Positive ID Labels

Support to access state-of-the-art machinery leading to improved capacity, capability and turnover, with associated job creation.

Positive ID Labels was established by John Mayers in 1998. Based in Melbourne, Derbyshire, it manufactures labels and tags, and offers a wide range of label solutions for all applications and industries.

The business has developed considerably since its inception, expanding its product range to include, for example, bar-coding, self-adhesive labels and film packaging, and gradually moving from monocolour to full-colour process printing. The business now has its own premises and currently operates from two industrial units.

Why engage with Invest to Grow?

Positive ID Labels recognised both increasing and changing demand from its customers. This specifically related to greater focus upon flexible film packaging, with associated labelling requirements. Together with a more general need to upgrade its existing printing machine, these changing demands led to Positive ID Labels identifying a new modern machine and were successful in applying to Invest to Grow for a £44,000 grant to contribute towards the purchase of the machine.

What has been the impact of Invest to Grow?

The immediate impact of the Invest to Grow grant was the purchase of a new 6-Colour Flexo Press machine and 18 months on this has already provided significant impacts. John Mayers commented:

“Initially it enabled us to jump from a 20-year old machine to a state-of-the-art machine. Printing machines have developed a lot over that period in terms of improved capability and efficiency. We were in danger of being left behind.”

The new machine has improved the quality, capacity and speed of Positive ID Labels’ printing. For example, it provides a wider printing area, enabling considerably more labels to be printed in each run. It also operates at 100m per minute, compared to 60m per minute for the previous machine. Importantly, the new machine requires a much shorter set-up time, which means Positive ID Labels can be more competitive with its pricing, or alternatively increase its profit margin.

Further to enhancing existing provision, the new machine has also enabled Positive ID Labels to extend its product range, specifically its ability to print on different materials such as synthetics rather than just paper. This has led to the business accessing a wider market and new customers. 

All the above impacts have led to Positive ID Labels obtaining more sales, both for existing customers and new customers. This had led to a series of positive economic impacts for the business. John Mayers commented:

“Our turnover has increased by 25% since we purchased the new machine, rising from £1.5m to nearly £2m. We have also created 3 jobs and safeguarded 2 jobs. It has also impacted positively on our profit. The support from Invest to Grow has opened up a lot of doors for us and fulfilled all our expectations.”

John considered that, without the Invest to Grow funding, it would have taken at least 18 months longer to purchase the new machine. In that period, it is very possible that turnover, and potentially employee numbers, would have reduced as customers went elsewhere for their needs – potentially lengthening the time period further.

In addition to the direct impacts experienced by Positive ID Labels, John Mayers also referred to ongoing positive relationships with the University of Derby as a result of Invest to Grow. Specifically, the business has taken on a student intern from the University and also received a bespoke management training course which it has since implemented. Furthermore, Positive ID Labels has an informal relationship with the University’s Enscite project, which involves sharing project activities. John Mayers commented:

“Our engagement with Invest to Grow showed us that the University of Derby is not just about academic activity, but that it also has a commercial focus. We have therefore engaged with the University further through various means, and would look to do so again in the future.”

Moving forward, Positive ID Labels is now well positioned to continue to grow and expand.

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