Platinum Q3 from Liyu UK puts Prosigns Glasgow on fast track to growth

February 06, 2024
Prosigns’ Scott Walker and Ross Murdoch with their Liyu Platinum Q3 Prosigns’ Scott Walker and Ross Murdoch with their Liyu Platinum Q3

Founded by Managing Director Alex McGrath in 2008, Prosigns in Glasgow was initially established to serve the signage needs of leading UK home construction companies. Since then, Prosigns has continued to grow exponentially in the housebuilder market, bringing on a range of leading housebuilders and expanding its regional reach. “It's traditionally flagpoles, V boards, monoliths, fascia boards, some internal graphics,” explains Alex. “We also do a lot of health and safety signage for the production side. There's a whole gamut of signage required by the housebuilding industry.”

Prosigns Glasgow covers the majority of the UK, chiefly serving Scotland, Northeast England, and North Yorkshire on a day-to-day basis. The business has its eye firmly on continued growth, and Alex notes that it is one of the few Scottish sign companies expanding further down and increasing market share in more of the UK. Prosigns’ ongoing growth and future expansion plans prompted the search for a new piece of equipment that could suit their evolving needs. The previous wide-format setup worked well, but they found they were restricted in terms of media size, so the hunt began for the right kit to move the business forward. The COVID delays they experienced along the way may have been a blessing in disguise, as eventually, it led to a recommendation from a user of a Liyu Platinum Q3 Hybrid.

Going Platinum with Liyu

The Platinum Q3 looked great on paper, so the Prosigns team went to see the kit in action to be sure, visiting two signage businesses that were already running the model. Chris Cairns, Operations Manager at Prosigns Glasgow, admits they expected the demos to be a ‘box ticking exercise’. However, they were ‘absolutely blown away’ by the speed and quality of the machines. That was the clincher – Prosigns set its sights on the Liyu Platinum Q3 Hybrid.

With no prior relationship, the next step was to engage with the Liyu UK team. Alex describes the experience as ‘a breeze’, adding, “There were no issues at all, we just placed the order with Eddie [Tucker, Managing Director of Liyu UK] and the team took care of all the delivery details. To this day, we know we can call, and speak to Eddie any time – he knows the machines inside out. It was so easy; the engineers were here for two or three days, and they were lovely to deal with and very knowledgeable. Any questions that we had regarding training or service, they were able to put us at ease immediately. They've been fantastic, I have to say.”

A good challenge to have

The hybrid configuration is the ideal setup, allowing ProSigns to bring any project onto the Q3. It also allows them to scale up media size, which has had a significant impact, bringing trade work back in-house and, as a result slashing client turnaround times, too. Now, if something is required next day, it’s not a problem for the ProSigns team. Since installation, to say the Platinum Q3 Hybrid has made an impact on production is an understatement. “What we would normally put through our previous machines in a day, the Liyu machine is basically doing the same work in two or three hours,” explains Chris. “The problem we have now is bringing in the extra work to feed the machine. We’re not worrying about enough capacity to turn workaround, now the issue is the machine not being in use because it’s doing the work that fast!”

Alex adds: “Recently, we were a week and a half ahead of schedule because it had all been produced, which was just incredible. We’ve got quicker turnaround, better-quality products, and the entire remit of signage can be manufactured here – nothing needs to be outsourced. Everything's under our control. And because the machine is so quick, we’ve got the time to jump in if a client's firefighting and needs something the next day. That's not a problem, we can easily move the schedule and get it to the client.”

The flexibility to adapt the machine as requirements evolve is another significant advantage of the Platinum Q3. “As the business grows, we can add on print heads for extra speed if required,” explains Chris. “The machine is so fast already, so who knows whether we'll need it, but it's good to have that flexibility. We can also add speciality heads, primers, and varnishes if required. We are running a CMYK plus a double white, so that serves the purpose at the moment, but we’re happy to have the option to expand. Now that we're doing the whole thing in-house, it also means we can now guarantee that their colour output is the same in every media because we do all the colour calibrations in-house and colour match across the machines.”

Opening doors to business growth

This spike in production capacity is opening doors for Prosigns, which can now focus on putting its growth plans on the fast track, including targeting the online opportunity to serve existing customers better and reach a number of potential new customers across the UK. Alex explains, “Thanks to the ability of the Liyu Platinum machine and because of the rapid turnaround, customers will be able to order whatever they want from our online portal, and it can be easily and quickly printed and dispatched.” Chris adds: “When we look at the factory floor, and the machine is sitting there stationary because it's already done the whole day's work in the first two or three hours a day, that's making us move faster, making more phone calls, chasing emails, seeking out new software.”

As much as the Platinum Q3 Hybrid has been a game-changer for Prosigns, Chris and Alex are keen to reiterate the positive experience with the Liyu UK team from start to finish. “The people at Liyu UK have made all the difference,” says Alex. “The team are quick to email back, they'll text us, they'll phone us. Nothing's too much trouble. I would also say Liyu UK has more of a family atmosphere and passion for what they’re selling than we've experienced with resellers we’ve dealt with in the past.” Would they work with Liyu UK again? “Definitely,” says Chris. “That’s what we’re hoping for.”

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