A Review of 2015 – Happy New Year!

2015, we salute you! With 4 brand new outstanding catalogues, over 800 new products, 5 new machines, 3 new staff, a fresh website, our largest order in Swatkins’ history, along with a huge expansion and renovation project – 2015 has really been a year to remember for Swatkins Group!

The year began with the introduction of 4 brand new catalogues, The Finest Presentation Awards, The Finest Golf Awards, The Finest Crystal Awards and the Finest Cups & Shields Catalogues. We were very happy to release these catalogues, with 4 separate collections we knew this would benefit our clients that concentrate in the different Award markets such as the Crystal or Golf. We also introduced the recommended retail price to engrave the Crystal Awards in the separate Crystal catalogue; with this in place, our customers could easily work out how much the total cost would be. Furthermore, the whole design of the brochure was modernised and transformed. With much larger and vibrant pictures, clear descriptions, titles and backgrounds – we found these have been our easiest, simplest and most creative catalogues to date.

Alongside the 4 new outstanding catalogues, we saw the expansion of over 800 brand new awards. This included new resin figurines, new inexpensive Glass and Crystal awards, the Silver Plated Ultimate awards collection, the Heritage Crystal range, and not to forget; the incredible Revolution Nickel Plated range. The Revolution was devised by the ongoing market for our Endurance Cast Cups, one of our most popular cup ranges – however, are made in China. With our factory based in Walsall, Great Britain and all of our manufacturing services and processes under one roof – we could see there was a place for us to compete by presenting a British Nickel range. The Revolution was able to be priced somewhat cheaper than Cast Cups, due to increasing labour costs and import taxes from abroad, alongside the fact we have all our processes in house meaning we could adapt, design and create new ideas on site – we are all very pleased to know that Great British manufacturing is still desired – The Revolution range has been our most successful addition to date. The range has sold into 40 different countries around the world, and with the addition of new sizes in 2016 due to popular demand – Swatkins has proven that British manufacturing is well and truly still alive and preferred.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The new Inexpensive Glass awards as shown thru pages 209-217 has also been a huge success. With larger areas to engrave and different coloured glass available we were able to suit all budgets and preferences. Furthermore, the introduction of the New Crystal Awards as shown thru pages 220-227 has also been successful, especially the GLC035 (p.222) With a large rectangular space for engraving, detachable glass, 3 difference sizes and even room to sublimate a plate onto – this piece has proven to be versatile, creative, and perfect for any occasion.

With our Revolution Nickel plated range proving successful worldwide, this saw the requirement of an additional Nickel Plating Bath and redecoration of the Plating department. After planning over 6 months, the August factory shut down saw the improvement of the whole Plating plant – meaning Swatkins now has a state of the art, customised, Nickel and Silver Plating Plant; which could rival any other in the world today. For more information on the Plating department, follow this link: Swatkins New Nickel and Silver Plating Department

Realising the potential growth, we saw the need to expand and renovate one of our Warehouses. After walls were removed we created new space and now there is a whole new department dedicated to warehousing our British-made products and awards, meaning we can increase our productivity immensely. Not only in the factory, the whole Engraving department has also seen a huge expansion project over the past 5 months. With overall demand of engraving on silverware and nickel products increasing, this saw the requirement of 2 additional Newing Hall Diamond Machines put in place. This has allowed us to stay efficient and updated on all the new Newing Hall machines and the technology it provides meaning Swatkins can constantly evolve with future trends. Alongside our Silverware, with over 800 new products for 2015 alone, this saw the requirement of 2 brand new Epilog Fusion M2 C02 lasers. This means that image quality, speed, reliability, and ease of use has been dramatically increased, allowing us to complete orders faster, meaning overall turnaround in the engraving department is as fast as it ever has been. With 2 new huge 40″x28” tables, this intended that the laser engraving department also had to see expansion. With a brand new large C02 laser department this now means there is a dedicated area for laser engraving, allowing us to increase our turnaround furthermore. The whole Engraving department has seen huge expansion and renovation in 2015, a huge project, thank you to everyone involved.

2015 also saw the requirement for new staff to be appointed at Swatkins Group. Throughout the year the Engraving department is constantly busy, whether it’s engraving simply onto a cup or sublimating a plate – our engraving team are simply the best in the trade. With the expansion of 4 additional machines and with our turnaround being 1-3 days on most engraved products, the introduction a new Engraver was to be arranged. Adam has learnt the art of engraving on a Newing-Hall Machine, alongside the Metafibre laser, the C02 laser machines and the sublimating machine; he truly has learnt it all – John and Tony have been fantastic mentors!

With the Revolutions success and the British manufacturing side only increasing, Swatkins required an additional warehousing labourer. Sabrina learnt the processes extremely quickly, and is very versatile within the whole warehouse – we are all very happy to have her in our team. Thank you to Toni & Andy for teaching her all you know!

We also had a new addition from the Swatkins family in 2015. Sophie Swatkins joined the team in September, after completing her A-levels to a high standard; she was a perfect addition to the Swatkins Group. With her determination, her effort and high-spirited nature, we can all see she will fit in perfectly with the whole team.  After having learnt invoicing, Sophie will be joining the Engraving department in the New Year.

Swatkins Group also had a whole website re-designed and created, allowing our customers to easily contact us, find stockists, and to keep up to date with all company news. We have also introduced a Facebook page, alongside Google+ and a Linked In company page. If you haven’t already, please follow the links to the side to be kept up to date with everything ‘Swatkins!’ Google Facebook LinkedIn

To end 2015, Swatkins was delighted to receive our largest single order in the company’s 119 year history. We were all overjoyed to learn that the order consisted of only Swatkins British Made Nickel Plated products, meaning our whole manufacturing plant was extremely busy over the winter period. With over 1,000 pieces to be created, this was our biggest and most ambitious project to date. A huge well done to everyone who was involved in creating this order, it’s fantastic to know that British manufacturing is well and truly still sought after.

Thank you to our team for their hard work in 2015, with multiple projects on the go constantly, we thank you for your patience, your hard-work and your determination. The Swatkins Group has the best team in the trade!

2015 has been a fantastic year all round for Swatkins, we cannot wait to see what 2016 brings. From everyone at Swatkins Group, we hope you all have had a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Here’s to 2016!