Belmont Press helps A to Z to develop new niche product
The Geographers’ A to Z Map Company Limited is the largest independent map publishing company in the UK, producing iconic products such as the London A – Z and many award-winning maps. The business started in 1936 and now produces over 320 mapping products.
Due to the rise in digital and online mapping, the market for printed maps has suffered in the last few years, so niche markets are becoming more important. A to Z had received requests from customers for large format maps but didn’t know how to produce them cost-effectively. With conventional digital printing and retail sales, they couldn’t make the costs work. That’s where Belmont Press came in.
Print on Demand
Belmont worked closely with A to Z to develop a print on demand system for large format city street maps. This enables customers to place an order on the A to Z website and the request is sent directly to Belmont Press. Each map is printed as required then despatched directly to the customer. A to Z’s Production Manager says: “The process went very smoothly and we relied upon Belmont’s expertise quite heavily in the beginning. They held our hand throughout the process and we are very pleased with how it’s gone. The web-driven print on demand service has given us the opportunity for direct sales of this niche product, reducing costs and generating a higher profit margin. It’s a premium product, so commands a higher price and is now a viable product for us.
Although we haven’t supplied as many maps as we‘d expected, we’re now looking to bring them to a wider audience. We’re also looking at personalisation and other possibilities that print on demand has created.”
He added: “Whenever Tim Brown, our Sales Executive at Belmont Press comes in to see us, there’s always something new to talk about. They don’t stand still, constantly offering the customer something new, something that you hadn’t thought of and I like that. We often continue to do things in the same way because that’s what we know, and it’s good when someone comes in and suggests something different.”
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