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Senator awarded for exclusive HD digital print

Senator’s HD digital print has been awarded the 2016 Promotional Gift Award by a unanimous jury who cited its worldwide exclusive print technology as “outstanding”.

The company took three years to design, build, and commission a machine capable of printing direct HD digital with a raised 3D finish, the first pen company worldwide to do so.

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Mantis shines a light on continuing exploitation in clothing industry

Mantis World has helped raise awareness of women garment factory workers subjected to modern slavery by sponsoring a film that explores the clothing industry.

The True Cost, by documentary maker, Andrew Morgan is about clothing, the people who make them and the impact it’s having on our world. While the price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. 

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New members join IGNITE

Ignite has announced that Roantree Incentive Marketing and Applewhite Gifts have joined the catalogue group, taking it to a total of 32 distributor companies.

Richard Pettinger from Ignite said: “We are delighted to welcome two more quality companies to the group. The addition of Neal, not only as managing director of one of the larger players in the industry, but also in his prominent leading roles within the bpma adds even more experience to the group.”

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Sourcing City rejoins the bpma

Sourcing City has rejoined the bpma after a year-long absence. The company left the association in March 2015 over various disputes. It announced it was rejoining in March 2016.

David Long, chairman, Sourcing City, said: “We have always had a solid belief that the industry should have a strong independent trade association, and in the past we have been a proactive supporter of the bpma.

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Further expansions to strengthen Great Central Plastics’ service

Great Central Plastics has introduced a purpose built assembly room and recruited a new team of assembly operators due to a growth in enquiries that require assembly as part of the order.

The new development gives Great Central Plastics greater control over all aspects of the manufacturing process and quality control, as well improving its service. The company felt that the timing was right to give this department its own, separate space.

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Penn is ‘hot’ Stateside

Sarah Penn, managing director of Outstanding Branding has been selected as one of the ASI (Advertising Speciality Institute) Counsellor magazine’s ‘Hot 25’ for 2016.

Published annually by the American trade body that represents the advertising specialty industry, Counsellor picked Penn for her strong-willed character and noted, “It takes a certain kind of moxie to start your company in 2009, right in the middle of a recession, and in the UK no less, as Europe really took it on the chin economically.”

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Prime standard puts data security of its customers first

Prime Group has demonstrated how seriously it takes customer data by achieving ISO 27001:2013, the international standard for information security.

ISO 27001 specifies a process for controlling and improving the way an organisation manages its information security. It covers the data-handling of all customer information, including any private/financial data and everything relating to their customers, such as data required for the personalisation of marketing and promotional materials and communications across multiple channels. 

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National minimum wage impact divides industry

From April, the new national minimum wage was implemented at £7.20 per hour for those workers aged 25+. Retailer Next has said it will have to increase prices to cover the expected £27m cost of implementing the pay rise, but how will it affect the UK promotional merchandise industry?

Some members of the Briman group of British manufacturers said the living wage would have a negative effect on bringing business back to the UK from China where unskilled labour keeps production costs down. It was felt that, not only would those on the minimum wage get a pay rise but those above this level would expect an equal rise to maintain their pay differential.

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British Promotional Gift Suppliers seek overseas opportunities

Phil Morgan, the CEO of SPS, sees fertile ground for British exporters.

In the run up to the 2015 General Election, parliamentarians launched a manifesto calling for their successors in government to take the “necessary steps” to ensure the UK becomes a global leader in manufacturing.

Currently, only 20% of UK SMEs are involved in exports, compared to a 25% EU average, according to barclayscorporate.com, with the UK ranking 11th globally for manufacturing. 

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Forward-looking designer wins bpma Award

Student designer Asher Erskine highlights the project that won him the 2015 bpma Design Innovation Award

I’m currently in my second year studying Product Design at Nottingham Trent University, working on a range of exciting live briefs with various companies.  Last year, I got my first insight into the process, when we were tasked to design the promotional product of the future as part of the bpma Design Innovation Award. 

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bpma to commission Distributor – Supplier survey

The bpma is commissioning the industry’s biggest ever Distributor – Supplier survey, as part of its continuing aim to improve industry standards and professionalism.

The extensive research into the relationship between suppliers and distributors joins the second stage of the mystery shopper survey as part of the bpma drive to raise standards.

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New appointments strengthen bpma team

Several key appointments have boosted the bpma as the organisation continues to expand its support for members.

With the inaugural bpma Show taking place in September, Steve Lindsey of Lincoln West will act as event director on an outsourced partner basis. Steve brings more than 13 years of trade show experience, both in the UK and internationally, to the role.

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Top Technology Trends for 2016

In a fast moving world, there are plenty of opportunities for those able to keep up with technology developments, says Matt Pluckrose of Desktop Ideas.

Technology has never been changing so fast – just five or six years ago there were no iPads or tablets, and nine years ago no iPhone. I’ve outlined a few technology trends which are expected to change the way we work, rest and play – and promote – this year. 

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Associate Programme means everyone’s a winner

Paul Green of Galpeg talks to Product Media about the progress of the company’s Associate Programme

Paul Green, the UK distributor entrepreneur behind the Galpeg Associate Programme, now has 20 people involved. Galpeg was founded by Paul’s father Gerry in 1975, and in 1985 Paul started a new promotional gift business under the Galpeg brand. From an early age, he saw the merits of having back office support.

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Thermalmate: proud British manufacturer of Promotional Sports Bottles

One manufacturer living up to British manufacturing’s reputation for quality and innovation is Thermalmate.

Thermalmate’s best-selling range of promotional sports bottles, manufactured in Britain includes the best-selling finger grip bottle in 300ml, 500ml and 750ml sizes, as well as a new 1litre large capacity bottle. Also on offer are a Jogger bottle, recycled biodegradable bottle and a large Teardrop bottle, all available in a wide range of colours.

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Briman Group inaugural meeting

The newly-formed Briman group has held its first meeting, setting out its stall as the group gears up to represent bpma UK manufacturing supplier members, and to champion UK manufacturing at home and internationally.

The inaugural meeting, held at the offices of Croner in Hinckley on February 17, was chaired and facilitated by Gordon Glenister of the bpma, although the group’s direction was very much driven by the members.

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UK Manufacturing is thriving and rapidly expanding

A survey of some of the UK’s promotional gift manufacturers has shown real optimism in the sector.

To gauge the health of manufacturing in the sector, the bpma has taken soundings from members of the recently formed Briman Group, made up of UK manufacturers, to get a view of the state of the market from the sharp end. All the businesses surveyed showed growth, ranging from a modest 1% through to an impressive 40%, with the sector averaging out at 11% overall.

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Top speakers line up for bpma Conference

A great line-up of speakers is set to spark debate at the bpma Conference in May. Now in its third year, the conference has established itself as an essential forum for promotional professionals to be inspired to improve their performance and achieve business growth.

Bringing a broad range of experience and inspiration to delegates, the speakers include:

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Something for every learner at every level

The bpma education programme continues to go from strength to strength, with over 150 learners on the programme in 2016. The demand for a structured, industry-specific training programme that can be integrated into each business is rising, with education and training firmly on everyone’s agenda. Daniela Arena, the bpma’s professional development manager, gives an insight into the programme and what can be expected this year.

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