Decorator Profile DPP’s show room

An embroidery which was recently carried out for a customer

lanyards, umbrellas, USB sticks, the list goes on and on and on. All of this is decorated using a myriad of methods, including embroidery, vinyl transfer, Oki transfer and dye sublimation. “We recently set up a single colour screen print station too,” says James. When you are covering all bases of decoration, having good quality equipment is a must and the list of equipment that DPP uses is almost as extensive as the products decorated. James says: “We have a Brother PR655 single-head, a Happy single-head, two Adkins swing away heat presses, a Stahls’ clam press with lower heat platens, Oki white toner printer, Ricoh 7110dn dye sub printer, Graphtec cutter/plotter, various mug presses and last but not least, a single colour screen print platen with flash curer. However, I think my favourite bit of kit has to be the flip fold garment folder!”

Instrumental kit

The Brother PR55 single-head was acquired from Stocks Sewing Machines, who James says was instrumental in helping DPP find its feet with embroidery. DPP’s second single-head came from Midwest Machinery, and the plus point to this one was that it ran a little quicker than the Brother. “Unfortunately, being on the second floor of a converted mill we can’t get any bigger machines into our building so single-heads will have to do for now,” says James. “Our other printers and heat presses help provide a really wide range of products and finishes. The Stahls’ heat press with lower heating platens has really helped us lose the nasty heat marks on sports garments and has proved very useful.”

Like many businesses across the UK, DPP was affected when COVID-19 struck in March. “We lost thousands of pounds worth of orders and the impact was massive,” explains James. Thankfully being a one-stop shop has allowed DPP to shift its product focus away from its usual customer base of recreational groups and charities, but to high-vis vests

Our other printers and heat presses help provide a really wide range of products and finishes. The Stahls’ heat press with lower heating platens has really helped us lose the nasty heat marks on sports garments and has proved very useful.

– James Smith, Direct Print & Promotions

COVID-19 has also allowed DPP to focus on the B2C side of the business. A recently launched website provides clients with their own web page to sell branded merchandise and clothing, which has also proved to be a lifeline for DPP throughout the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has proven how important it is for businesses to be online or at least have a good online presence. I aim to improve our main website along with the webstore in the near future,” says James.

Huge alterations

The #NationalHeroService pin badge that DPP created to raise funds for the NHS

and face masks. “At the start of lockdown we produced 600 high-vis vests for the Nightingale Hospital, which was great to be a part of. We also created some nifty little

#NationalHeroService pin badges that raised £350 for the NHS.”

Again, like many businesses across the UK, DPP has also fully embraced the Zoom meeting, with employees working from home. “I will not miss these!” says James. COVID-19 has also meant different working practices in the production room, with more space made to allow for social distancing and hand sanitiser placed at all touch points. All machines are cleaned daily, with a deep clean every Friday to ensure a safe and clean working environment.

DPP has had to change its direction to ride the wave of COVID-19, and James believes this something that a lot of similar businesses will also have to do to survive in the long-term. “I think the promo product market is going to struggle massively. Obviously, events have been cancelled for months now and with the financial impact of the crisis I cannot see businesses spending money on merchandise when there are other decisions to be made. On the plus side I think branded clothing will still be a requirement for all types of businesses, so I hope the garment industry will pull through ok.”

Growth is still on the cards for DPP as its heads into its tenth year of operation. James hopes that in five years’ time COVID-19 will be nothing but a distant memory and that their customer base will have increased, which will mean increased production, bringing about more branding methods in house.

August 2020 |61 |

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