1969 was the year Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, and the Beatles appeared in their last ever concert, and looking back at Yesterday this month is sheet fed magazine printer Pensord, who 40 years ago were making their own small step for man.
40 years and a giant leap later, the company is a UK recognised Company of the Year, a £12m turnover firm that prints 330 titles and employs 143 people on its original site in Pontllanfraith. Pensord was established in 1969 by the Billboard Company of America to produce the weekly publication Record Retailer, which later became Music Week. In charge then was Henry Meakin, the media giant who was later to become Chairman of Aspen Communications Plc.
At 40, Pensord is looking good for its age, a successful and profitable business that last year received the Printing World/British Printing Industries Federation Company of the Year (for companies with more than 100 employees) and the Improved Financial Performance awards, as well as being recorded as four times as profitable as the average Top 500 company in the PrintWeek Top 500.
Pensord chief executive Tony Jones led a management buyout at the company six years ago, after a period of decline. Tony said: “We are very proud to still be here and going stronger than ever after 40 years, sustaining skilled jobs in the Valleys and maintaining high standards for publishers across the country. We have Pensord People who have been with the company for close to 40 years, and some who only joined in the past few months, we have many loyal, long-standing customers alongside substantial new business wins, and it is thanks to everyone involved at Pensord that we can celebrate this milestone, and look forward with great excitement to life beginning at 40.
Pre-press Operator Tudor James has been with the company for almost 33 years. Tudor says: “I started at Pensord in 1976 when Glam Rock, long hair and flares were popular. There have been so many changes since then, but Pensord continues to send quality magazines out of the door. Over the decades we’ve had our ups and downs here, but I believe we’re now stronger than we’ve ever been, and better set up than most printers to withstand the economic downturn. So Happy 40th Birthday Pensord.”
As well as being successful in its own right, Pensord is widely regarded for its ethical and customer-focused approach to business, with a company Stakeholder Scheme giving staff part ownership of the business, the Pensord Charter formalising the business ethics and teamwork on which the company operates, placing the customer at the focal point of the business, and a Charitable Trust which has to date raised over £40,000 for a local charity nominated by staff, the Hospice of the Valleys.
In addition, Pensord have gained ISO14001 certification, and chain of custody for FSC®/PEFC certified paper, launched a Digital Editions service, and achieved Investor in People status, as well as recently becoming the first and only Strategic Partner of IPAC (Independent Publishers Advisory Council), further strengthening the printer’s close support for PPA (Periodical Publishers Association).
Congratulating Pensord on their 40th birthday, Michael Johnson, Chief Executive of the British Printing Industries Federation said: “This is a proud moment for all Pensord people on reaching this significant milestone. Since its ‘face lift’ in 2003, Tony & the team have built a people orientated organisation focussed on their excellent customer service, green credentials/accreditations & training through their academy. Well done! “Life begins after 40”.