Spotlight on HEXIS UK Ltd: The family business with a nationwide reach

HEXIS spotlight image

HEXIS UK Ltd. was founded in 1994 by Scott Wilkins and his father.  Based in Lichfield in the Midlands, the company is now owned by Scott and his sister, Joanne-Marie Wilkins-Brotherton, and employs circa 30 people – 10 of whom are direct family members or long-term friends.

With an annual turnover of £9m – and a strong growth figure of 10% year-on-year since its foundation - HEXIS UK Ltd. is the exclusive UK distributor of all of the products created and marketed by manufacturer HEXIS S.A. in France.  The business focuses on five key product areas: colour films for signage and marking of vehicles; cast films for vehicle wraps; media for wide format digital printing; films for protection and laminating; and heat applied flex for textile decoration.  The company also supplies all the associated tools and accessories.

At present, the company’s products are divided into four business units, with a fifth division in the pipeline.  The four existing areas include coloured sign vinyl, digital print, the automotive sector, and textiles (including printwear and promotion). 

New website

With more than 4000 products in stock and available for next-day delivery in its 1900m2 warehouse, the company has recently started to reap the benefits of online sales.  More than a year ago, Scott and his team decided to start researching ways of boosting such sales and invested extensive resources into developing a fully-interactive and user-friendly website incorporating an advanced online ordering system.

Scott explains: “When creating the new site, we wanted to ensure that our customers could do everything online that they could do over the phone.”  

The new website, which went live at the start of March 2015, boasts an impressive range of materials for sign makers, digital printers, automotive vehicle wrappers and textile garment decorators, alongside all the complementary ranges of tools and accessories.  It enables HEXIS UK customers to manage their accounts, order products, view stock levels, order samples, create quotations, save job order numbers and much, much more online.

In the space of just 8 weeks, the company has increased its online sales by £100,000 and has attracted 300 new customers.

On the success of the new site, Scott comments: “I am delighted and frankly quite flabbergasted that the new website has been so successful in such a short space of time.  We knew it was user-friendly, but had no idea it would take off in the way that it has.

“I’m hearing positive feedback from our customers and they love the fact that they can order - or check - whatever they want to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  For the smaller sign makers in particular, this flexibility has been a real advantage as they don’t want to waste crucial business hours checking and ordering stock when they could be producing profitable output for end-users.

“It’s been phenomenal to see the increase in orders on a daily basis and we’re confident that these enhanced online sales will continue.”

New products

HEXIS UK is not resting on its laurels though and constantly benefits from the development of new products by HEXIS S.A.  A recent addition to the product line is Bodyfence paint protection film.  Available in the UK from July 2015, this polyurethane ultra-high-gloss film has been developed to wrap brand new vehicles. 

As well as offering numerous colour options, Bodyfence enhances the gloss finish of the vehicle and protects the bodywork from the usual chips and scratches picked up over time. It is durable for up to 8 years, depending on conditions.

HEXIS UK Ltd. will be hosting an event in July 2015 to announce further details of the product range and will provide training and demonstrations for key accounts within the automotive industry.

New business

The development of complementary products has always been an important sideline for HEXIS’s core business areas.  For example, the company now supplies all the unprinted blanks – including mugs, coasters and mousemats etc – for its printwear and promotion business.

Another recent focus for the business has been the development of health division which is currently in its infancy.  HEXIS S.A. is investing significant resources into the development of anti-microbial films for businesses focused on the health and food industries and HEXIS UK will bring these solutions to the UK market.

Scott explains: “We’re already seeing a lot of interest in using these antimicrobial protective films to protect sign and display graphics within private dental and doctors’ practices; schools and colleges, as well as the food industry which has also shown a lot of interest.

“We plan to build on this division to meet the growing needs of these customers.”

Family business HEXIS UK turned 20 last year, marking two decades of continuous growth, product development and moving with the market. Its new website allows display producers from a range of disciplines to purchase the materials they need, be they in the vinyl signage, digital print, automotive or textiles sectors, and it has paid dividends for the Staffordshire company.

With plans to develop further products and to create new business areas to meet the needs of customers, the future looks very positive for HEXIS UK.

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About HEXIS UK Ltd:
HEXIS UK Ltd. is the exclusive UK distributor for France-based HEXIS S.A.’s full range of films and media for professional signage, vehicle marking, visual communication and surface protection applications.  The company manufactures 5 types of films: colour films for signage and marking of vehicles; cast films for vehicle wraps; media for wide format digital printing; films for protection and laminating; and heat applied flex for textile decoration.  The company also supplies all the associated tools and accessories.