Printers and converters in the labelling and narrow-web industry – currently navigating the challenges, opportunities, and changing regulatory goalposts caused by the COVID-19 scenario – value local suppliers with solid reputations for support, loyalty, and flexibility. More than ever, such suppliers are vital partners in their ongoing business success.
‘During these difficult times, we’re backing our partners all the way through a customised full-service package anchored on exceptional consultation and after-sales support. This includes die resharpening on a highly-automated and accurate CNC centre; production of solid rotary dies and magnetic print cylinders; handling the logistics and deliveries of spare parts and consumables; developing more economical press technologies; and providing a turnkey project service for pre-owned printing presses and finishing machines from reputable brands,’ says ROTOCON director and co-owner, Michael Aengenvoort.
‘Since the beginning of the lockdown, our management team has been very appreciative and in awe of the willingness and wonderful team spirit of ROTOCON’s technicians and drivers, who have pulled together and served as excellent frontline workers, assisting customers with breakdowns and technical issues, as well as ensuring they receive their consumable orders on time,’ Michael adds.
As Patrick Aengenvoort notes, July and August are traditionally the months when artwork changes are supplied by brand owners getting ready for summer product launches. ‘This upswing in activity has been very encouraging and resulted in increased use of our die resharpening service, along with orders for flexible/rotary dies and anilox rollers,’ Patrick remarks.
And, as pointed out by Pascal Aengenvoort, it’s also the period when wine producers are emptying bulk containers and bottling and labelling current stock to make way for the upcoming harvest season. This has resulted in renewed demand from Western Cape converters. ‘Orders for Kocher+Beck TecScreen high-definition, precoated printing plates have rebounded to pre-COVID-19 levels,’ Pascal reports. ‘We have sincere sympathy for our wine industry customers and others affected by the alcohol ban, and constantly engage with them to see where and how we can assist. For instance, we strive to balance exchange rate fluctuations so that consumables don’t become cost-prohibitive. In the case of Cheshire Anilox engraved ceramic anilox rollers, for example, we negotiate payment plans on a case-by-case basis,’ he adds.
Customers also appreciate not having to deal with the added stress of import logistics, especially with the limited number of flights bringing spare parts and consumables into the country under current lockdown regulations. ‘We’ve been able to ensure continuous and reliable supply of Wink flexible dies within a 72-hour turnaround time because of our well-established courier company connections and processes,’ Patrick maintains. ‘As soon as we receive an invoice, we submit the paperwork to the courier company for Customs pre-clearance. This means that 90% of the time our drivers don’t have to wait when they collect the products directly from the airport depot for delivery to customers’ facilities,’ he adds.
Further demonstrating the company’s commitment to delivering top-class customer service and satisfaction and to meet increased demand, another delivery vehicle has recently been added to the ROTOCON fleet.
MEGAN NORTJE, assistant manager at ROTOCON’s Durbanville branch, reports the recent donation of 11 050 disposable face masks to four NGOs that assist children and underprivileged communities around Cape Town.
The masks have been distributed to community members served by the PWR Project: Bullying & Discrimination Awareness, which distributes 2 000 meals a week, and the Yarden Children’s Enrichment Centre, which offers day-care and a therapy facility for children with rare diseases and physical disabilities.
Other recipients were the staff and 144 children at the Durbanville Children’s Home and the BE KIND Foundation that feeds and assists families in need, and helps with animal medical treatments and adoptions.