Currie Group

Friday, 20 January 2017
By Jake Nelson

Currie Group tech boosts Optima Press

Warrick Finlay, Optima Press managing director (left), and Andrew Finlay, production manager, with their new Horizon CRF-362 creaser folder from Currie Group.

“It’s hard to find new sales out there in this marketplace, there’re so many competitors. It’s so hard to secure new business,” said Warrick Finlay, managing director of Optima Press in Osborne Park, Western Australia.

Optima, a family-owned business that started out as a small A3 printer back in 1989, has long been a stalwart in both the offset and digital sectors – but with so much competition in the region, times haven’t been easy. “The Perth market is definitely oversaturated. The pricing that’s going around the industry – some of it is quite desperate, I’d say,” Finlay said

That’s why, in April 2016, Warrick and his brother Andrew, Optima’s production manager, decided to expand the business their father Ian had founded nearly 30 years ago. The Finlays bought out Imatec Digital, bringing the company’s staff and clients into the Optima fold. “Imatec was looking around to move on, so we saw an opportunity there to work with the old owners and take the business over, which increased our digital sales quite significantly,” Finlay said.

Taking on the clientele of an all-digital printing house was an eye-opening experience for the Finlay brothers and their crew, who had to quickly catch up with the speed these new customers required. “Imatec was a full digital house, whereas we catered for larger jobs. It was a bit of a learning curve for us as to how quickly the work needed to be done for that group of clients,” Finlay said.

Imatec’s former staff have quickly become members of the Optima Press family, which prides itself on its quality hires and an ethos of personal responsibility in production and delivery of all print jobs. Even Warrick and Andrew Finlay themselves started at the ground floor of their father’s business – Warrick in 1995, Andrew in 2005 – and worked their way up to management positions. “We’re just a small group of guys who work well together and are relatively experienced in the industry,” Finlay said.

Since buying out Imatec, things have been looking up for Optima. The company has adapted to the new fast-paced work cycle digital printing requires, and found digital to be a huge growth sector – one that it plans to target more heavily in 2017. “We’ve had a good start to the financial year, better than the last three or four years, so for us turnover’s increased slightly, and the profits are starting to improve as well,” Finlay said.

Adrian Dixon, WA state manager, Currie Group.

To help grow this space, Optima turned to Currie Group, whose HP Indigo 3550 digital press had been a mainstay in its digital operations for more than five years. Optima also already owned a collection of Horizon equipment from Currie Group, including a AFC-566F folder and a VAC-1000, SPF/FC-200A stitching finishing line – but the new gear it purchased from Currie Group last year, including an HP Indigo 5000 digital press and a Horizon CRF-362 creaser folder, has given it a major efficiency boost. “Optima Press have been actively expanding their digital market for some time now. Adding a second HP Indigo 5000 series last year was further evidence of that strategy. With the increased volume in their digital printing facility there comes a need to expand the finishing area to eradicate bottlenecks – after all, it is no use having the firepower in the printing department to meet the new demand only to fall short on customer deadlines finishing the product,” said Adrian Dixon, WA state manager at Currie Group.

“Optima Press have been aware of this and have introduced a number of fully automated Horizon finishing products to keep pace with the HP Indigo presses,” he said.

The Finlays say they’re more than happy with their purchases from Currie Group. “The Currie machines are going really, really well. For efficiency, they’re second to none, especially with the creaser folder and the stitching finishing line, and the Indigos are excellent for short form print,” said Andrew Finlay.

The Finlays have nothing but praise for Currie Group’s install process and after-sale service. “They always seem to deliver on time, they’ll give you a realistic timeframe to work to and they’ll deliver on that timeframe,” Warrick said.

Warrick says Currie Group’s equipment works well and suits the company’s needs, and Optima will look to buy more gear as its business continues to expand. “We’ve looked to purchase new equipment that’s quicker and capable of doing multiple things at one time, and that’s something we’ll push towards in the future as well – equipment that is going to have more than one purpose,” he said.

Tough though times are in the West, Optima’s innovative thinking – combined with its customer-first philosophy that “printing is a service that every client expects to have a high level of quality, produced on time in a cost efficient manner” – should keep the Finlays’ company going for a good while yet.

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