The Story Behind LG Davis By Liz Smith – Managing Director
When Ron O’Donnell got fed up with working in mediocre, poor quality corporate businesses he knew that he could make a difference and his dream was born. The year was 1962, it was late September and he left the security of his job, persuaded his wife along with their six-month-old daughter (me) to sell their small but perfectly formed house in Hockley Heath and move above a shop in Balsall Heath, Birmingham to start his own business.
He’d worked for a printing company that also sold stationery and that’s what he became passionate about. He knew he could offer a high-quality product backed by exceptional, friendly customer service - he’d learnt very quickly how not to do it working for other people.
With a refreshing ethos to business in the sixties – one of honesty and integrity, he grew the business by building relationships and delivering on his promises of awesome customer service.
Growth and Investment
Within a few years, the business had outgrown its premises and a new location was found on the High Street in Kings Heath. Having also purchased a couple of other local small print companies along the way, the manufacturing print arm was established, and the company now employed twenty people.
The business invested in its staff and took on several print apprentices – one of which still works for the company today.
Due to a fantastic team ethos, careful management and loyal staff, the company has survived several recessions and ensured that it always delivered what it had promised to its customers, even during the enforced three day-week to save electricity during the miners’ strike.
LGD and the NHS!
There was another significant event in the seventies that has made LG Davis what it is today. It started to produce work for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. From that day, the LG Davis name has been synonymous in hundreds of Hospital Trusts and their reputation in the NHS grew.
They were one of the first companies in the nineties to offer a print management solution to the local NHS Trusts and are still today a single source supplier to several Trusts throughout the UK. The Trusts have reported cost and time savings due to the LG Davis bespoke solutions and value for money service.
The relationship with the NHS has always been strong. After discovering that the General Hospital in Birmingham did not have a vital life saving ventilator machine, my father set up a charity year to buy them one! Everyone in the company got involved with jumble sales, sponsored events, auctions, and we were able to present the hospital with a cheque to cover, not only one ventilator but two, and several other valuable items they needed.
So, where do I fit in to all of this? Well, I joined the business in 1983 after leaving University, as a stop gap, whilst deciding upon my career move – I am still working on that career path! I started in the warehouse and finishing side of the business and soon became engrossed in working out how I could help develop the family business.
Having worked through most departments in the business, from delivery driving through to customer service and accounts, I was eventually promoted to FD in 2002 and later to MD in 2006. The business is my passion and the legacy of my father in the business lives on - he did make a difference and achieved his dream.
The crowd that attended his funeral in 2016 is a testament to his value, not only in the business world - so many previous employees came and told their stories of the huge character that was my Dad, but also in every aspect of his life.
What's given us longevity
So, whilst we retain the family business ethos today, we can and do compete with any corporate business. However, we have the personal touch, the flexibility and agility to think outside the box and delight our customers each day.
We still have some customers from our inception in 1962, so we must be doing something right!
The company has grown over the years and moved a couple of times, and whilst our ethos hasn’t changed, the landscape we work in certainly has, and so has our customers’ requirements. That is why we invest so much in staff training and in new technology every year.
Why the future is bright
We have all you would expect from a manufacturing printer and take your concept through design, production, finishing and delivery. We have total control of the whole process and therefore can not only guarantee the quality, but accurately promise delivery dates that we adhere to.
LG Davis are one of Birmingham's oldest and most experienced printing companies. We believe that your print tells your story and is an investment not a cost!
Plus, through each generation of stakeholder we have added a service, streamlined our processes and improved our customer experience!
We'll help you make profit from your print so it''ll earn you a respectable ROI!
And that’s why I’m helping my Dad’s dream live on…