How Duplication Centre became the UK's market leader in CD, DVD, and Blu-ray Duplication
Born out of Martin Johnson's entrepreneurship and his private investment, it didn't take long for Duplication Centre to lead the UK market in CD, DVD and Blu-ray Duplication. Incorporated not so long ago in 2004, within 6 months the company was seeing stable profits, initial investment was paid off, and the investment was paying dividends.
As of January 2010, turnover peaked in the final months of 2009 at well over half a million pounds sterling, and with over three and a half thousand orders per year. Not bad for a privately invested company employing just three staff.
Duplication Centre is a real success story in the SME market.
Duplication Centre has been leading the market where it matters:
- Low prices for CD, DVD, and Blu-ray Duplication
- High quality product
- Dedicated sevice
- Happy customers, and happy employees
Let us look at the factors that lead to the company's success, starting from the beginning.
Dedication to the business
Martin knew that starting a private business required dedication. Dedication didn't just mean putting in long hours. It meant doing tasks hands on. It would have been easy to pay vendors to deliver business services as they saw fit. But are vendors trustworthy? How many vendors truly have the businesses interests at heart? How many vendors have an objective approach when selling a service? How many sales people do you trust?
This is not to say that expert tasks shouldn't be done by experts. It meant that Martin was fully involved in tasks, took an active interest in the "hows and whys". Where necessary he did the tasks himself. He ensured that the best hardware was selected, that the software vendors where trustworthy, their approach was correct. The best raw materials were researched. Very importantly Martin decided to take care of marketing himself. This was a slightly unusual approach for a well invested business. However he decided that success amongst the magnitude of competing advertisers meant that a strategic marketing method was required. Here he learnt and did the task himself, and became a marketing expert.
It is tempting for privately invested business to cut back on expenditure. However the word here is investment. Certain investments must be made to become a market leader. One of the company’s first big investments was good quality hardware to execute the orders. On the other hand, Martin’s dedication meant that investments were carefully chosen to reduce costs.
Martin’s natural dedication to people has always been reflected in the company. His Christian upbringing meant that he endeavoured to truly satisfy his customers. Satisfaction means providing a quality service, a fair service, and if an order ever falls short of this, then to rectify the mistake at the company’s cost.
The result is that 50% of Duplication Centre’s orders are repeat business, despite a heavily invested marketing strategy aimed at finding new customers.
The company’s customer service was also extended to suppliers. By treating suppliers well, the suppliers were willing to invest themselves into the business.
In house production
The investment was made to execute the full order process in house, from duplication, to printing, cutting, folding, and cellowrapping. By doing the process in house, the company was able to deliver on aspects that are vital to today’s marketplace:
- Fast delivery
- Strong quality control
- Low cost
Business automation took the company to yet another level. Duplication Centre was already a market leader by the time expert developer Philip Antoniou from Ad Finem Ltd suggested business automation. However the Intelligent business automation took the company to yet another level.
Intelligent business automation took the company to yet another level
What the system did
The new system automated workflow by taking care of mundane tasks:
- Automated online quotations
- Online ordering
- Order management system
- Automated invoicing
- Automated artwork collection
- Automated Job Sheet
- Automated Parcelforce dispatch
Freeing the staff from mundane tasks, the company was now able to increase the number of orders that it undertook. Duplication Centre increased their marketing campaign and found no difficulty in catering for the extra orders.
In addition to increased capacity, Duplication Centre was able to withdraw plans to employ additional staff to take care of paperwork. The new system took care of this.
The system accumulated a mass of information. It was a central silo for all the company information. Duplication Centre was able to identify trends and cross sell and up sell to its existing client base. Information is power.
Duplication Centre did not stop there. Their excellent success with their IT development vendor gave them confidence to invest in further systems. In late 2009, Duplication Centre launched the prototype Artwork Creator. The first of its kind, the Artwork Creator catered for customers who did not possess artwork for their duplication project. These customers may not have time, money, or skill to obtain professional artwork. The Artwork Creator was is an easy tool for customers to quickly upload clipart, a company logo, and text to print their project.
The Artwork Creator didn’t just cater for artless customers. It also brought attention and traffic to the company which furthered sales.