LEP buys competitor trade printer

LEP Colour Printers (LEP) has purchased Qld Trade Print (QTP), with the trade-only printer to assist QTPs retail clients to find another print supplier following the acquisition.


LEP and QTP have been competitors in the Queensland and national print markets, and say the integrated business will combine the resources and expertise of both organisations. The business will operate under the LEP banner, with all ordering moved over to LEP’s online ordering system, which the company upgraded in 2017.


Qld Trade Print was a family owned and operated company based on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, established by Phil and Sandy Gallagher in 2007. LEP says Sandy Gallagher will focus her attention on another business venture while Phil, a printer by trade, will move to LEP’s Forest Glen site and take on the role of operations manager.


John Bromfield, CEO, LEP, says, “We are delighted that our two companies are joining forces to bring genuine manufacturing strength and broad expertise to Australian printers seeking a trade partner. Our combined operation will be able to provide unparalleled service to printers right around Australia, with a comprehensive range of print products and a commitment to unmatched print quality and fast turnaround.”


Helen Politch, marketing manager, LEP, says, “It was a simple financial decision. QTP was offering things we were not, wide format, foiling, embossing, and we were looking at expanding our product offer to our customers, and saw this as a natural extension.


“Wide format has been growing for a number of years, especially in the trade area, so we wanted to invest in it when the opportunity came up.


“Quite a lot of the equipment is coming over, adding to our capacity to do more, especially in book binding which has been significantly growing in trade printing.


“A lot of changes have been made on our ordering systems. We wanted all the clients of QTP to be able to order the products they were ordering. We turned that on yesterday, so we have been very busy.


“A key part of the synergy is that there are no stops at all. Now QTP customers have to get used to a slightly different system, but it is superior to what they were using too.


“It will set up LEP for more growth and support as we go forward. We are excited about it, and want to bring more products to the market.”


The combined businesses will be based at LEP Colour Printers’ headquarters in Forest Glen, Queensland, while Politch says the majority of QTP’s inventory and staff will transfer to LEP’s headquarters.


QTP’s equipment inventory included a HP Latex wide-format printer, HP Indigo digital press, foiling, embossing and binding equipment. While the plans have not been finalised, the Indigo will more than likely be going to LEPs Port Melbourne site, says Politch.


LEP says it will remain a trade-only printer, while QTP, which had expanded into retail print work, will pass on its retail clients to print brokers the company works with.


Phil Gallagher, former QTP director, now operations manager at LEP says, “QTP’s integration into LEP is a logical step forward for the company. We had reached the point where we needed to overhaul our IT infrastructure and ordering website, and take steps to further streamline our business. After initial discussions it became apparent that LEP had plans to extend its range of products with wide-format and other specialty products, which we offer. So this is a win for both companies, and of course for all our customers.”


Bromfield adds, “The larger transition is the integration of QTP’s product range into ours, and switching QTP’s customers over to the My LEP fully integrated ordering and production system, by the end of the month. To streamline this changeover process we have set up our online chat site and circulated resources to QTP’s clients to help answer any queries and questions they may have.


“Last year we underwent a radical transformation when we launched our new My LEP ordering system and brand. We know how robust and intuitive the My LEP system is, so we don’t foresee any real issues for QTP’s clients. For them it will simply be about changing habits.”


QTP’s former site is still owned by the Gallaghers.

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