As part of the acquisition, Graffica will take over Web Graphics’ existing agencies and provide both sales and service to the company’s clients. Southerington says the acqusition is a natural progression for Graffica, from its traditional product line of finishing foiling and die cutting equipment, to include quality labelling machinery as well.
“We see this as a good marriage of two companies of the same size, and we think it will grow our business and give us a bigger customer base,” says Southerington. “Up until this point our business has always focused on print finishing and carton finishing but since Web Graphics supplies mostly narrow width web and flexo presses, this will give us a launching pad for labels,” he says.
Graffica has used the opportunity to reassess the direction of the Web Graphics line of products, which have traditionally specialised in well known European brands such as, Visi-Tech, Imer and UV Ray. In addition to these machines, Graffica plans to include its own range of low cost Chinese machinery, which includes continuous stationary, flexo, slitters and rewinders, inspection, plate mounting, anilox roller cleaning, die cutting and horizontal multi-unit flexo presses.
“What we realised was there was no use in making customers pay European prices for bread and butter machines,” says Southerington. “Customers are likely to take aversion to buying a machine if the cost is too high. They know what they want and as long as they get a good return on their investment, then they don’t mind where the machine comes from,” he says.
Southerington is quick to point out that the Chinese machines are just as good as any. He says purchasing high quality equipment from China will allow Graffica to pass on significant cost savings to the customer.
“Make no mistake, the Chinese products are good, he says. “Aussie printers are smart, they understand the bottom line is a fast return on investment.”
“Everyone has purchased a brand name product for the home, or tool shed, only to find it is made in China. The problem here is that the product is just as good, but you still pay a premium for having that name on the side."
“Most Euro-graphic machine suppliers already have plants in China and do the same thing. We on the other hand buy direct from China and pass on the savings,” he says.