Ready for what's ahead

Paul Banton

In: News 

Adapting, rebuilding and strengthening

The last 8 months has brought with it change like we have never seen before. Uncertainty and challenge are definitely amongst the words we have all heard the most of in 2020, and likely to continue to hear for the foreseeable future but our dedicated Ruddocks' team have worked tirelessly and with un-floundering positivity, adapting to turn those uncertainties and challenges into opportunities. Our people are the reason we have remained operational, always finding the best way of helping our clients, who have also faced their own set of difficulties this year.

As we continue to work through ever changing, tough times we know that in order to continue to meet challenges head on and successfully move forward we always need to be looking ahead; finding ways to work smarter, more efficiently and more competitively. Many of the changes we have undertaken over the last few months have been very positive steps and will form the way we continue working in the future. Finding quicker, easier, more flexible and inclusive ways of working to ensure we comply with guidelines around safe practice in the workplace, such as remote working, virtual meetings, and diversification means we are now even better equipped to deal with the extreme and unexpected.

What we’ve been up to

We have certainly been busy since March! We have seen a steady increase in enquiries with clients turning to us for various new projects, including a number of new brands together with Covid related work; from internal communications and engagement projects right through to signage and PPE. We have also welcomed new clients on board where their usual agencies have been affected by closures and production restrictions. In particular, we are delighted to have assisted a national online greetings card retailer to fulfil the print and delivery of almost 400,000 cards at a time where postal communications have never been so important, often being the only physical contact many have had from loved ones.

The lockdown period for many organisations has provided them with the time to focus on bigger projects where time resource has often been an issue in the past, and we have undertaken 4 new brand projects, for a UK finance sector organisation, a well-known regional animal welfare charity, a digital marketing agency and the national body for effecting cultural change within the healthcare sector, as well as being commissioned to undertake an exciting new brand piece for an NHS trust in London and being awarded a design contract for a regional Chamber of Commerce.

We’re of course equally excited to be continuing our work with our existing clients; from helping leading convenience food producer Greencore with the launch and rollout of their recent rebrand, to the production and fulfilment of The Wildlife Trusts’ membership magazine and their junior membership materials, through to the completion of the internal signage project for British Canoeing as they welcome back their staff and members/visitors. We are proud to be helping our clients to achieve their objectives at this time, which in many cases are markedly different than those objectives set at the start of the year!

Investment for the future

One of the biggest projects we have undertaken has been internal. Our digital print department has faced unprecedented demand since the outbreak of Covid-19, and during the last few months we have been looking at options to ensure the long-term sustainability, efficiency and continuation of excellent quality digital print production.

Our investment in 3 new digital print machines, as part of our rolling 5 yearly upgrades will not only allow us to stay ahead of the continued upward trend of digital print volumes but in real terms we can actually now output in just 7 hours what we were previously producing in 14 hours, effectively doubling our production capabilities! It’s a big step forward and has bigger implications in terms of turnaround times as well as equipping us to handle bigger and multiple client projects at any one time.

Quality is not something we ever compromise on at Ruddocks and is always one of our key criteria when looking at any new technology. This new investment means consistent and superior quality print is achieved first time, every time which in turn leads to improved efficiencies and reduced wastage, another key criteria for us as we strive to do all we can to reduce our environmental impact, as well as increasing our competitiveness in the marketplace.

Looking ahead

We are working in a different world now and for Ruddocks, like many other businesses, the key to success is without a doubt is agility and adaptability – and building processes that allow for that to continue. However, that is wholly reliant on having the right people in your team.  Our values remain as they always have, and our people have stayed true to those values through the toughest of times. We are ready for the next chapter however unpredictable things may be. This doesn’t mean going back to how things were but instead looking at adapting and focussing on the way things are now and being ready for further changes when they inevitably come.