MGP pressed into expansion after 25 years

MGP pressed into expansion after 25 years

Business reporter

Sunday, January 26, 2020

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As a sales representative at United Co-operative Printers, Arlene Wilson didn't know a lot about printing when she decided to get a small print press to do small jobs that got lost in the system. Today, she heads Mona Graphic Printers Company Limited (MGP) which celebrates its 25th anniversary and the opening of new building, in which she hopes will propel the company to the top of the printing industry and chart its path of continued success.

Equipped with a single colour AB Dick printing press and a hand held cutting machine, business began in 1995 in a rented property in Allman Town. Based on the demands on the company, within a relatively short period of time, Wilson had to seriously rethink the focus of the business.

MGP core business function is offset printing, complemented with digital and large format printing services.

In 2019 the need to carry out major expansion again became apparent as the space from which the company operated was totally outgrown.

In expanding with the help of the National Commercial Bank, MGP acquired a Heidelberg Speed Master, a five colour printing press and a Polar Mohr Guillotine machine and built a new building on the grounds of 15 Cunningham Avenue, Kingston to accommodate the machinery. MGP's digital platform also grew by acquiring a Xerox Versant Colour production printer and a Zerox D 95 black and white production printer.

This investment totalled some $60 million.

“In getting this new press, we're going to be very competitive because it's more advanced technology and can take on a lot more work. Prior to now we had four presses but we had a lot of problems,” Wilson told the Jamaica Observer.

MGP currently employs 40 full time employees, however with this expansion, Wilson revealed that the printery will be able to take on 15-20 more workers.

But, Wilson's goals don't just stop there.

“For the longest while, we have wanted to do digital printing for the man on the street, meaning a person can come in with their thumb drive and sit and wait while we print. We offer digital printing, but only for corporate customers and in large volumes,” she told Sunday Finance.

What used to be the main offices in the old building will now become a digital print shop for customers who would like to print on a smaller scale, meanwhile the new building will house offices upstairs and the print presses downstairs.

This, according to Wilson, will require another $10 million.

With the threat of online looming over printeries, Wilson confidently asserts that the market is still very much relevant as many Jamaicans are still reluctant to go completely paperless.

“Certain little things we know we're going to lose [to online], but you still have a lot of people who love hard copy,” she stated.

Wilson credits sheer determination, staff and key clients for keeping her and the business on track with its goals.

“It's all about perseverance; when the going gets rough you can't run and hide. Maybe because I knew that tomorrow gets better, because no matter how difficult things are, you know that there is sunshine at the end of the day. I have a very good staff, customers and suppliers. I also had people to guide me and the results are what you see today”.

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