Multiknit has built up a reputation for reliability and quality in all the markets it serves as a result of the expertise of a well-established sales team with unrivalled product knowledge and an in-depth understanding of its application. Growth continues as Johan and Magda Barnard put the modern printing industry to work for them with their Minuteman Press franchise.
Minuteman Press Nelspruit opened its doors on 25 May 1998 with owners Johan and Magda Barnard, after they relocated from Johannesburg to Nelspruit. Johan came from a logistics background and Magda from an educational background. Their dedication to each customer experience combined with training and support from their franchisor helped the business grow steadily. Johan says, “In 2003 we were in a position to acquire our own building and the move gave us an excellent position and maximum exposure. In order to grow our business we ensured that we became the printer of choice in Mpumalanga. From the start, we were customer driven and our aim was to grow our clients’ business through effective promotion and exposure.”
Johan and Magda developed a loyal client base by maintaining a professional focus that produces results whilst adhering to the kind of personalised service that has garnered deep respect for the Minuteman Press brand, worldwide. “Our core values are trust, honesty and quality,” Johan assures.
To maintain a competitive edge and ensuring that their customers’ needs were met, Minuteman Press in Nelspruit merged with Barprint in 2015. Johan explains, “The merger was a result of the vision I shared with Barprint owner, Owen McGeeto to ensure a better customer service. Barprint was established in 1967 and at the time of the merger was the biggest litho printer in the Lowveld. Minuteman Press Nelspruit was well established with a stronger digital division.”
At the time, Barprint’s customer base was mainly corporate customers whilst Minuteman Press Nelspruit focused on the small and medium businesses, so the merger created a new business that served the customers better. Johan is pleased with the merger and adds what Minuteman Press franchise owners are often proud to say, “We are a one stop shop.”
Johan and Magda’s staff compliment has grown from 4 members in 1998 to a robust 47 in 2018. “We have been able to maintain a stable workforce and 16 staff members have already received 10 or more years’ service awards. We always try to promote staff from within the company and pride ourselves that four print operators were trained from floor staff.”
Being a customer driven company means that planning of production is essential and time management is key. “In order to manage cost, stock holding is based on the ‘just in time principle’. Good and clear communication is a must,” according to Johan. “These factors helped us to maintain a healthy relationship with our customers. We realised that on central facility jobs, you may lose control. For this reason we have opted the past year to expand our business to include signage and corporate branding. We installed a UV printer and a 1600mm wide format printer.”
Johan and Magda continue to reap the benefits of the proven system of Minuteman Press International as well as they continually find new ways to serve all of their clients, long-term and new. Johan reflects on the personal satisfaction connected to being a marketing services provider: “It is very rewarding to see the growth of our customers. We believe that our professional input, from the design to the final product, has played a major part in our customer’s success. We work hard on the partnership with our customers, a core value that both Barprint and Minuteman Press Nelspruit subscribed to. This was evident that in the merger between the two companies, we did not lose one account.”
Frik Van Niekirk, South African Regional Vice President for Minuteman Press International, has every confidence that the decisions made in the Nelspruit centre are purposeful and in keeping with a single, ambitious objective. He says, “Johan and Magda Barnard are two very committed owners running a flagship franchise. They have defined very specific rolls for themselves and are working together towards one goal which they describe as ‘Being the biggest Minuteman Press franchise store’.”
Pleased to have Owen McGee (previous owner of Barprint) heading up the sales division at their digital print, design and marketing franchise, Johan offers due credit: “Owen is part and parcel the reason for the success. He continuously cements relationships with the customers. One such customer is Multiknit. This company was established in 1964 and is known as a world leader in the manufacturing and supply of knitted synthetic fabrics / shade net used in the agricultural, domestic (i.e. nursery shade cloth, knitted shade cloth, garden windbreak netting, shading nets), industrial (i.e. greenhouse netting), civil and mining (i.e. windbreak nets, barrier nets, safety barrier netting) industries.”
Debra Coetzee, PA to Deon Joubert and Managing Director of Multiknit has good faith in her company’s new alliance with Minuteman Press as it augments their previous success with Barprint. She says, “Minuteman Press is in partnership with Barprint, a company we have been with for more than three decades and they attend to all of our printing and signage needs. We certainly cannot fault them on quality and service as we experience them to be loyal, accommodating artists, willing to sit with us and ensure we are getting what we need.”
Building business together is a core theme of Minuteman Press International and one that has flowed seamlessly into the merger of Minuteman Press Nelspruit and Barprint, to benefit many clients. Debra is appreciative on behalf of Multiknit, adding, “I hope they go from strength to strength in the future. I certainly won’t be looking for a new printer.”