BAR Graphic Machinery

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by BAR Graphic Machinery'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 BAR Graphic Machinery 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

www.bargraphic.com

27BAR GRAPHIC MACHINERY |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Bill Rhodes, chairman, and
Annemarie Rhodes, managing
director
Bar Graphic Machinery
headquarters
Founded in 1992, Bar Graphic Machinery (BGM) is a company
providing specialised, high-quality machines to the label
and packaging industries. Their primary clients are label
printers and flexible packaging printers specialising in the food
and beverage and pharmaceutical industries. The journey they
have undertaken is unique, beginning in a dining room and their
garage. These days, however, they are an internationally trading
company with a skilled team of designers and engineers. The
story of their success and how they operate in their sector is the
subject of the following piece, all in the words of the husband
and wife who run the company, Bill and Annemarie Rhodes.
Streamlining operations
Although we’ve catered to all manner of sectors, ranging from high security
printing to production of plain thermal transfer labels, our primary focus is on
creating machines for packaging. That is to say, we design and build (in-house)
finishing and converting equipment for the labelling and packaging industry.
Behind these operations is a highly skilled workforce, composed of a team of
designers, engineers and electrical engineers.
Designing machines like ours requires a great degree of sophistication, both in
terms of the design and the build – to this end, we utilise 3D Solidworks software,
which provides an accurate three-dimensional depiction of the product we plan to
manufacture. To give a better sense of the level at which we operate, our “Elite”
range sells for between £8,000 and £300,000.
FACTS ABOUT
BAR GRAPHIC MACHINERY
»Managing director:
AnnemarieRhodes
»Chairman: Bill Rhodes
»Established in 1992
»Based in Bradford, West
Yorkshire
»Services: Design and
manufacture of machines
for the label and packaging
industries
»Continued investment in R&D
»Internationally successful
Bar Graphic Machinery
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | BAR GRAPHIC MACHINERY
Investing in our production and supply
is important to us and the company,
which is why we use the latest CNC
and MRP systems. This means we can
perform stock management much
more efficiently than before, and plan
more effectively for the future – crucial
for a sustainable business.
Challenges to contend with
In terms of attaining clients,
reputation is what keeps us going,
which is entailed by providing an
impeccably high-quality service. As
a result of succeeding in this goal,
our repeat business is phenomenal.
Attaining staff, however, is more
difficult. There is a paucity of skills in
our sector, and so it was necessary
for us to foster a group of engineers
in our company. Mechanical and
electrical engineering skills are in
particularly short supply – something
worsening generation by generation.
On the other hand, we have invested
substantially in apprenticeships. We
are very proud of the apprenticeships
that we offer for future generations.
So far, our apprentice programme
has seen nine staff qualify from
HNC to NVQ level in mechanical and
electricalengineering.
Brexit for us was a concern, but only
because we didn’t, and still don’t,
know what it entails. To work our
way around this uncertainty, we
decided to invest in further afield
markets, one of which was the
United States – a decision that has
proven to be enormously beneficial
to us. Indeed, we’re still in a state
of disbelief of how well we are
performing in this market. The key
to entering this market is listening
deeply to their needs and providing
a genuinely bespoke service in
light of these requirements. After
signing a USA distribution agreement
with J&J Converting Machinery,
we managed to secure a place at
a trading exhibition in Chicago.
Fitting shop
In-house design team In-house manufacturing
In-house
innovation is the
driving force
behind our
success to date
with constant
product
development
tomeet our
customers’ needs
29BAR GRAPHIC MACHINERY |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Immediatelysubsequent to this,
we were an instant success, selling
double figures of the two machines
that featured on the stand within the
first year. Since then we’ve gone from
strength tostrength.
Being competitive
Standing out in this sector is
particularly difficult, as competition
with regards to labelling is
exceptionally high. To succeed,
therefore, we’ve had to provide a
correspondingly exceptional service.
More concretely, this means listening
to the exact requirements of our
clients and custom-building their
machine. At the risk of sounding
glib, we really do go the extra mile
– the market demands it of us. All
of this, it is worth emphasising, is
done in-house, meaning that we
are especially equipped to offer this
custom service. Some in our field,
by contrast, outsource much of
their manufacturing from overseas.
Although this can result in cheaper
products, the technology and quality
is usually of an inferior quality, and
the degree to which custom changes
can be communicated quickly and
effectively is lessened for geographic
and linguistic reasons – this makes us
an attractive option.
On the topic of overseas business,
Brexit has not caused any perceptible
change for our business as of yet,
despite our expectations to the
contrary. For instance, the fact that
the Euro has been performing so
strongly vis-à-vis the pound initially
led us to assume that our sales would
see an increase, but things seem to
be holding steady in this regard. We
surmise that Europeans are holding
on to their money. Any kind of tariffs
in the future, though, could pose
significant difficulties. However,
business is all about surviving whatever
circumstances come your way; and
we’ve been through all kinds of
negative circumstances, not least those
of the 2008 recession.
One of the ways in which we’ll
navigate around this sea change in
circumstances is by seeking out further
overseas markets. We are currently in
the process of turning this general set
of ambitions into a strategic plan for
the future, marking the next level of
progression for the company. This will
be done in a measured way, keeping
in line with our tradition of living
within our means, and not assuming
workloads for which we do not have
the capacity. If this achieves even a
fraction of the success we saw in the
United States, it will have been worth
it. Our horizons will expand in the
following ways: consistent product
development and innovations with
the launching of new products to our
extensive portfolio as well as building
on the success of our “Elite” range of
converting and finishing equipment.
This investment underlines our full
commitment to thefuture.
Enviable
worldwide
reputation for
reliability and
performance.
Repeat business
with existing
customers has
enabled our
company to
become a
chosen supplier
to many leading
print and flexible
packaging
companies
Customer service and
support team

www.bargraphic.com

This article was sponsored by BAR Graphic Machinery. 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 The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister