belmont to produce some of its standard map books, which were litho printed and bound.

Certifications

Belmont Press had to meet strict criteria to supply to the London 2012 Olympic Games, and The Production Manager at A to Z was impressed by Belmont’s environmental and quality certifications.

He also examined the set-up and ethos of the business, commenting: We don’t like to change suppliers very often, so we try to be thorough and look at every aspect of supply. We’ve had our fingers burnt in the past and don’t choose purely on price, but quality and delivery as well.

“Belmont Press ticked all the boxes – the quality has been excellent and they are very competitively priced for the print that we need. They are also very nice people to deal with!”.

Print on demand

Aside from our lithographic work with A-Z, we have also helped develop an online ordering and digital printing service for its large format maps. With demand for some of their product lines having reduced, A-Z required a service that provided copies of their maps via a print on demand service. This helped reduce wastage and ensured A-Z's spend matched the revenue generated by customer orders.

Belmont's system is integrated within the A-Z website. It receives customer orders automatically, sends print on demand requests to our digital press and posts direct to A-Z's clients. The process is a seamless one and all publications are printed and despatched within three working days from order.

Lithographic printers

Royal Museums Greenwich

Royal Museums Grenwich

Royal Museums Greenwich is a group of historic and internationally renowned museums and visitor attractions at the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. The group comprises; the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory, The Queen’s House, and the Cutty Sark. The organisation is both a prestigious historical group of museums with unique associations with the Crown and a charitable institution subject to commercial pressures. The group required a lithographic printers to produce high quality, souvenir guides for visitors to buy, which are an important source of revenue for the organisation.

The guides are beautifully designed with stunning photographs and detailed information about the attractions.

Souvenir Guides

After a competitive tender, Belmont Press were asked to produce four souvenir guides for Royal Museums Greenwich, which are; Royal Observatory Greenwich, National Maritime Museum, Maritime Greenwich and Cutty Sark. To produce the best quality guides as cost-effectively as possible, they are printed on Belmont’s Heidelberg 10-colour press with print runs of up to 25,000.

The guides are then held in stock by Belmont Press and called off when required with next day delivery to Royal Museums Greenwich. Belmont Press also prints posters that promote the temporary exhibitions and are also sold to visitors. These A2 posters are printed using Belmont’s Heidelberg 4-colour press with print runs of 200 or 500.

Quality Lithographic Printers

Royal Museums Greenwich has this to say: "Belmont Press provide everything that you want from a lithographic printers - reliability, excellent quality, good pricing and quick delivery. They are also friendly and easy to work with."

They added: "It is very important for the souvenir guides to be right and compiling each one is a complex project involving a large team at the museum. They are an important and visible part of the museum's brand so the print quality needs to be excellent...To maximise our profit, we need to buy high quality print as cost-effectively as possible. Belmont Press gives us a good price and holds the stock for us until we need it. This makes it sustainable for us and the whole process runs very smoothly."

Direct mail

IDEXX Laboratories

IDEXX Laboratories

IDEXX laboratories are specialists in veterinary diagnostics, dairy and water testing. The busy UK marketing department relies on Belmont Press to print its range of marketing materials, from personalised direct mail to its 96-printed-page Directory of Products and Services. The UK Marketing Team at Idexx Laboratories commented: “With their range of presses from digital to 12-colour litho and HD, Belmont Press has the scale and flexibility to handle all of our printing requirements. They deliver a very professional service at a reasonable price and turn around work very quickly for us. They have never missed a deadline.”

Direct mail, print on demand, storage and distribution

As well as the company's direct mail requirements, Belmont Press also manages a storage, fulfilment and distribution operation on behalf of IDEXX Laboratories. The Marketing Team added: “We send over a spreadsheet with lots of requirements and multiple tabs and I know that Belmont Press will facilitate the distribution perfectly. I know that the right item will be delivered to the right person at the right time. They make the whole project very straightforward for us.”

Well established company

They continued: "I've dealt with Belmont Press for many years and it's a well-established company with a long history. It's always evolved to ensure that it has the right technology to meet the clients' needs. When I joined IDEXX Laboratories, I was fully aware of Belmont's quality and environmental systems, and this was another important factor in my decision to select them to print our marketing materials. They are a proactive, innovative print partner who always put their clients interests first"

Haddonstone

Haddonstone

Haddonstone is the international market leader in garden ornaments and architectural stonework. The company designs and manufactures all of its products in Northamptonshire and every item is the work of skilled craftsmen. Haddonstone designs feature on many prestigious properties including hotels and stately homes, as well as private homes and gardens of every size and style. The Haddonstone printed catalogues needed to reflect the high quality of the products they contain.

They are an important sales tool for private clients and also serve as a reference manual for architects and designers. The catalogue is full colour, outsize A4 with 216 printed pages that are thread-sewn. It needs to be robust and able to withstand the rigours of having pages photocopied without coming apart over its two to three year life cycle.

Quality printed catalogues

Belmont Press has been producing the Haddonstone lithographically printed catalogues since 2012, and Marketing Director Simon Scott said the decision to choose Belmont Press as their print partner was based on the three key factors of price, quality and service.

He added: "Ideally, we wanted to work with a local company, but I also compared prices from companies across the UK and internationally. Belmont Press is very competitive, the local support is excellent and our account manager is very knowledgeable about print."

Simon continued "He responds to our requests quickly and understands what we are trying to achieve. Belmont Press provides a seamless service. Their attention to detail is good and they always do what they say they will do. They're also flexible and accommodating when our schedules change."