Capita’s recent acquisition of Complete Imaging Limited is part on an ambitious growth strategy for its managed print services division
Capita Document and Information Services (CDIS) plans to treble turnover within the next four years. According to Alpesh Unalkat, Managing Director of Capita’s managed print business, CDIS aims to do this through a combination of strong organic growth and a series of strategic acquisitions.
This is a tried and tested approach for Capita, which entered the MPS market in 2011 with the acquisition of Right Document Solutions (RDS), an independent Canon, Kyocera, Ricoh and Sharp reseller, of which Unalkat was then a director and shareholder.
In the last three years, the business has more than doubled in size, delivering added-value managed services nationwide, predominantly to larger, multi-site organisations.
Capita’s desire to extend the geographical reach of CDIS was pivotal in its decision to acquire managed print and document solutions company Complete Imaging Limited. Complete, which is located in Birmingham, Cambridge and Southampton, has joined the managed print services arm of CDIS and will continue to trade under the Complete brand name.
Unalkat says that Complete’s core business is perfectly aligned to the CDIS business model; it provides end-to-end cost-effective managed print services, from the supply of machinery and equipment to online print management software.
“Complete has been operating in the print and document management business for over 30 years. We particularly liked the fact that they have a strong, clean trading record; a customer base that complements our own; and a great reputation in the market,” he said.
“We are not a transactional business and don’t operate as a commodity sales operation. We are more about full document lifecycle solutions and are genuinely vendor-agnostic. We have relationships with most major OEMs, including Canon, Sharp, Ricoh and Kyocera, and now, through Complete, we have Samsung on board.”
As part of the deal, 80 Complete employees have transferred to Capita, including Managing Director Steve Ward and the senior management team. Unalkat expects the headcount to rise further as CDIS continues to develop Complete.
“We are successfully pushing ahead with our strategy to grow apace – this acquisition was not about stripping the business down and cherry picking which bits we retained. In fact, we are now actively recruiting to strengthen that team. Our goal is to invest to build on Complete’s excellent reputation,” he said.
As well as building up Complete, CDIS is in discussions with similar businesses with a view to making further acquisitions in the near future.
“Having gone through the process ourselves, I know that the Capita due diligence process is a stringent one, so only a select type of business will make the mark,” explained Unalkat. “What we are looking for is clean solid businesses with the right geography and fit in order for us to really ramp up our growth. Our plan is to invest and grow the acquisitions we make; that’s how Capita works.”
Although managed print on its own is a growing market, where CDIS sees real opportunity is in providing managed print in conjunction with the wider services it offers. These include document management; scanning, storage, indexing and archiving; digital mailrooms; transactional print and mailing; bulk printing; and hybrid mail.
“We are efficiently geared for large scale operations and want to integrate MPS with other services,” said Unalkat.
In addition to the acquisition of complementary businesses, CDIS is continuing to invest in new print facilities and warehouses. These include a £17 million, 90,000 sq ft print and distribution facility in Mansfield; a warehouse and distribution facility in Canning Town, which is four times the size of Capita’s previous building; and a 177,000 sq ft site for inbound mailing and digital mailroom, storage and scanning services.