Invitebay Ltd targets growth with multi-finisher | Duplo

Kevin Oakford, owner of Invitebay

Purchased through Duplo’s strategic partner in the North of England AfterPrint Ltd, Invitebay has upgraded their 6-year-old DC-616 multi-finisher to a new DC-618 in a bid to grow their production output.

Founded in 2014 the Merseyside digital print company specialises in the production of personalised printed products, mainly event invites, business cards and flyers. Their products are available through two online portals, Amazon, eBay and Etsy with thousands of satisfied customers.

Kevin Oakford, owner of Invitebay said, “We loved the old DC-616, it was such an easy machine to run, it practically did everything we asked of it. It’s a robust, well-engineered and very well thought out device. What we were looking at doing was to expand our product portfolio and to be able to finish thicker stock and give our customers a wider choice in substrates and designs. The new DC-618 ticks all those boxes, but it’s much more of a production device than the older model. It’s much faster – almost double the speed, it can slit, cut, perf and crease up to 400gsm, it has a new PC control system, which is much easier to navigate, and we can store every single template on the device. We currently have a large number of templates that all our customers find really convenient to use, so we already have them loaded into the multi-finisher so the jobs can be linked up and cut without any manual intervention. I’ve also found that the DC-618 is actually more precise with its cutting.”

When asked about the impact of the current pandemic on a business geared to the hospitality industry, Kevin said, “At the start of the Pandemic we tried to remain positive and kept the business going but, as the majority of our business is based around parties, weddings, corporate events and business cards it becomes increasingly difficult as the demands for our products dropped massively. By April/May 2020 the demand had fallen by 90% so we put the business into hibernation until the world settled down. During this time, we looked into new avenues to market and explored various online marketplaces including Amazon, the closedown period gave us time to focus so some good did come of the shutdown overall. Fortunately, with the new routes to market and the significant lift of restrictions around Christmas we saw a surge in demand for our products and we have not looked back since. We are now operating at close to full capacity based on our pre-pandemic figures and if anything, we are getting more business, hence the investment in the new Duplo DC618.”

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how much time the new DC-618 will save us especially with the cutting and packaging of the new products we’ve recently launched. The automation is much better, meaning our operators can get on with other jobs, like packing the finished jobs or loading the printer whilst the print is being finished. It’s also quite a bit more user friendly than its predecessor. Overall, we’re thoroughly impressed and happy with the machine. 

AfterPrint Ltd is a specialist provider of finishing equipment who is a Strategic Dealer for Duplo UK. They provide full aftercare for a range of Duplo equipment through the northern region of the UK. 

“We have known Chris O’Brien and Mark Ellam – Sales & Service Director and Technical Service Engineer respectively at AfterPrint Ltd – for many years and they have always shown professionalism and detailed knowledge of the Duplo equipment. They are also a local company based just 20 miles from our offices, their service support has always been excellent, and Mark has even come over on weekends to help us out if we are stuck. We approached many companies to discuss an upgrade path, but AfterPrint Ltd really helped us understand why we should consider the Duplo DC-618. Unlike the other companies we approached who just gave us facts and figures, Chris really went out of his way to explain why the new multi-finisher would enable us to take our company to the next level. Further to this, Chris offered us a great deal taking our existing machine back in part exchange and arranged all the finance, making the whole buying process extremely simple. 

“The whole process was operated very swiftly and smoothly, the new machine was set up and tested by AfterPrint Ltd prior to delivery which ensured when it landed with us we were onto the training virtually immediately and fully operational within just a few hours. Even after the install when we had a few questions on the setup processes, the DC-618 differs from our old DC616, Chris and Mark were on hand to assist on the phone and answered all our questions without hesitation.

“Now that the DC-618 is in and operational and soon to be running flat out we need a period of stability to take the opportunity the new Duplo has given us to grow and take on a larger workload. If the demand keeps growing positively, I certainly wouldn’t hesitate in speaking with the AfterPrint team when the time comes to look at my next piece of finishing kit that can expand my business further.”