TJ Books and Hobbs form unique alliance

Posted by Rhona Gardiner


April 20, 2021, Cornwall: Cornwall-based print company, TJ Books and Southampton-based print company, Hobbs the Printers have just announced a new alliance. This new working ‘partnership’ means that if either operation was to be disrupted by an unforeseen event, such as a COVID-19 outbreak, a print job could be easily transferred to the other partner, ensuring minimal delay for the client.

The agreement also means that both organisations can work together, when the opportunity arises, to offer a joined-up approach for tender opportunities, giving a wider range of services and increased fire power for greater security of supply.

Based just outside of Padstow, close to the north Cornish coast, TJ Books is one of the UK’s largest independent manufacturers of quality books, producing upwards of 1,000 titles a month. Established in 1969, the company underwent a management buyout led by Andy Watts in 2018. Since then, it has gone through a series of structural changes, and invested over £2.5 million in additional equipment (including the latest iX3200 HD inkjet press from Canon), all focused on greater automation delivering a higher number of orders economically while reducing lead times and stock risk. TJ Books is today led by Andy Watts, Managing Director, and Andy Adams, Finance Director.

Southampton-based, Hobbs was established in 1884 by William Hobbs. Today it is a substantial operation that provides a comprehensive range of print and fulfilment related services into multiple markets, particularly where absolute reliability or security are key factors. Ever pioneering, Hobbs were early adopters of digital print technologies in the early 1990s. Investment at Hobbs is an extensive and rolling programme, always from their own financial reserves. Managing Director David Hobbs heads an experienced and dedicated team of 130 staff.

Managing Director of TJ Books, Andy Watts said, “I don’t think there’s a company out there who hasn’t felt the effects of the recent industry challenges and the last year’s pandemic. However, as we were when we performed our management buy-out, and as we were with our recent rebrand and machinery investment, we’re excited about the prospect of looking beyond the now, and to driving the future of print.  We are therefore collectively taking the lead with our pioneering collaborative approach with Hobbs the Printers. Forming this alliance was an absolute no-brainer.”

Andy continued, “We will continue to work independently, servicing our clients on a daily basis. However, this novel situation of two well-established and respected printing companies working closely together as partners is designed to provide the customer with peace of mind knowing that whatever the challenges or their unique print requirements, we will work together to provide a solution and get the job done in a swift turnaround. Our industry is very reactive by nature and this collaborative support allows us to react quicker.”

Managing Director at Hobbs the Printers, David Hobbs said, “We’re delighted to announce this unique partnership with TJ Books who we hugely respect as major players in the industry. With so much uncertainty in the world due to Covid-19, we believe this is a smart business move that will benefit both of us as well as the industry at large. What is great is that whilst both companies have similar processes and equipment, each also offers different, more specialised services.”

David continued, “TJ Books and Hobbs the Printers share the same beliefs in providing excellent customer service.  Should either of us be affected by Covid-19, heaven forbid, through unexpected sickness, the other is there and committed to providing support by helping to complete a client’s order on time. This gives us a resilience that many other companies don’t have at this time.”

Both companies have hands-on management teams and a commitment to the adoption of appropriate technology to deliver the needs of their customers. Both have an unsatiable willingness and passion for developing their staff, thereby ensuring their ability to continually provide exceptional production. Both are also focused on improvements in efficiency and providing publishers with a wide range of options for their book production requirements.

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