The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the labels, cards, and other graphics markets. "Turnover isn't growing; it's exploding this year. Last year was already a top year. But, this year's sales are much higher," says Nino Venezia, the Dutch Graphic Group's patriarch. This company is located in a new building at Fresh Park Venlo in the Netherlands.
"We already expanded quickly in 2020. That was primarily thanks to us maintaining our short delivery times. Companies come to us because their current supplier takes four weeks to deliver. In the fruit and vegetable sector, that is, of course, madness. Also, the entire market has been faced with sharp price rises. We, too, have increased our prices. But we're trying to do that fairly and reasonably."
"There was a raw material shortage in March. So, we bought a lot of paper and packaging material. We usually used to order a truckload at a time. Now, we order two just to be sure we have ample supplies. The whole building was entirely dark because of all the pallets of material. I don't get everything I order either. But I was able to build up a materials stock," explains Nino.
Three years ago, he handed the company over to his sons, Enzo and Gino. But Nino is still active in the background, initiating large projects. "But I have to do less and less. My sons have commanded my genuine respect. That's for how they've managed the business over the past few years. They are ready when needed. Even on the weekends and in the evenings. They have shown they're truly ready to run the show."
Left: Nino and Gino; right: Enzo.
And that is the company's strength, says Nino. "We don't employ expensive managers or salespeople. Customers get Enzo or Gino on the line. We have no overhead, and that's paying off now. As a result, we're experiencing one of the best years in the last 20. Mind you; our margins are shrinking. However, we can move huge volumes. We do urgently need some new print shop workers, though," he says.
"There's a dire shortage of thermo-materials and PP plastic. Thermoboard rolls are the next thing that will run short. I don't see supplies or prices stabilizing in the few months of 2022 either. We ordered a new machine in July. But it can only be delivered in February. You have to deal with that."
"We're already outsourcing work. We're also selective when it comes to taking on new customers. Our existing, loyal clients that have been around for years are our top priority. We distribute the remaining material to new customers. Even large overseas players now know where to find us," Nino concludes.