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PDC BIG Celebrates A Milestone Anniversary Spanning Three Decades Of Name Badge Manufacturing And Business Print In The UK

By PDC BIG 12 November 2018

London December 2018. PDC BIG is celebrating thirty years as a UK market leader for Name Badges with industry accolades, achievements and awards. During this time, it has enjoyed a trailblazing journey as a print, design and brand expert, leading the way with innovative and customer-focused solutions for companies of all sizes across all sectors.

PDC BIG manufactures permanent and reusable, high quality, branded name badges, accessories and business print. The company is synonymous with ingenious solutions that revolve around ease-of-use, brand, presentation, accessibility, mobility and security. Its comprehensive range of quality ID solutions are used globally within public and private industries, including Corporate and Professional Services, Events, Conferences, Leisure, Entertainment, Hospitality, Retail and Healthcare sectors.

For over thirty years, the company set the bar high in technical excellence and service quality. Having started as PDMS (Products) Ltd in 1988, it would later scale up to become BIG, enjoying acknowledged brand leadership in name badges throughout Europe. Brady Corporation, the US-based People ID titan, bought the business in 2003; in 2013 BIG merged with PDC - another European pioneer in the field of innovative ID systems and technologies for wristbands and labels, with numerous market firsts within the healthcare, leisure and entertainment and law enforcement industries. Together, they formed PDC BIG.

A legacy of expertise, quality manufacturing and technology

From its early days, PDC BIG understood the challenges concerning name badges and People ID, especially the need for permanent and reusable identification of staff, visitors and event participants. Their ID products are used for security, management control, access to benefits and locations as well as for brand integrity and presentation.

As the business grew - opening the manufacturing facility in Ipswich in 1994, then expanding across Europe, and joining a global family with operations in 26 countries – it never stopped investing in its people and technology. The highly-skilled manufacturing plant in Ipswich, with its print studio comprising specialist designers and printers, is a testament to the professional and innovative company-wide approach. This same approach has ensured that international quality and design standards are intrinsically built into the order, design and manufacturing processes.

After thirty years, passion and expertise still underpin their ongoing strive for excellence. Led by Mark Alderman, Regional Business Manager for the UK and Ireland - himself a PDC BIG veteran of over 22 years – the 14,000-square-foot facility in Ipswich processes over two million name badges a year. This is in addition to the billion wristbands, half a million lanyards and 13 million business cards that are annually produced.

Long-standing customers will still recognise familiar faces whether at the offices in Hampton Hill or at the manufacturing facilities in Ipswich. As Mark said, “Many of our customers have been with us over the three decades. We believe in long-lasting relationships and work hard at making sure our clients, whether large or small, are happy with our service and solutions. ” He continued, “We have maintained our dedicated sourcing and product development teams, and we place the customer at the heart of all that we do. We can deliver badges within 72 hours, and sometimes even 24 hours! Our dedication is legendary – we have been known to deliver badges on a Sunday, across the Channel, so that the client had them ready in Paris for a Monday morning meeting.” This passion is shared across the company and has won them praise from customers and suppliers alike.

Practical and Seamless Solutions: Online and Offline; In the Office, Onsite and On the Move

The company has continued to evolve and embrace new processes and systems, developing patents, and adopting new technologies as a matter of course. Ongoing investment in technology and print machinery has kept them at the fore. Similarly, research, service quality and excellent relationships with customers have won them major customer accounts and industry awards.

Automated Systems and Online Ordering Platforms

PDC BIG were early developers of automated systems and online ordering platforms. They had the pulse of the market and matched expectations with advances in technology and new solutions, many of which have since been imitated...still the greatest form of flattery! Before they became BIG, they had already launched and patented the Selfit® reusable high-quality name badges in 1992. These are still among their flagship solutions today.

Within the first decade, they launched a dedicated online ordering system E@SY for business cards in 1997. That year they were also accredited with the BSI ISO quality certification. By 2000, the company had invested heavily in top of the range badge printing presses. This was followed with a revolutionary web-to-workbench approach which raised the bar once again in the industry. It paved the way for PDC BIG to handle major client projects, such as the largest singular personalised name badge rollout in the UK for the major Supermarket and retail brand Tesco in 2008.

In 2010, it won the Santander Supplier Award in recognition of its service quality. That year, it also added badges to the E@SY online ordering platform, now known as Click2Order, and in 2011 introduced Smarter Business Cards with new features such as the ability to add QR Codes.

As businesses adopted web-based, mobile, software and systems, it came as no surprise that the Selfit® software for reusable name badges won the Best Technology for Conferences Award in 2012. Over the years, PDC BIG had improved the original Selfit® software, introducing web-based technology and making it a state-of-the-art complete software system for pcs and mobiles, producing high quality reusable branded badges. This time-saving system integrates with inserts, wristbands, accessories and onsite portable printers for on-the-go badging.

Selfit® Badges have proven invaluable for stress-free professional registrations at conferences, festivals and events. They are also widely used by retail, hospitality, corporates and organisations for smart and professional reusable name badges for staff and visitors. PDC BIG name badges have also made their mark during high profile international events including the Olympics Games in the UK and the SuperBowl XLVI in the US.

Innovations in solutions continued online and offline, such as the Badge Surround, developed for long-standing retail customer Tesco.

In 2016, PDC BIG launched a new and improved version of another flagship solution - the online badge ordering and management platform Click2Order. While the popular e-shop, accessible from their website, provides smaller customers with free online tools to design their own name badges, lanyards and accessories, it is with Click2Order e-procurement that PDC BIG has secured its leadership within the trade and corporate markets. The 24X7 integrated cost-saving ordering system is an ideal solution for corporate customers using company approved, pre-designed templates with repeat orders. It is accessed via customised website portals and is designed to handle multiple, localised and detailed orders for personalised branded name badges, photo ID cards and accessories while providing full centralised control for customers.

Leading up to its 30th anniversary year, PDC BIG launched Selfit® Global system in 2017. This is a new and significant update of the award-winning software and introduced the premium Selfit® Pro badge. Selfit® Global features application enhancements and new onsite printing of fully customised personalised name badges and wristbands, making the future-proofed total industry solution faster and more intuitive for event organisers anywhere, anytime.

A Comprehensive Range of Permanent and Reusable Innovative ID Solutions

Along with its flagship solutions, PDC BIG has a comprehensive range of dedicated ID products for customer-facing, events and promotional activities. These include the reusable Premium Badges; permanent Premium Impress and ID badges; Chalkboards Badges for the customer-servicing, hospitality, leisure and retail environments, and the cost-effective Event, Xpress and InstaCards badges for events. All badge solutions include a wide range of styles, shapes and finishes.

In addition, PDC BIG have developed an eco-friendly range that consists of permanent badges and wristbands made from recycled material, event badges made of biodegradable laminate and bamboo lanyards.

PDC BIG complements its extensive range of innovative products with promotional badges and ID accessories - such as lanyards, fasteners, ID Card holders and luggage tags - and reusable and permanent desk plates and door plates. Their business print solutions comprise business cards and customised “call off” systems, which enables customers to buy in bulk and have individual items personalised and delivered.

Green Credentials, Socially Responsible, Fully Accredited

PDC BIG sees their commitment to sustainability and social responsibility as a natural extension of the way they have approached their business these last three decades. Respect for the environment, their employees and the communities they work in are just as important as their overall focus on sustainability. Together with an eco-friendly product range, this has given them a competitive advantage that creates ongoing value within the business, the environment and the communities they work in.

PDC BIG also enjoys industry-wide recognition. While its highly-skilled technical team in Ipswich is part of the global Brady manufacturing facilities, they are justifiably proud of the prestigious Made in Britain accreditation for use with PDC BIG’s name badge products. This is displayed next to the BSI ISO quality certification, industry awards, Investors in People accreditation and memberships of SEDEX and PCIAW. These are all visible endorsements of PDC BIG’s quality and craftsmanship, as well as their commitment to ethical, sustainable and responsible business practices.

The PDC BIG journey has been a 30-year roadmap of innovation and service-quality, underpinned by the five pillars that define the company culture: Innovation; Service; Quality, Loyalty and Fun. Whether accessed through online via the web or mobile devices, or through cutting-edge technology, PDC BIG has remained true to its values, keeping customers firmly at the heart of every decision made. The future is exciting; and service excellence, innovation and quality will continue to be pivotal in the years to come.