"The support from QPS is excellent; any issues have been rapidly and suitably dealt with"
PeopleKraft started life as a consulting company in 2001 and gradually evolved into a business offering a wide gamut of printed products from stickers and decals to large-format displays and graphics, along with laser engraving and cutting. But the real niche it has carved for itself is the delivery of photographic-standard, colour-accurate prints; output so precise that around 95 per cent of PeopleKraft's work comes from the trade – print businesses who can't themselves offer the accuracy required by highly demanding corporate customers.
"There was one trade customer especially who needed a corporate brand colour matched and they couldn't do it – but we hit it," says John Bunting, Director of Wootton Basset-based PeopleKraft. "We've also held on to very fussy customers for years because every time they go elsewhere they get mistakes and end up coming back." Achieving accurate fleshtones and corporate colours is of particular importance, and central to PeopleKraft's work.
This precision and quality is born of three important elements, firstly, expertise in colour management. "We profile everything ourselves from scratch," explains Bunting, emphasising the need for a quality RIP and spending time and effort during the set-up stages. "Colour matching, colour correctness and quality all matters," he says.
Secondly, speed takes a backseat to quality; while a quick turnaround is paramount to many printers, PeopleKraft's focus is on perfection. "If you look at our prints you don't see any banding or lining. We run everything fairly slowly to get picture-perfect prints with a very smooth finish," says Bunting.
Thirdly, much of PeopleKraft's success comes from its choice of reliable, consistent ink. Turning on its head the commonly held belief that alternative inks offer sub-par quality compared to OEM products, PeopleKraft converted to Nazdar solutions seven years ago when inconsistencies were discovered in output from its Mutoh and Epson machines, running OEM inks. Bunting believes these 'dramatic colour changes' between batches resulted from the manufacturing plant for both brands relocating to a new site, and presented a problem that was 'totally unacceptable' for a print business specialising in colour matching. "That got me looking at other ink options, offering reliability, consistency and continuity," he says.
After finding similar issues with another alternative ink brand, PeopleKraft finally trialled Nazdar inks, supplied by Lancashire-based Quality Print Services (QPS).
"We switched one machine over to Nazdar and it was stable, and stayed stable," says Bunting. "It's been solidly reliable ever since – batch-to-batch performance is never, ever a problem. We now run Nazdar inks on Epson, Mutoh and Roland printers, producing identical colours on them all.”
Converts to alternative inks typically cite lower prices as their reasons for switching and Bunting has benefited from this too. "The choice wasn't price-driven, it was quality-driven," he says. "But we buy the ink in bulk and use it across multiple machines so it's a very cost-effective way of doing it as well.”
Along with Nazdar ink, QPS provides PeopleKraft with service contracts on its printers so on-site technical support is available whenever required. "The support from QPS is excellent; any issues have been rapidly and suitably dealt with," says Bunting.
"We've worked with PeopleKraft for seven years now," says Chris Bailey, Director, QPS. "Over that time we've supplied new and pre-owned wide-format machines and serviced and repaired these, along with others in the print room, as the business has grown. We've also supplied the Nazdar 1300 Series solvent ink that's used across Roland and Mutoh printers and Nazdar Photochrome inks for an aqueous Mutoh and Epson printer.
"We're delighted to have built up that relationship and seen PeopleKraft's capacity and quality increase."
For PeopleKraft, quality is the watchword and anything not up to scratch is simply not acceptable. As far as ink goes, Bunting says Nazdar meets those needs. "I wouldn't switch back," he says.