2017 has begun with the same air of instability that 2016 ended with. However, like many companies in the Midlands its business as usual at Threeway.
We begin our year with an update on Paterson Photographic, a manufacturer and distributor of photographic hardware from Traditional Darkroom products through to Tripods and venturing into the digital era with our soon to be expanded Studio Lighting Range.
In March Paterson Photographic will be exhibiting at the Photography show, at the NEC, for the frst time in 4 years. This follows a review of all areas of the business from branding to websites and from improving manufacturing processes to enhancing distribution channels both in the UK and overseas.
New branding and new improved mobile friendly websites were an aim of the Thruway group this year. We have started with Paterson and given a traditional well-known brand a 21st century facelift without losing its identity. The new logo will now be the starting point of the new website which will be completed prior to the show and will include many of the features required for a product distributed worldwide but will still keep its customer service focus.
Improvements in the production of Benbo Tripods have enabled new partners to be acquired to assist in the worldwide sales drive and enabled us to be ambitious with our 2017 and 2018 growth plans for this beloved British product.
UK sales are already increasing and we are in discussions with our current European distributors and hoping to improve our USA foothold considerably over the next few months. As British manufacturers the weakening of the pound has opened doors which were previously closed. It is our aim to make the very best of these opportunities and show the world the best of British manufacturing.
The traditional Darkroom products have also shown a resurgence in recent years with volume up more than 10% last year and signs of more growth this year. Kodak have re-entered the marketplace with Ektachrome flm after 5 years out of analogue which only fuels our enthusiasm and investment. Some of the darkroom range have been redeveloped including our enlarger timers.
Prior to our modifcations different circuit boards were required for each geographical location due to each location requiring different plugs. We now have one circuit board and the product can be easily switched to accommodate the requirements of all our customers. This has been achieved with the assistance of a UK manufacturer who we have worked closely with to redesign and resource the board. This shows how UK companies can compete when determined to keep a brand in the UK.
Recent surveys have indicated a large following for analogue exists within the age range 25 to 34. We have therefore undertaken the printing of product fact sheets to ensure the art of analogue flm developing is not lost to the next generation. These fact sheets will be available on our new website for downloading and be available via social media.
As with the tripods, distribution channels for the studio lighting range of products are opening up with the current economic situation. Possibilities for growth later in 2017 are becoming more abundant.
Due to our confdence we have engaged the services of Warwick University to enable our lighting system to accommodate an LED light appropriate for the photographic industry. This module approach to our lighting systems is only possible as the light is manufactured in the United Kingdom and the customer service is available to back up our products.