Centurion Print commenced trading in 1986. Originally set up in central Auckland (in Hobson Street where the casino is today) to service SMEs for their transactional and stationery print requirements.
The business flourished despite the 1987 share market crash and we outgrew two premises. By 1992 we had moved out of the city centre to Eden Terrace and Pat had bought his original partner out.
The business continued to grow and in 1996 we installed our first multi-colour press – a second hand A3 4 colour machine, found in England, put in a box and shipped over to New Zealand. At this time Pat realised he needed help and called on former colleague, Dave Young to re-join the company to run production.
With Dave’s input the pace quickly ramped up and we soon outgrew that factory and moved to Collins Street, Morningside. More equipment followed and the year 2000 saw the first brand new Komori Press installed. These were exiting times for the team as we all new that the shareholders had begged and borrowed over 2 million dollars for this step.
It worked! And pretty soon we had more machines coming and took over the factory next door to do all our own print finishing. By now the team had grown to 30 dedicated print professionals. 2004 saw Centurion relocate offices and press room again, this time just around the corner to 11 MacDonald Street, where we are today. This gave us 3600m2 of space that we could configure just how we wanted.
In 2006 we installed two brand new Komori six colour presses with coaters – a B1 and a B2. Around this time we were running five offset presses 24hrs a day, six days a week and we still subcontracted all our digital print requirements. Centurion was pumping! Then came the GFC and the world of digital print really started to come of age. Our clients’ needs were changing and we had to move with the times. We downsized offset and installed our first Indigo Digital Press.
Today Digital Print accounts for 35% of our revenue. The Digital Department is like a small print shop within a larger operation. The whole approach to Digital Print requires a different mindset to offset. Whilst both are technically challenging and quality driven, it is all about speed to market. With these changes came more people and the numbers swelled to 50 staff.
Navigating the GFC had been difficult but our biggest challenge came in 2011. Centurion had a fire in the factory, destroying our largest printing press and only the quick actions of our night shift team prevented total disaster. For nine months we had to manage larger jobs being outsourced and still deliver the service and quality that our name was built on.
We got through and in April 2012 we unveiled our new G series Komori H-UV, the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Thanks to a good insurance package and a lot of hard work we were back with leading edge technology that our clients loved. The following eight years were prosperous.
The print environment continues to change with the emphasis today heavily weighted to ‘just in-time’ shorter production runs. The team grew to 65 print professionals to handle this demanding environment.
In March 2020 the world changed. Covid-19 forced lock downs and changed the way we all interacted for the foreseeable future. Many of our clients were hit very hard. Fortunately Centurion has a broad client base across many industry types enabling us to navigate these trying times. However survival has come at a cost, with a restructuring and a downturn in demand. We were forced to reduce our team to 50 and some very difficult decisions had to be made.
Today we are back up to around 70% of where we were prior to Covid-19 hitting, and continuing to rebuild.