This month, the U.K. Manchester based labelling specialist Industrial Labelling Systems (ILS) Ltd celebrates both its tenth birthday and a decade of successive growth – an impressive achievement in this challenging climate.
“We’re delighted to be not just surviving, but thriving, after ten years in business,” says the company’s MD Denis Brett. “The last three or four years have proved really tough for the UK labelling industry, but we have managed to differentiate ourselves through the flexibility, ease of use and modularity of our systems, talented core staff and our solid after sales support and training programme.”
The company, which today supplies labelling equipment, software and consumables to a range of industries, was born in 2002 when company owners Nigel Greene & Denis Brett recognised the potential of print and apply labelling in the UK marketplace. ILS signed an agreement with Mectec AB to distribute its class leading print and apply systems in the UK.
Five years later, ILS had outgrown its original Rochdale site and moved to its current premises more centrally located in Manchester. At the same time, the decision was taken to purchase a label converter so ILS could start to produce its own labels. The company supplies customers with both direct and thermal transfer plain die-cut self-adhesive labels, providing them with improved line efficiency thanks to a higher quality produced label.
The last ten years have seen the economy in the U.K. go from boom to bust and ILS has weathered the storm by targeting recession-proof industries, such as food manufacturing, logistics, warehousing and sportswear. Its ever-expanding customer base includes Adidas, Nike, Rockport, PepsiCo, General Mills, Kerry Foods, Bernard Matthews Foods and the Bakkavor Group.
Besides helping to offset the threat created by a slower European economy, established relationships with multi-nationals have helped ILS fend off competition from suppliers of cheaper Far Eastern labelling equipment. For example, ILS recently supplied one multi-national sportswear giant with 26 machines for its Shanghai factory via a UK OEM.
“While many of our competitors have suffered as a result, we have taken the opportunity to prove that our Europe-built labelling machines are worth the investment from an efficiency, reliability and quality perspective, whether for a factory in Shanghai or one in Southampton,” says Brett.
To keep pace with the steady growth in demand for its modular labelling equipment, this year ILS is planning to expand its headcount by joining the UK government’s apprenticeship scheme with assistance from the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
“It will be the first time we’ve taken on any apprentices, and we’re really excited about the prospect of bringing young talent and fresh ideas into the business.”
Industrial Labelling Systems
Tel: 0161 655 4846