The ink lines for Uniform, a brand owned by B&P Lightbrigade Group Limited who ceased trading in March 2009, was manufactured under license by a major European ink manufacturer.
Digidist, the Maidenhead based distributor, had already been selling the original Uniform ink under its Colorific ink brand, with supply going out to the market through the reseller channel that had previously supported the Uniform range of systems and supplies. This includes respected sign and large format print system suppliers Granthams, printMAX, Signmaster Systems, and in Ireland, Dennis D Evans.
Additionally the Colorific ink is also now available from established wide format reseller Perfect Colours, with the channel completed by Selectech UK, the ink and media specialist recently formed by Stuart Lee and Dave Foster, both previously employed at B&P Lightbrigade.
Talking of his satisfaction at picking up the exclusive UK & Ireland rights for the ink, Nick Wintle, Managing Director of Digidist commented “This is great news for us, and for our resellers, it will really help all of us to cut through the confusion that has existed in the market over recent months.” he went on “Over recent times Uniform customers have had all manner of conflicting information thrown at them , as regards what was and wasn’t the right ink for their printers. In truth the whole scenario was messy and highly unprofessional, so we are genuinely delighted to be able to draw a line under it all and offer the customer an ink that they can be certain is identical to that which they have been using in their printers over recent years. ”
In a nutshell, and in very the simplest of terms, users of ink previously labelled as Uniform Activasol will now be sold Colorific Elite by their resellers, and users of Uniform Citrosol will now have to purchase Colorific Fresh. That is the only way to now guarantee the products integrity.
Much of the confusion in the market seemingly arose from B&P dabbling with different inks from different manufacturers, a situation not helped, and perhaps it could be argued even forced on them, by their credit lines being withdrawn by some of their established providers.
The Uniform reseller channel are also delighted to again have unrestricted access to ink supplies, without having to deal with the issues that have been prevalent of late. As Wintle explains “The support of the existing Uniform reseller channel has been key for the success of Colorific, they are all credible suppliers with an existing base of Uniform users, so to have them standing so firmly behind the Colorific brand is a real benefit in terms of us getting the right message out there to the user.”
Talking to the resellers themselves further validates Nick Wintles claim, with Michael Bolton, MD of printMAX confirming “We are very happy to see Digidist appointed as the sole UK supplier for the Colorific Uniform inks, already they have added genuine value to the product for us, creating a strong brand in Colorific, assisting us with the marketing of the product, raising customer awareness, and most importantly allowing us to offer continued support to our customers.”
Malcolm Evans of Signmaster Systems added “Since Colorific have started supplying us with the original Uniform ink formula, our supply problems have gone away. We get delivery from stock, we know the inks are identical, so we are happier, and far more importantly our customers are again happier.”
Jason Burroughes at Perfect Colours also confirmed “Stock availability has been good, and the marketing assistance we have had from Colorific has helped us to win new business.”, whilst Preston-based Granthams, who have installed and supported Uniform products for many years, were also happy to have access to the Colorific Uniform inks, stating “it is important that customers have the option to stay with the same formula of ink”.
Stuart Lee and Dave Foster of Selectech were equally keen to express their satisfaction with the Digidist appointment, “Myself and Dave were both at B&P up until recently, and through Digidist we have had significant help in both establishing our business, marketing it, and having continuity of supply on the most important products, not least ink. It has been a refreshing change, we have stock, we can deliver, and it is all backed up by a great level of after-sales service. ”
In terms of the service provision mentioned by Stuart above, Digidist are also pleased to report that they have tied up a deal to provide ongoing warranty and on-site support to the Uniform customer base.
Wintle explains “We have agreed a deal with a respected service provider, who has a fleet of 16 fully trained engineers providing nationwide next-day coverage. This deal means a comprehensive and rapid response service is now available to all Uniform users”.
This is news that will also be gratefully received by many, as the recent financial restraints at B&P saw their engineering resource dwindle to just 2 engineers, making it all but impossible for them to offer adequate service provision to their customers.
So, if you run a Uniform printer, you can at last be satisfied that putting Colorific ink into your printer is the surefire way to ensure the ink is the same now as it has been previously. This will allow you to move forward with confidence, knowing that your colour profiles will match, and most importantly, your ability to produce repeat work to the same standards and in the same colours, has not been compromised.
However there is something of a caveat on that score, as Nick explains “It remains uncertain what will actually happen to the Uniform brand itself. As we understand it, following the demise of B&P, the Uniform brand had 4 different buyers bidding for it, so, depending on who actually bought it, it could yet potentially be resurrected as a sales tool to try and leverage business for the brands new owner, and then, dependent on where the ‘new’ ink has been sourced, and how thoroughly it has been tested, it most certainly will be a case of let the buyer beware.