• Top team: The crew at Guru Labels, with sales manager Nick Lowe (rear left)
    Top team: The crew at Guru Labels, with sales manager Nick Lowe (rear left)

If you’re looking for a new barber, it is said, the best tactic is to find the one the other barbers go to. Little wonder, then, that Guru Labels is so successful – with about 1000 trade customers around the country, it has gained a reputation as a label printer that other printers use.

Based on the NSW central coast, Guru Labels is an all-digital converter, printing self-adhesive labels, ranging from indoor roll-to-roll to outdoor UV-stable vinyl stickers. The company serves a broad customer base, according to Nick Lowe, sales manager.

“We serve businesses ranging from stand-alone copy shops through to some of Australia’s largest label manufacturers,” he says. “We have customers in every state, and we ship Australia-wide every day.”

Having outgrown its facility in Tuggerah, Guru is moving to a new plant 15 minutes away in Lisarow. The new factory is four times the size of the old, and will allow Guru to offer more flexible service with shorter lead times.

“The increase in factory and office footprint gives us a rare opportunity to lay out the factory from scratch, delivering us the most efficient manufacturing facility possible,” says Lowe.

“These efficiencies will also directly underpin our ability to increase the range of products and services we offer.”

Guru is a company that is determined to stay on the cutting edge. “We’re one of those businesses that invests in and uses the latest technology, to make sure we stay well in front of the competition,” says Lowe.

One addition that the new factory will accommodate is a new Xeikon 3300 toner-based digital press, which will add to Guru’s existing Xeikon machine, providing more capacity and faster turnaround.

“Because it prints at nineteen metres per minute, we will have real muscle to take on a wider range of work, with complete redundancy. The reliability of the Xeikon print engine is one of the underlying reasons we have continued to support a second machine. 

“As we’re a major supplier to the trade, reliability is everything. You can’t have downtime. Xeikon has a great reputation for staying up longer and getting the job done,” says Lowe.

Not only will there be a new press, Lowe adds, it will be complemented by a new finishing line from local manufacturers Rotra Engineering. “Peter Jessop and the Rotra team have been amazing to work with, managing all our special requirements along the way,” he says.

The factory will also host Guru’s existing GM laser label finishing unit, which Lowe says is the only one in Australia.

“While our laser finishing unit continues to do all the standard finishing options a label manufacturer would expect, we also have the flexibility of creating roll to roll labels on the fly in any shape we wish, without having to pay tooling costs,” he says. “It makes it ideal for emergency jobs, when the labels are needed immediately.”

Lowe believes Guru occupies a sweet spot in terms of size – not too big and not too small – and the customers agree.

“Our customers love the fact that we’re still small enough to take a phone call and deliver good customer service, but are at a size where we can now handle some larger print runs and higher-capacity print jobs,” he says.

According to Lowe, one major selling point for Guru is its dedicated online portal. “You can get a username and a login with us, and get instant quotes for your print jobs.

“Apart from that, we have express lead times for trade, and we’re one of those converters who are dependable,” he says. “We have professionals working here who can get customers out of jams, doing real emergency and short-term jobs – they’re miracle workers. Our customers can rely on us.”

Guru gets new trade customers every day, says Lowe, mostly through referrals from existing customers. “People say ‘go to Guru and they’ll take care of you’.

“We have great service, quality product, and instant online quotes. Time is money in this industry, after all,” he says.

With this blend of innovation and service, it’s no wonder that Guru is the label printer that other converters rely on.

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