Ever wondered who made your cards? Answer: a talented bunch with a (slightly unhealthy) passion for print. Here at MOO, we have two manufacturing facilities to bring your ideas to life. American orders are prepared in Lincoln, RI, while the rest of the world gets their cards made in Dagenham, UK.
We asked Andy Whale, head of UK operations, and Anton Kamysov, manufacturing manager, about a day in the life of our UK manufacturing team.
In our 27,354 square foot big Dagenham facility, we’re well equipped to help you leave a sustainable impression. We have presses, laminators, guillotines (not the ones from the French revolution), round corner, folding and shrinkwrap machines, and more to offer about 606 different combinations of products and sizes. Good stuff.
But a manufacturing facility is more than 19 machines that beep, light up and eat paper all day – although those are pretty cool. 34 people work in Dagenham, with nine different jobs and specialties. Our youngest apprentice, Charlie, is only 16 – and already a printhead. All these wonderful people produce, pack and ship about a thousand orders around the world every day, from England to New Zealand.
You might not realise it, but your Business Card goes through a journey worthy of Ulysses before reaching you. Lucky for us, Anton keeps his eyes on your cards throughout the whole process: “First, the order is assigned to a batch. The batch goes through what we call the ‘RIPPING’ process – that’s when a print-ready PDF is created. After the batch is printed on HP Indigo presses it will, depending on the product, go through a specific finishing process, get thoroughly quality-checked and cut to the correct size.”
“After that, cards will be inspected last time for any imperfections and packed in the corresponding Business Card boxes. Boxes will then travel from assembly to dispatch stations via a conveyor belt. On dispatch, the topcard will be scanned, generating a shipping label that will go on the outer packaging. Cards will then be collected by couriers at the end of the day – and make their way to you.”
When asked about his favourite part of the day, Andy doesn’t have to think twice: “Any time of the day when our SLA target of 98.5% is reached.” SLA stands for service-level agreement. It’s basically our goals for production – and here at MOO, we set the bar high. That explains the team’s pet peeve: machine breakdown and outages that delay their work. That’s why good maintenance and contingency planning are so important in manufacturing.
What he loves most about his job, though, is the human component. “What I like the most is developing a highly skilled and flexible team on a professional and personal level and seeing the results of the team developing in their professional and personal lives. To see them train and learn how to run more complex machinery, adding to their skillset and development as well as a number of them getting married, starting families is great to see.”
The team has come a long way since MOO’s humble beginnings. “When I started at MOO eight years ago the team was fourteen in number, including myself. We were working in a 4,000 square foot space. Two moves later and pre-pandemic, we had a team of 50 spread across two shifts working in a lovely environment of over 27,000 square feet.”
Andy and the manufacturing team have big plans for the future. His goal? “Training more people on the core pieces of equipment to give us an even greater skilled and flexible team. And hopefully swap the three existing presses for three new ones.”