Direct-Ed was established in 1994 by Michael Pilling, CJ Pickles and Mark Mugan in Blackburn, Lancashire. The company had just two members of staff and no printing presses. With a product list of just a handful of products all work was outsourced while Pilling, Pickles and Mugan closely followed the trends in the education market. They were in regular contact with teachers and schools to see how Direct-Ed could best serve the education community.
In 1997 the company acquired its first printing press bringing Direct-Ed great success. With this press began the creation and production of Student Planners for the education community. In 1998 the company moved to a new 2,500 sq. ft premises on Victoria Street in Accrington, Lancashire. The company continued to grow, soon needing to find a new premises in the year 2000 moving to Dale Street in Accrington to occupy an 8,500 sq. ft premises where it resides to this day.
Pilling, Pickles and Mugan continued to identify trends in the rapidly changing education market. In 2001 the company introduced Calendars for use in schools. This was an innovative move that allowed Direct-Ed to offer its customers a great tool for fundraising. In 2004 the company brought Exercise Books and Wire Bound products to its catalogue bringing great success with its customers. In 2007 the directors saw that education had needs that were not being satisfied by one-size fits all products, and so began offering bespoke products. This move brought with it tremendous success for Direct-Ed and its customers. This success was identified by large PLC companies nationwide and Direct-Ed began supplying the books for these larger companies to offer to its own customers in 2008.
From humble beginnings in Blackburn with no printing presses and a handful of products serving a couple of hundred schools, the company now has 6 printing presses (including Digital, Full Colour and Litho presses), a catalogue of over 150 products and over 10,000 customers.
At Direct-Ed, we are always striving to bring our customers the newest and most effective education resources. It is our aim to deliver these products whilst exceeding our customers’ expectations on timing, quality and cost.
To achieve the highest standards across all our products and people we instil the following values in everything we do:
- Innovation – To best serve our customers, we are constantly exploring new avenues to find the resources that best benefit schools and colleges.
- Quality – Nothing but the highest quality of product will do for our customers. This thinking begins at the raw material level, continues throughout the printing and finishing stages, not stopping until the product has been used for its purpose.
- Integrity – In today’s economy when budgets are tight, our customers seek a partner that they can trust. It is our number one aim to fulfil all our customers’ orders as promised.
- Efficiency – Our customers do not always have the luxury of time. It is our job to make sure that our systems are efficient so that we can strive to deliver every order in a timely manner irrespective of the customer’s time of order.
- Consistency – Our customers want to provide consistently high levels of education to the public year-on-year. We must ensure that they can expect the same from us, receiving nothing but the best from us on every order they place.