CV Print and Pak was established by Chris Viviers in 2010 to supply high-quality products and consumables for print quality enhancement and consistency, process stability and overall press and plate performance management. Alliance Machinery was formed nearly 11 years ago with Bradley Bate at the helm to supply equipment and after-sales support to leading packaging printing and converting companies throughout southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.
‘Combined, our teams have well over 100 years of experience in the field of printing and process management, which guarantees customers a formidable one-stop proficiency shop,’ reports MD Bradley Bate. ‘Alliance Machinery was looking for its next growth phase and to stabilise a more regular income stream beyond its specialist machinery supply and service business and Chris approached us with an offer to secure a succession plan for CV Print and Pak. The business was the perfect fit because it represents consumable products that our customer base uses every day. Additionally, the group’s relationship with Chris goes back to the 1980s and has always been characterised by mutual trust and respect.’
Chris explains that his biggest ambition was to find a team that could grow the business and look after the supply principals and customers after he retires. ‘Garth Bennett and I have been growing CV Print and Pak for the past 13 years to establish it as the go-to market offering for anilox rollers (Zecher) and cleaning products (Primoclean); plate mounting sleeves (Trelleborg); doctor blades and chamber seals (CBG Acciai); cleaning equipment for aniloxes, sleeves, plates and parts (Print-Tech); as well as solvent/water recovery and treatment systems (LMG Green), which were added to the new entity because selling and supporting equipment is a core competence for Alliance Machinery,’ he states. ‘All our staff have been retained to ensure that it’s business as usual, but with the added benefit of an increased market footprint, new products and wider pool of technical support and expertise in KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape and Gauteng.’
Beyond South Africa, CV Print and Pak has established a customer base in Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. ‘As a small team we haven’t had the capacity to explore other territories, so we are excited to tap into Alliance Machinery’s well-established sub-Saharan African footprint and take the new range to those territories as well,’ he states.
Bradley adds that Alliance Machinery is proud to be associated with the market-leading agencies that CV Print and Pak represents and sees scope for growth beyond the flexible packaging sector into the corrugated as well as commercial and packaging offset litho printing sectors. ‘Typical offset presses have at least one or two coating units for aqueous and UV varnish that require cleaning products and we can now also supply the necessary anilox rollers, doctor blades and chamber seals.’
Service and support
As both teams share similar morals, ethics and approaches to business and customer service and support, the transition phase has been quite easy, Bradley reports. ‘All the stock has been loaded onto the system and the CV Print and Pak team are just getting used to the new accounting systems and operational procedures. They are receiving training in terms of the invoicing and accounting packages and can count on that backup support on an ongoing basis.’
Customer training and education are also key focus areas for both teams to add technical value to converters’ operations and ensure the correct use (plus cleaning and storage to avoid damage and extend their shelf life) of the consumables, processes and equipment to maximise efficiencies all round and boost operational skill sets.
Chris believes that twice-yearly training sessions, including six-page brochures with all the information the operators and assistants require and a certificate of completion, are very valuable tools in assisting converting businesses to control and manage all the variables in the flexographic printing process, for instance. ‘Our approach is to use our specialist skills to help production teams problem solve and achieve an annual bonus.’
Additionally, the CV Print and Pak team has a strong history of bringing its supply partners to visit customers around the country for around two weeks so that they can develop a good understanding of the market. ‘These insights enable suppliers to better tailor their offerings to suit our market in terms of both product and budget because they can then understand its price sensitivities,’ Bradley remarks.
‘Our joint aim is to reduce the price gap differential through bringing in the biggest stock holding possible and maximising savings on freight costs, while trying to minimise the impact of exchange rate fluctuations on customers so that they know what their anticipated costs are over the next three to six months,’ he says. ‘We will also explore our synergies and market research findings as well as use the additional territories and bigger customer footprint to grow the business to the point where we can negotiate even better pricing from our suppliers.’
Ed’s note: Details about several cleaning products available from Alliance Machinery incorporating CV Print and Pak are featured in this month’s anilox update can be found here.
Zecher: 75 years of pioneering people and developments
Everything at Zecher, a CV Print and Pak principal, has been revolving around anilox rollers for the past 75 years and its range of applications includes packaging, labels and cartons. Thomas Reinking, head of sales and marketing, discusses the company’s founder, highlights and secrets to success.
Shortly after the end of World War II, young entrepreneur and company founder Kurt Zecher had the idea of setting up a small electroplating business. His knowledge of innovative surface treatments and specific inquiries from the printing industry led to the first regularly engraved anilox roller. Kurt’s pioneering spirit was a contributing factor to the economic upswing in those difficult years and provided security in uncertain times for Zecher’s growing number of employees.
Kurt realised early on that further development and growth could only happen when everyone looks in the same direction and works together trustfully. He set an example for employees to follow, which enabled the company to grow steadily and become a decisive supplier to the printing industry.
‘During my eight years at Zecher, the business has developed into a market-oriented company through an expanded product portfolio that includes printing cylinders and cleaning solutions. Additionally, the strong focus on the positive economic benefits for end customers using Zecher products has also ensured customer growth,’ maintains Thomas.
The secrets to success have been the training and identification of employees for promotion within the company as well as the constant, customer-oriented further development of the business.
‘My personal highlight has been Zecher’s development from an exclusively technically focused company into one that is also economically and market oriented. With the existing good technical and economic basis, as well as the developments that are about to be implemented, we can look forward to a positive future together with our team. “With people for people” is a guiding slogan that applies to both the past and the future at Zecher,’ Thomas adds.