Founded in 1872, printers William Gibbons & Sons, based in Wolverhampton, is now run by the fourth generation of the Gibbons family. Joint managing directors Mark and David, together with their chairman father John, have modernised the firm by investing in new print technology. They claim to have focused strongly on customer care. “Half the battle is being able to deliver to clients on time”, says Mark Gibbons. “If you do that you build loyalty and clients want to come back”. Company profits increased by 62% pa, from £797,000 in 1996 to £3.4m in 1999, while sales increased by just 15% pa in the same period to £14.3m. In 1996 the company was still suffering from the recession, which provoked a cost-cutting drive that eliminated a whole tier of middle management. This, together with a £5m investment in new print technology, caused a major increase in profits.
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