HiVis experiences unprecedented demand for PPE, printed masks and safety signage

HiVis   |   Merseyside, UK

At its peak, the business was receiving an order every minute of every hour of every day.

With businesses across the country needing to clearly explain social distancing guidelines to customers and keep staff safe, the demand for quality signs and personalised PPE has exploded.

No company has felt this more than, a 50-person company based in St Helens, Merseyside. The business was founded by John Boland in 2001 and has always differentiated itself by quickly producing custom workwear, clothing, sign and safety PPE for businesses. In a normal year, the 24 hour printing and embroidery operation produces a million printed items, turning over £4 million. 

This pales in comparison to the demand during the lockdown surge.

In the space of a week, the company was inundated with demand from loyal and new customers. These include start-ups, churches, local authorities, big brands such as Sainsbury’s and Mercedes. The printers have been running non-stop to create stickers, signs, posters and PPE. Most recently, the machines have been rolling out thousands of branded masks for brewers that will be handing them out free to customers. At its peak, the business was receiving an order every minute of every hour of every day.

To ensure they met demand, the business depended on the Roland VersaEXPRESS RF-640 for producing fast-drying signage, versatile vinyl and scratch-resistant floor graphics. HiVis has tried other providers but over the last 18 years no company has matched the quality and service John now expects.

As a result of the last few months, the business will have more than doubled its turnover this year. Where the business ordinarily takes £800k for printing signs, lockdown has generated sales of over £2 million. HiVis has been selling products all over the country but with Wales and Scotland behind the UK’s lockdown ease, John suspects they’ll be another surge in demand from the principalities soon. To help meet the demand, John is adding another 15% to the workforce including local apprentices.

Reflecting on a potential economic recession, John has tips for any concerned businesses heading for their first downturn. His overarching advice, after weathering the financial crash recession himself, is to keep positive, keep advertising to potential customers, and to collaborate closely with partners, like Roland DG.

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The VersaEXPRESS RF-640 can deliver the full package for your business: impressive speed, excellent quality, advanced productivity features and unmatched reliability. Find out how this printer can benefit your business.