The Bristol-based company, which was founded in 1975, appointed FRP Advisory last week. Neither FRP Advisory nor Avon Graphic Technologies were unavailable for comment at the time of writing.
Avon Graphic Technologies was one of the largest third-party equipment and consumables suppliers in the region with an estimated turnover of £3m to £4m, according to Agfa.
Agfa Graphics UK & Ireland country manager Joergen Vad said that Agfa had contacted its customers in the region to try to minimise disruption caused by Avon’s collapse. “To my knowledge all of the manufacturers are doing this,” he said.
Vad added that Agfa had been aware of problems at Avon for some time, but that the end had come quite suddenly.
“I came [to the UK] in April and we were already aware then that there were problems,” he said. “The pay pattern was disturbing and we had them on cash payment [a lot of the time]. We tried talking to them to understand what the problem was but they had been giving us some hope that they would be able to sell their way out of the situation.”
Vad said Avon’s collapse was a sign to everyone in the industry, including manufacturers and dealers, that they needed to differentiate themselves and make sure they were adding enough value in order to justify their businesses.
“You have to ask what do I want to do and how can I specialise,” he added. “The trends are what they are: lots of products are commodities, pricing is transparent, so you need to understand what value you’re adding – it’s not enough to just buy and resell anymore.
“You also need to make sure your costs are low – and this is the same for everyone in print – we all need to look very carefully at our businesses, not as a craft or as family [owned], but as a business. When I ask dealers, ‘how are your costs relative to the size of your business’ most would agree that they could and should trim. But they don’t because it’s a difficult thing to do.”
Vad said that most of Agfa’s customers will be picked up by Litho Supplies, which is based in Weston-super-Mare, although Essex-based print supplies business Service Offset Supplies has said it is recruiting some former Avon staff to “provide continuity of supply to many of their loyal customers”.