Distinctive Group

We may live in a ‘fast and furious’ digital age, but traditional print is very much alive and kicking, says Craig Stephens of the Scantech Group.

The Scantech Group started life in 1991 as a small family affair specialising in commercial scan and print services.

Back then, no one could have forecast the huge changes which are totally transforming the way we communicate.

But while we’re all only a touchscreen away from a never-ending flood of information, the truth is that many of us still prefer to read a good book or save important facts and figures in print and on paper.

And so, through gradual steady growth – fuelled by careful investment, sensible strategy, and sheer hard work – Scantech haven’t just survived – as commercial printers who also specialise in design, marketing and direct mail, they are positively thriving!

In fact, they count American Express, the Bank of England, GE Healthcare, BT and PayPoint among the big brands they work with, and some of their communications go all around the world.

But their smaller sized customer base is equally important. “Scantech is very fortunate to have very loyal clients, and we get a lot of our business through recommendations,” Craig explains.

Commercial director Craig and fellow Directors Neil and Amanda all work as a team to follow the dream Peter and Pauline Stephens (parents) started many years ago, which today employs over 34 people at their Hastings site.

“Our number one priority is looking after our customers and staff,” Craig explains. “We are still a family business at heart, and the emphasis has always been on strong steady growth and a focus on what we’re good at.”

Scantech’s services include traditional lithographic print presses for larger publications, marketing materials and signage, together with digital presses for smaller, bespoke items like leaflets, business cards and brochures.

The digital presses also offer an impressive level of personalisation, which is particularly handy for welcome packs, monthly billings and statements.

“Our wide format service is a huge part of our business too,” Craig adds. “This could be anything from one poster to a full exhibition stand with signage and graphics, and a full installation service. We are kept very busy travelling up and down the country doing installations for conferences, events and so on.

“We also offer direct mailing for customers, with extremely safe and secure levels of data handling.”

New website – watch this space!

Scantech have lots of exciting projects on the horizon, including the launch of their own brand-new website called Oxygen Installations.

This new trading entity is based on the success of their large-format division, and will focus on the signage, conference and events side of the business.

The new website is due to go live at the end of November under the name oxygeninstallations.com.

Recently Scantech even diversified into living wall systems, which add a nice eco touch to reception areas and office spaces. “The walls have become quite popular – people like seeing all the plants, it makes for a calm and relaxing environment, and built-in irrigation systems make them easy to manage.

“Overall though, we like to focus on what we’re good at rather than try to be all things to everyone.”

Service is one of a kind

So, what’s the secret of Scantech’s success? “I would say it’s our genuine team effort. It ensures that all the pressure isn’t heaped onto one person and creates a real spirit of togetherness.

“We also offer a very unique range of services and some very unique solutions to some seemingly impossible tasks.

“Scantech have developed a very specialised piece of software with the ability to convert normal billing into large format and print it out.

“The very big companies tend to store data in lots of different formats, and our system can turn each project around extremely quickly and efficiently, based on the customer’s individual requirements. We are very proud of that achievement.

“We are also definitely seeing a shift back to customers who want to physically pick up and read information on paper, particularly when it comes to highly personal details.

“And you know, everyone appreciates the personal touch when it comes to customer service. That is something we excel at.

“It may be 11pm on a Sunday night, but there will always be someone at Scantech who can pick up the phone and speak to a client who has last-minute changes to a job.

“We’re simply not the kind of company that works 9 to 5, five days a week. Our strength lies in our flexibility, which is how we’ve managed to build such a rapport with our clients.”

Looking forward to the future

Craig concludes, “We’re not the kind of company that competes on price. Our strengths lie in our flexibility, our excellent, high-quality services, and the fact we are always there for our customers.

“Things can go wrong, it’s a fact of life, and we always act quickly and efficiently to find the best solution to a problem.

“And you know, business hasn’t always been rosy. We’ve faced our challenges along the way, particularly with Covid. But working through those tough times gave us the chance to recalibrate and enhance our services.

“We’ve used the last three or four years to map out and futureproof the business, and we are confident that we are in a really strong position moving forward.”

To find out more about Scantech’s extensive range of print, marketing, design and distribution services, visit scantechprint.co.uk.

Their new website specialising in large format services such as events, exhibitions and signage will shortly be available at oxygeninstallations.com

Watch this space!