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Listening, Investing and Growing IT’S IN OUR DNA





It’s in our DNA


Listening, Investing and Growing


Investment and Innovation


Successfully Servicing Transactional Requirements


John Lewis Partnership Case Study


Using Variable Digital Print to Deliver Great Results


Sky Case Study


Profit and Loss Account


Balance Sheet


The Power of Mail


Group Success


Driving Sales Through Format Development


Tesco Case Study


Meet the Team


Excelling in Client Service


Corporate Social Responsibility


A Selection of our Partners…

IT’S IN OUR DNA It has been a great 21 years in business and it is interesting to look back and see the roots of the successful organisation we are now. We have always focused on client needs, marketing support and innovative concepts to deliver high response rates and great ideas. In that sense, nothing has changed. But, of course, everything has changed. Turnaround times are faster; campaigns more personalised and rigorous integrity has become the norm. Our machinery is quicker, more accurate and more innovative than ever before. Our technology solutions provide greater support for ever more complex communications. It has been rewarding to grow with our customers and evolve our business in line with their changing needs. GI Solutions Group achieved sales of £36.9 million at the end of the last financial year in 2013 with an operating profit of £1.3 million. We have grown 10% year on year for the last five years through the introduction of digital printing and our entry into the transactional market. We will continue to listen, invest and grow to develop our value proposition for our clients. Keeping focused on delivering real value will allow us to earn good financial returns. This in turn allows us to invest in new products and services – part of the DNA of our business. Our people are the frontline of our services and they are mentioned favourably time and again when we ask for customer feedback. They deal with day to day operations, save customers’ time and money and provide the best service possible. Our reputation for excellence stands or falls on the proactive service provided by every member of staff and we all try to make a difference every day. Our suppliers have grown with us over time too, helping us to deliver the ever more technical and complex solutions our clients demand. Establishing and growing the business has been a challenge and a joy. The next 21 years look just as exciting and fulfilling. I look forward to continuing to work with you all. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank our employees, clients and suppliers for helping us to create the business we are today.

Robin Welch Group Managing Director


LISTENING, INVESTING AND GROWING By aiming to provide communication solutions which add value for our customers, we have built our business on being ‘different and better’. This is shown through our investment in products and services which offer something new to our customers and by supplying them in a way which is efficient, cost-effective and proactive. Our customers’ products and services can stand out on the doormat through our great format ideas. They are able to use our digital variable print to deliver increased response rates. They can respond quicker to competitor behaviour through our ability to deliver a faster turnaround of mail and email and they can achieve better compliance through our ability to track documents from end to end for legal and regulatory mailings. THE FUTURE Our plans for future growth are a combination of organic growth and acquisition. We believe our direct mail offering provides customers with real differentiation and we will continue to invest in innovation that epitomises our different and better ethos. For transactional solutions, we are evaluating various options in the market which would involve acquiring an existing business. Our customers will continue to benefit from our commitment to client-led investment and focus on service.

We offer three distinct and unique services to our clients





For the best response rates we use data insight to advise our clients who to mail, what to mail and when to mail it

Stand out on the doormat with our ability to design and produce a wide range of innovative mailing formats

Add relevancy and drive consumer behaviour using our knowledge of how and when to utilise digital colour

INVESTMENT AND INNOVATION Client-led investment allows us to pioneer innovative ideas. Total capital expenditure since inception has exceeded £25 million, equating to an average of over £1 million per year. A cross-departmental team is fully involved in the strategic decisions to deliver continuous improvement for our customers. Our most recent investment is approximately £3 million and is delivering the following solutions and products. DIGITAL ENVELOPES To give our clients the ability to create a greater impact with their mailings we have invested in paper wrapping technology. This matches digitally printed outer envelopes with digitally printed letters giving full personalisation capabilities. The real benefits are faster turnaround times and greater response rates. INTELLIGENT ENCLOSING To support an increasingly regulated transactional mail market our intelligent enclosing machinery has full audit capabilities across all enclosing machines. This is driven by a 2d barcode read at four stages which provides full reporting and integrated spoils regeneration. To ensure we can support our customers we have invested and tested all of our systems to be Mailmark™ ready.

SEE A VIDEO OF OUR LATEST TECHNOLOGY digital-envelope-mailpacks

Additionally, two new short-run enclosing machines and a hand fulfilment department complement the secure enclosing facility by handling the growing amount of smaller transactional mailing cells. This mirrors both the capability and integrity of existing equipment providing selectivity and a full audit trail. MULTI-CHANNEL COMMUNICATION The power of direct mail is increased when it is used with other media. To ensure our customers enjoy a seamless service we provide a platform independent system which supports the sending of mail, email and SMS in an integrated campaign. This allows customers to use different channels tactically and follow up email with mail or vice versa depending on response rates.


SUCCESSFULLY SERVICING TRANSACTIONAL REQUIREMENTS Most people open, read and keep bills, business letters and statements. To ensure these documents are produced and delivered accurately we provide a safe and reliable environment. This is achieved through using a workflow system which contains the metadata for each daily campaign. This supports our ability to handle any format of data and allows us to automate data transfer, production optimisation and reporting. To provide information to achieve compliance we use a 2d barcode identification and tracking system which gives a full audit trail for 100% mailing production. To save time for customers we offer the ability to see personalisation proofs through an online portal. This allows multiple user access, a full audit trail and an easy way of ensuring that all the right people can access proofs when they need to see them. We also offer a document editing suite designed to help customers access and update documents in real time to directly update live mailings. IMPROVING JOHN LEWIS PARTNERSHIPS PENSION STATEMENTS The John Lewis Partnership’s 84,700 Partners own the leading UK retail businesses John Lewis and Waitrose. High quality internal communication is vital and once a year all Partners receive a Pension Statement confirming their benefits. John Lewis Partnership and GI Solutions worked together to re-design the Statements in a way that would allow fully personalised information to be sent to each recipient. Using digital printing, the Statements could be produced quickly with variable information shown in colour to a high quality standard.



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WHAT THE CLIENT SAID “The ability to call on GI Solutions' expert knowledge on how to use digital print to its best potential has been invaluable. It helped us to develop our Pension Statements to ensure all relevant information was clearly presented and suited the production method we were using. GI Solutions were professional and reliable and we will continue to partner with them. I cannot find fault with Chris, Matt or Anneke. Our requirements are often very demanding and urgent and GI Solutions have delivered every time.” John Berrell, Pensions Operations Manager, John Lewis Partnership PROJECT RESULT John Lewis Partnership are pleased with the results. John says, “We were very happy with the quality of the Statements. Because of the transparency and visibility at John Lewis we need our suppliers to be first class, particularly for internal communications, as the quality and execution will be noticed by everyone.” The feedback from Partners has been good. “We have had people ring up to say they like the design but for us a good result is when we get fewer calls rather than more. This, we believe, indicates that the Statement has successfully delivered its important message and our Partners therefore have no need to contact us to ask questions. From this perspective it has been a great success.” Further developments have now seen the inclusion of an extra digital booklet due to the success of the Statements and reduced delivery costs. KEY BENEFITS • Fast turnaround from white paper solution • Great flexibility of messaging • No stationery held so only print required documents • Postal discounts maximised


USING VARIABLE DIGITAL PRINT TO DELIVER GREAT RESULTS Digital direct mail has the potential to create an immediate interaction with the target audience by reflecting personal preferences. This can include using a product selection, a geographical reference, demographic information or, simply, highlighting in colour key text that is pertinent to the recipient. To make the most of this technology we have both the machinery and the technical experience to support our customers with the necessary data segmentation and selection, creative choice, format design and production processes. From retail and mail order campaigns through media, technology and travel companies we have worked with many clients to deliver successful results. We are used to ensuring the data is checked, the images are correct and the end result surpasses expectations.

Ways to use variable digital print GEOGRAPHICAL REFERENCE



Use a variable map, location or street reference to increase the relevancy of the information to your target audience

Highlight a key product choice for your customers which varies according to their purchase history

Use information about your customers to reflect their demographic or lifestyle information

SKY SAVED TIME ON FAST TURNAROUND MAILING The Sky print team were asked to communicate regulatory information to 3,615,000 customers with two weeks’ notice and the whole campaign had to be completed in three weeks. Fiona Millard, Sky Production Manager confirmed, “We are under regulatory conditions to make sure our customers have sufficient notice of any changes. Once we were aware of the need to communicate and the period of time we had to do it in, we had to look at our options to ensure this mailing was sent out quickly and accurately.”


WHAT THE CLIENT SAID “We had a real challenge meeting regulatory time lines for a large customer mailing. With GI Solutions' help and the use of their campaign management skills and digital print solution, we were able to meet our deadlines with time to spare. GI Solutions made the job easy.” Fiona Millard, Print Production Manager, Sky PROJECT RESULTS Sky was delighted with the success of the project. Fiona confirmed, “We had a huge challenge sending out a regulatory mailing to a tight schedule and it was achieved with time to spare. There were very few calls into the call centre which is a bonus for us as we know then that customers are receiving clear, well produced messages within regulatory guidelines.” PROJECT STRATEGY Fiona continues “I wanted to use the time advantages offered by a white paper solution so we needed a supplier with big capacity, fast turnaround and high quality digital print capability. GI Solutions were able to supply the cost, capability and quality required.” “To meet regulatory requirements, the data had to be sorted into cells relating to payment date, then merged in that order and capped to a daily release volume. GI Solutions had the experience of handling our data and we knew they had the account management skills to deliver the campaign. We also received daily reporting of a full status update to keep us informed.” The data was supplied, approved and digital print production commenced. The packs were enclosed on the intelligent Sitma enclosing machines and mailed according to schedule. To meet additional special requirements, GI Solutions produced both large print and alternative coloured paper for visually-impaired customers - all within the critical time frame. KEY BENEFITS • Fast turnaround from white paper solution • Great flexibility of messaging • No stationery held so only print required documents • Lower than expected call centre traffic • Postal discounts maximised


GI SOLUTIONS GROUP PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT for the year ending 31 March 2013

2013 2012 £000 £000

Turnover Cost of sales

36,930 31,288 (26,804) (20,960)

Gross profit Administrative expenses

10,126 10,330 (8,831) (8,969)

Operating profit Profit on disposal of tangible fixed assets Other exceptional items

1,295 1,359 3 7 (185) –

Bank interest receivable Interest payable and similar charges

1,113 1,366 1 6 (98) (116)

Profit on ordinary activities before taxation Tax

1,016 1,256 (6) (373)

Profit for the financial year


Sales growth in last year of 18%, better than any of our direct competitors

Continued capital and people investment, building a platform for future growth in sales and profits

17% return on capital, significantly better than the industry average


Increased penetration of the transactional market, which now accounts for 60% of our gross margin

TURNOVER 40,000 35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0




31.03.11 YEAR




2013 2012 £000 £000

Fixed assets Tangible assets



Current assets Stocks Debtors Cash at bank

243 360 11,898 10,247 1,742 951

Creditors Amounts falling due within one year

13,883 11,558 (8,999) (8,082)

Net current assets

4,884 3,476

Total assets less current liabilities

6,655 6,172

Creditors Amounts falling due after more than one year


Net assets

5,857 4,847

Capital and reserves Called up share capital Share premium account Capital redemption reserve Profit and loss account

– 4 275 5,578

– 4 275 4,568

Shareholders’ funds




GROWTH BASED ON SOLID FOUNDATIONS GI Solutions Group has grown dramatically over the last five years. A 10% compound growth shows the underlying strength of the business. We aim to continue this growth to achieve a turnover of £50 million by 2016. This will be achieved through organic growth and considered strategic acquisitions allied to continuing investment in machinery, hardware, software and quality staff.


Direct Mail



THE POWER OF MAIL We believe in the power of written communication. No other medium can compare with its ability to be kept, opened, read, influence behaviour, trigger a purchase and deliver a response. It can work on its own or with other media and feels personal and welcomed by recipients.

44% of UK consumers believe that their financial records would be incomplete without paper statements1

Introducing mail in the mix has a positive impact on sales and increases campaign effectiveness2

Mail ensures customers remember more and experience higher emotional engagement than with other media3

1 2 IPA Databank meta-analysis conducted by Peter Field (Sept 2013) IPA 3 RM Neuro-Insight, June 2013

SUPPORTING THE INDUSTRY We work hard to support our industry, whether it is Alistair Ezzy’s involvement with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), Robin Welch’s membership of the Strategic Mailing Partnership™ board – a joint initiative between Royal Mail and the UK’s mailing house industry – or Patrick Headley’s networking with leading industry figures. We all know that getting involved is the key to success. VISIT GI SOLUTIONS KNOWLEDGE CENTRE gi-solutions-knowledge-centre

Keeping customers educated and informed about the possibilities and capabilities of mail is at the core of our marketing efforts. We use mail to promote new formats, update customers on our services and remind people about best practice. We hold monthly seminars which include information on data management, personalisation, production techniques and postage news. We include informative updates on both of our websites: GI Solutions Group has a Knowledge Centre where we include instructive articles and Creative Formats website shows format ideas in animation. These are guaranteed to provide inspiration to agencies, designers or marketers whatever their discipline. We believe in the power of mail.


GROUP SUCCESS GI Solutions Group is a rapidly evolving marketing support services group, which has grown organically to embrace an increasing range of campaign and customer management needs. We offer everything from the creation of a customer database to the development of targeted communications through to bespoke packaging solutions. We can support all of your marketing needs.

GI INSIGHT Data intelligence is increasingly an essential component of any marketing strategy. To help you make more informed, analytical decisions that drive your business success, GI Insight provides database build, analysis, insight and business support. They use the insight from the analysis of your customer data to improve the targeting of your communications to increase ROI and long-term customer value. Just having the right customer analytics in place isn’t enough to maximise customer relationship management and database marketing efforts. GI Insight will develop your customer journey based on bespoke segmentation to deliver proven profitability. SYNYANG SynYang excels in providing ‘a safe gateway’ to UK companies wishing to source print and promotional materials from China. This includes: • Gift packaging • Food grade packaging • Diaries and calendars • Retail seasonal display materials and Christmas decorations • Promotional items At the core of the business is the concept of managing the risks and reducing the uncertainty associated with trading in an unfamiliar overseas market. Over the past ten years, SynYang has acquired great experience and in-depth knowledge of local culture to provide a controlled and trusted infrastructure to UK businesses, without compromising quality and ethics. 13

DRIVING SALES THROUGH FORMAT DEVELOPMENT Direct mail is a powerful tool and a vital part of the marketing mix. To help our customers get better responses on mailing campaigns we are constantly working on new format ideas. To provide inspiration and ideas for our clients we created our website Format ideas are displayed as 3d animations with a short description. This is updated regularly with new format ideas and now displays over 100 ideas and suggestions. We have developed a number of innovative solutions recently. Here are just a few examples. ‘REAL’ WINDOW As a further enhancement to our inline mailpacks we can also include a ‘real’ window to the pack. This further replicates the look and feel of a conventional envelope but with all of the cost and speed advantages of inline production. TIP-ON CARD Sending your customers a detachable card is a useful way to present information in a format which is easy to keep. We have developed a range of choices to suit every requirement. DIGITAL ENVELOPE To maximise the value of personalising mailings in colour we have the ability to match digitally printed envelopes with digitally printed letters. The process gives a faster turnaround for a fully personalised mail pack as well as the potential for greater response rates. GREAT TEAMWORK DELIVERS TESCO CLUBCARD SUCCESS Tesco is Britain’s leading supermarket with over 3,000 stores and over 310,000 colleagues. Central to Tesco’s success is Clubcard a highly effective customer loyalty programme which rewards customers and allows Tesco to understand customer behaviour and tailor its offers to its customers through data insight. The principle mechanism for customers to receive their Clubcard vouchers is through their Clubcard Statement. It is vital that the Clubcard Statement presents information to customers in a simple, clear and easily accessible way. Working together, Tesco and GI Solutions ensure the Clubcard Statement is the right format for the job.


WHAT THE CLIENT SAID “Clubcard Statement is our way of rewarding our loyal customers and it is important we get it right. GI Solutions support us with a secure, reliable and trustworthy service while helping us to evolve our communications in the most efficient way. They are an essential part of the Clubcard team.” Katie McQuaid, UK Clubcard Marketing Director, Tesco PROJECT RESULT Marlene Rodney, Clubcard Statement Manager confirms, “Clubcard Statement is incredibly successful. It is warmly welcomed by our customers and encourages them to visit our stores. We see market leading redemption rates and a significant sales contribution” Marlene explains, “The Clubcard Statement is about rewarding customers for their loyalty and shopping with Tesco. It is a personalised 'thank you' mailing containing cash vouchers and relevant coupons on products they buy. It is important it is a tangible thank you, which is why we send this to customers through the post. Although we do use email, we feel direct mail allows us to emotionally engage with our customers.” Good account management is essential. “GI Solutions are fantastic to work with. They are consistent, honest, reliable and really down to earth. Communication is definitely one of their strong points but they have all the right qualities you want from a printer and more.” KEY BENEFITS • Faster speed to market – 1.8m Statements produced in 24 hours • Flexibility – last minute changes can be made • Secure – single production operation removes possibility of mis-matches • Fully personalised – for targeted communication


Meet the Team‌ the DNA of GI Solutions

EXCELLING IN CLIENT SERVICE Customer service is at the heart of what we do. Our Client Services teams work hard to deliver the service levels that our customers demand. We aim to exceed our customers’ expectations. Our people have extensive industry experience gained over many years. They approach each job with an attention to detail which enables them to provide proactive support to our customers across all industry sectors. Their ability to handle every project, from regulatory price change mailings sent to millions of customers, to multi-variant transactional mailings incorporating hundreds of text, artwork, insert and outer envelope variations is unrivalled within the industry.







0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 NUMBER OF CLIENT COMPLIMENTS The results of this ongoing and persistent focus on customer satisfaction are clearly evident. Our efforts to achieve customer satisfaction have resulted in a steadily improving trend over the last five years. We continue to focus on ensuring that our customers are provided with the best products and services.

We aim to exceed our customers’ expectations 17

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY GI Solutions Group is committed to ensuring that all our activities are secure, safe, consistent and green.

SECURE We are ISO 27001 certified for Information Security Management. ISO 27001 helps us to be aware of best practice when handling confidential information. Identifying and controlling this information allows us to function effectively to maintain information security for our clients. We are registered under the Data Protection Act. Our registration number is Z4679733.

SAFE We hold BS OHSAS 18001 certification for Health and Safety Management. Assessment and certification demonstrates our commitment to continual improvement in health and safety performance and to our compliance with legislation through maintenance of an Occupational Health and Management System. We also hold a Gold Medal (seven consecutive golds) award in the prestigious RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards.

CONSISTENT We have held ISO 9001 certification for Quality Assurance – the internationally recognised standard for quality – since 2004. The benefits of ISO 9001 certification include a defined process of quality control on all products and services produced by GI Solutions. This ensures a commitment across all disciplines to deliver the highest quality for our customers.


PEFC/16-33-498 Promoting Sustainable Forest Management


We have held ISO 14001 certification for Environmental Management Systems since 2001. ISO 14001 certification is an international standard that provides a framework so that we can control and improve environmental performance via an Environmental Management System. It has brought us many benefits including reduced energy consumption and increased amount of waste sent for recycling rather than landfill. We are also FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified. These two organisations promote sustainable forest management through forest certification and provide chain of custody.

A Selection of our Partners‌


GI Solutions T. 0116 232 1711 E. | A division of GI Solutions Group Ltd – Registered No: 2734835

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