Chris Robey: With the community at heart

Monday is the most unpredictable day of the week for print management company boss Chris Robey, who is dedicated to making a difference to his firm’s fortunes and those of his local community.

It’s not a day to relax. Driven by a surge of adrenaline, the man at the helm of Systematic Print Management can often be spotted dashing out of a meeting and jumping into his car to answer a medical emergency.

Wearing a high-vis jacket and a chunky backpack of essentials, he arrives on the scene not knowing what he will find, but keen to help. Welcome to the world of one of Caistor’s First Responders.

This feature interview was first published in issue 65 of the Lincolnshire Business weekly magazine, now available to read at Subscribe to the email newsletter to receive the latest edition in your inbox this Friday.

Read issue 65 of Lincolnshire Business magazine now.

Read issue 65 of Lincolnshire Business magazine now.

Systematic, which has a turnover of more than £3 million and clients UK-wide, is big on Corporate Social Responsibility, a fact mirrored in Chris’ determination to support people within his community, which is home to many of his staff.

The provider of end-to-end print management solutions certainly ticks the boxes with customers searching for quality service and strong environmental values, but the workforce’s broader caring ethos doesn’t go unnoticed.

And there’s more. Five years ago Chris set-up the popular Caistor Running Club, which has 140 members, and continues to encourage more people to pop on their trainers and run for fun, fitness and cake!

Chis Robey - Systematic Print Management 18-01-2016 SS-22

New ideas

Then last month, his passion for CSR was highlighted once more, when Chris came to fore and invited people to attend a meeting in Caistor to discuss potentially setting-up a befriending service to brighten the lives of older residents.

Being ambitious to grow a company, whilst upholding a strong social conscience, can be hard work, but Chris had a good “teacher”. His father Nick, who founded Systematic in 1975, set the seeds of good CSR and his son has built on those.

He was actually enjoying a career as a personal injury lawyer when he was invited to join the firm, as his father was approaching retirement.

“It was an exciting prospect, but a tough decision. However I joined him in 1998 and became managing director in 2000. My father and I worked together for a further eight years. He is still my mentor and continues to take a very keen interest in our fortunes.”

When Chris joined Systematic, it employed 15 people, now it has a 25-strong team offering everything from business printing to corporate gifts. The firm has a wide range of clients in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

“One of the first things we did after I joined was to offer full colour printing and marketing. In 2000, we created our design studio, which now has four full-time graphic designers and a website specialist.

The full cover interview with Chris Robey is available to read in full here. For the latest dispatch of business news from across Lincolnshire delivered in your inbox every Friday, subscribe to the Lincolnshire Business magazine.