Alpha Card Compact Media

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Alpha Card Compact Media's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Alpha Card Compact Media is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Managing Director IanWhitfield
Alpha Card products can be
used across any sector, for
any purpose
Alpha Card is a specialist in printed and folded products
based in Guiseley. Having previously worked alongside
European market leaders as partner, Managing Director
Ian Whitfield decided to utilise the experience he had acquired
by establishing Alpha Card in 2013. It has since expanded
internationally and he has set up subsidiary organisations in
Germany, France and the USA. Ian tells
The Parliamentary
more about his journey over the past six years.
Prior to establishing Alpha Card, we spent many years as the European
manufacturing partner for the market leader in Pocketmedia, Z Card. In 2012,
however, negotiations over the European Z Card business collapsed, so we created
the Alpha Card in response. Although we had manufactured and distributed
over 300 million of these products during a seven-year period, we were largely
unknown because all of our dealings with clients were done through our partner.
Consequently, we faced many challenges in terms of getting established, although
our market-leading quality and value proposition was never in question.
The fact that we are now enjoying the success is a result of the underlying
quality and values we placed at the centre of our business, as well as hard work
of our whole team and their unwavering belief in what we do and what we
offer. We have had to take a proactive sales approach and use digital marketing
as creatively as possible to raise awareness of our business and products, and
compete with a market leader whose name is used generically to describe
»Managing Director: IanWhitfield
»Established in 2013
»Based in Guiseley, near
Leeds, with manufacturing
partnership facilities in the
UK and Poland and subsidiary
companies in Germany, the
USA and France
»Services: Specialist printed and
folded products helping clients
to create engagement with
their content
»No. of employees: 12
»Experience of producing and
distributing approaching
400 million of our products
throughout Europe, North
America and Africa
Alpha Card Compact
Media Ltd
Highlighting best practice
Our purpose
The purpose of our work is to help
clients to create engagement with their
content, be it advertising, marketing or
communications, in a way that can’t
be achieved through purely online
channels. Sometimes it’s difficult to
explain our products and their uses
in descriptive terms: referring to
them as folded leaflets with covers
(z-folding cards) or endlessly folding
cards (infinity cards) doesn’t really do
them justice. In an increasingly digital
world we’ve almost doubled turnover
in the last three years, which has been
largely organic, while in the last 12
months we’ve made one acquisition
in Germany, set up a US subsidiary,
acquired a French brand and website.
Our growth has been based on an
in-depth knowledge of our products
and the huge number of different
applications for them, allied to
extensive manufacturing experience
dating back to 2005, which allows
us to offer a more consultative-
based sales approach. The compact,
retainable and reusable characteristics
of these clever and engaging products
allows them to work in parallel with
digital channels using their cross-media
properties. The old Chinese proverb,
“Tell me – I will forget, show me – I
may understand, but involve me and
I will understand” perhaps explains
why we’re enjoying increasing sales
Customers and applications
We have hundreds of customers in
many countries using our products
for a huge variety of applications.
We have supplied clients directly and
indirectly ranging from multinationals
such as Shell and Toyota, through to
governments both national and local,
as well as micro businesses. All of our
clients have one thing in common
– they want their messages to be
portable, retainable and engaging.
We have many customers in the
education, charity, sport and leisure
and tourism sectors using the large
variety of cover sizes and insert
formats we can offer. Our experience
also enables us to advise on the
best solutions, always with a regard
Alpha Card’s sample
packs are available
free on their website,
and can be specifically
tailored towards your
We have
clients directly
and indirectly,
ranging from
such as Shell
and Toyota,
through to
both national
and local
Order sizes have ranged from just 50
to over a million cards and our client
repeat rate of over 80 per cent is
testament to the effectiveness of the
products and our focus on quality,
value and client care.
The paper we use is from sustainable
stocks, which is sourced from well-
managed forests that are part of the
Forestry Stewardship Council, helping
to ensure our forests are alive for
generations to come.
Retaining our determination
When we started, the less supportive
banking environment and the
substantial investment that was
required in digital marketing and
in multilingual colleagues meant
we had to develop a strong capital
base to allow us to overcome the
challenges faced with establishing a
business. Coupled with our product
attributes and approach, this has put
us in a strong position to continue
our expansion. It would be easy to
assume that the market is becoming
saturated with these products, and
that the increase of online resources
makes meaningful growth unlikely, but
this is far from the case. The results
from various marketing campaigns in
multiple countries have shown that
with a well-thought-out strategy, new
opportunities continue to exist.
The consequences of Brexit will have
a bearing on what we do, although
in the short term the weakness of
the pound has of course assisted
our export potential. However, we
have tried to maintain our local
currency pricing in overseas markets
at previous levels, until we gain a
better feel for where exchange rates
will settle. Export sales now represent
approximately 50 per cent of our
income and we see this increasing as
we have many more overseas markets
to develop.
Even without the effects of Brexit,
we were competitive in overseas
markets. By establishing manufacturing
partnerships and offices in the UK,
mainland Europe and the USA,
we have tried to ensure that we
can respond to any Brexit-related
disruption, something that is reassuring
to our many clients.
We will continue to invest in the
best-quality people, systems, creative
digital marketing and product and
application development. This helps us
ensure that our distribution channels
for existing products and services
can be supplemented with relevant
complementary ones as we continue to
build for the future. In an increasingly
service-driven economy we are proud
to be an export-led manufacturer and
look forward to continuing this along
with further strategic acquisitions.
The paper we
use is from
stocks, which
is sourced
from well-
forests that
are part of the
Alpha Card exhibited
at the B2B Marketing
Expo in London earlier
this year, just after their
company went through
a rebrand

This article was sponsored by Alpha Card Compact Media. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster