Financial sector print specialist Colourfast Financial is set to branch out into commercial print markets with a new web-to-print system as it becomes the first UK company to use the Keyline MIS.


Bacon (centre left): “Keyline will come to the very front of the market and we will be right there with them”

In a deal confirmed at The Print Show, Birmingham, on Wednesday (19 September), the Essex-based firm is anticipating a fast turnaround – the system is expected to be up and running by the first week of October.

Keyline, from German developer Crispy Mountain, was announced for UK distribution by newly set up Cloud To Print in April this year. Colourfast is the first UK customer to be announced, having first met with the London-based firm at the show.

Colourfast’s adoption of the MIS, replacing a system of its own, marks the first stage in the development of a web-to-print service that will see the £2.5m-turnover digital printer branch out into commercial and large-format markets by Easter next year.

“Work for the financial sector currently takes up 85% of our business,” said managing director Darren Bacon. “We want to take that 15% that constitutes our commercial jobs and expand it to be 65% of our total business.

“I have been looking for an MIS to put in place for around three months. I have only just come across Keyline and, within three weeks, we will have the system up and running. Their competitors have still yet to quote me a price. They are dynamic and happy for us to call the shots as far as bolt-ons and configuration goes, which is rare.

“I want to build a system with different websites servicing commercial, financial and large-format print that all feed back into the same MIS. It will provide customers with greater speed and efficiency because it will eliminate the middle man – in many instances, they will essentially be running the press themselves.”

Colourfast is the UK’s largest single-site user of Konica Minolta digital production presses, with which Keyline will work in tandem. Its portfolio includes a bizhub Press C1100 colour printer and two bizhub Press 1250P mono presses.

Keyline’s system is entirely cloud-based, which attracted Bacon to the deal as it would not entail the installation of large server machines to facilitate its operation.

He said: “The future is cloud-based. I am not worried about being one of the first Keyline customers because we are always trying to do things first. I do not want to be standing still.

“I am happy being a guinea pig for this system because I believe they will come to the very front of the market in a few years’ and we will be right there with them.”

Colourfast Financial operates from a 557sqm plant in Brentwood, which it moved to earlier in the year, and employs 20 members of staff.


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