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Labelling solutions business drives growth through product testing at the University

For over 40 years Silver Fox have been developing and manufacturing industrial and commercial labelling solutions from their facility in Welwyn Garden City. Nick Michaelson, Managing Director, explains how the company 'has been working towards it’s unique market-leading solution called Fox-in-a-Box ® offering one software, one printer, one ribbon, for its entire range of thermal labels.' The same solution also covers their A4 laser range, which can be printed through any standard office laser printer. Ease of use and time saving are key elements in their solution, and in 2004 they won the prestigious Queen’s award for Enterprise, in the International Trade category.

'We’ve turned to the University of Hertfordshire whenever the business has identified particular issues that the School of Engineering can support with,' explains Nick. Early on in the relationship, detailed studies were undertaken with the University to review print quality in relation to different print surfaces. 'This work was invaluable, not only in forming a long term alliance with the University, but it also proved critical in allowing the business to produce the level of sales necessary to enter and win the Queen’s award,' says Nick. The University also collaborated with Silver Fox in a study to understand and address the effect of different chemicals on print surfaces and final printed labels.

More recently, Silver Fox called on the University’s expertise to design and construct time trials. 'The purpose was to demonstrate the clear benefits of Silver Fox’s computerised solutions over traditional manual systems,' adds Nick. Although Silver Fox were sure that they offered a much faster solution compared to others in the market, including computerised systems, they had never put it to test. 'We asked for the University’s support because a positive result, carried out independently, would be a great boost to our business opportunities, both in the UK and in our export markets,' says Nick.

The filming process took place within the School of Engineering and the University provided a team of technical staff and the supporting components to the test. 'Everyone involved was positive, proactive and professional in their approach,' explains Nick. Three videos were produced, which Silver Fox now use as visual aids to help boost sales and build brand awareness, including at the start of business meetings, which has helped as they’ve become remote in recent times. 'We’ve also seen excellent engagement with the video through our social media channels and our growing base of distributors. Using the University’s facilities added credence to the test, which was important to us'. The results showed conclusively how much time can be saved by using Silver Fox’s solution and how material cost savings are also achievable. 'We were delighted with the results and are most certainly looking to come back to work with the University of Hertfordshire,' exclaims Nick.

The University of Hertfordshire have been invaluable; without them the filming could not have occurred. We were keen to work with Herts because of their excellent reputation, particularly on the engineering side.

Nick Michaelson, Managing Director