Resource type: Case study
T J International
Based in Padstow, T J International Ltd specialises in the manufacture of quality books.
Founded in 1969 in London by Tom Jacques, the business moved to Cornwall in 1973 and as the business grew a new purpose-built factory was built in 1995. In 1998 the company started to print books digitally with print-on-demand production being available from 2011.
With 140 staff the company produces over 7 million books each year for a diverse range of publishers, both in the UK and abroad. Following a management buy-out in 2018 the business is now led by Managing Director Andy Watts.
T J International approached Superfast Business Cornwall for advice and support to implement a virtualised environment to increase their capacity and to maximise new opportunities.
As with many businesses while they had kept up with technology, particularly in respect of the manufacturing tools, they had not focussed on the integration of “back office” systems. They had a number of manual “fill in processes” required to set each print run. This was becoming a constraint to growth, as the trend is for higher numbers of short print runs ie more setups for the same print volumes. This was causing bottle necks and was a constraint on the business scaling up.
The business had developed in-house software which was an automated tool for managing stock levels. The success of the platform to their partners has been a key driver for further integration with other customers.
Superfast Business Cornwall Digital Business Enabler Steve Edwards worked with them to find ways of providing extra ‘IT Bandwidth’ and enabling capacity to help deal with current and future demands from the evolving in house software development.
Steve supported T J International through the process of finding the technological solutions required and through to project implementation.
The project was led by Wayne Glanville, Head of IT at TJ International Ltd who explains:
“This project will mean that we will be using new ICT products helping to provide more throughput capability whilst enhancing our company to cloud profile. This also allows for these products to be upgraded in the future to 2019 versions and allow for further developments to the software. The project was conceived with the future in mind with scalability, resilience and compliance being the established pillars of this project.”
The impact for T J International
The development will allow the business to efficiently deliver high transaction lower volume work. Our customers and prospects realise the value in this “Just in Time” model and therefore, providing a more responsive and accurate system we help our customers to manage their requirements.”
“The team at TJ International had developed an amazing software tool for managing stock levels which has significantly improved their processes and capacity for fulfilling client orders. It’s been great to see how they have developed digital technology to meet today’s needs and for future requirements as the business grows.”
“Real time information on stock levels helps TJ to become an integral part of our partners distribution systems and network. This builds customer confidence which has been reflected in the number of orders placed since the project began.
With richer intelligence we would expect our profit to increase as can our capacity planning, product pricing and services. This also allows us to understand and make informed decisions on job profitability and client profitability.”
We have already seen a 35% increase in orders from £1,046 Million to £1,411 Million from one customer alone.”
Funded by ERDF, Superfast Business Cornwall provides a fully funded programme of support to help businesses understand, adopt and exploit digital technology for growth. Delivered by a small team of experienced Digital Business Advisers, the service offers 1-2-1 impartial advice, website reviews, workshops for small groups and advice on connectivity to Superfast Broadband. Grant funding may also be available for new digital projects which help businesses grow and create jobs.