Custodian takes great care in providing one-stop shop
Custodian discuss the company’s evolution to a fully integrated marketing solution and the successful growth of its digital department. It is no longer just about ink on paper according to ex-Dublin footballer Alan Brogan
While it might have been all about the printed word back in 1992 when Custodian was set up as a print management company with clients including Irish Distillers and Glanbia, times have changed.
During the recession, it started to differentiate its offering, and now the Dublin-based firm offers digital and graphic design services as well as its bread and butter of print procurement.
It is no longer just about ink on paper, according to Alan Brogan, former Dublin footballer and commercial manager at Custodian, with the company adding graphic design and digital departments recently.
“We’re trying to change client perception that we’re just focused on ink on paper. It’s very much a production company and we can execute whatever media you want,” Brogan, who joined the company in 2014, said.
Custodian has experienced huge growth in the past few years, going from a turnover of €8 million in 2008 to an expected €20 million in 2016. The print business has increased in the past two years, with the company signing contracts with AIB and Fáilte Ireland.
Although print is still a big part of the business, the team can design and execute online communications for clients, providing them with a fully integrated marketing solution under one roof.
Ciaran Reilly, operations director, said: “Clients are now starting to come to production companies like ourselves. To use the famous word, decoupling, they are now taking the production elements away and centralising them.”
Custodian has worked on a range of digital projects so far, from digital display and point of sale to more bespoke projects such as corporate video presentations, web design and YouTube videos – some standalone, and some as part of larger print or design projects, according to its recently appointed digital manager Aoife McEvoy, who manages a digital team of four.
It just completed a campaign for An Post for its delivery box, with Custodian working on everything from logo design to digital display advertising and digital point-of-scale screens, along with posters in-store and the creation of a YouTube video.
Custodian’s competitors are largely based internationally, Reilly said, which can make them difficult to compete with. However, many of them focus on pan-European or global contracts, he said. As a result, they do not have much of an appetite for local contracts, which is a viable market for Custodian.
While clients’ budgets are still tight and the industry is very competitive, brands are starting to spend again, Brogan said. And while its international competitors can make savings on scale, Brogan said that Custodian can work in a more flexible way.
Reilly agreed, adding: “We find that because we’re on the ground we’re definitely more nimble. Even though we do have 50 people, we are able to react. A system change for us happens an awful lot faster than it would if somebody had to get approval from head office somewhere.”
As well as its print, design and digital services, Custodian operates a full warehousing and transport logistics management service from its 22,000 square foot warehouse. “That feeds into our one-stop shop facility,” Brogan said, adding that clients do not need to hire a logistics company for picking and packing. “We can take it from graphic design right through to print procurement and production, to digital – or, if it is a printed piece, it can go into stock at our warehouse.”
Custodian makes sure any printers it uses are solvent and able to manage the work, Reilly said.
“We have very good relationships with printers. We support them so that they can invest back into the technology they need. We’re only as strong as our supply base,” Brogan said.