Author Archive

  • Does your business measure up? Richard Rasmussen on the benefits of Future Print Benchmarking

    Industry analyst and Future Print adviser, Richard Rasmussen looks at the pros and cons of benchmarking your business against the rest of the industry. He can’t see why you wouldn’t do it.

    It’s one of the questions you ask yourself in the wee small hours – ‘Does my business measure up?’  Now, there’s a way to find out: Media Super Benchmarking. Offered as part of the recently launched Future Print Business Transformation Project, the new service is just one of a number of tools which aims to help the program meet its aim of ‘Developing People, Developing Businesses’.

    Media Super Benchmarking, offered online through, is a free service offered to all members of the printing and print-related industries who want a quick and confidential means of measuring, monitoring and improving their business performance.

    Without an accurate comparison measure, most of us tend to be overly optimistic about our position. Benchmarking is a ‘reality check’ – it provides a very clear picture of how your business is tracking against other similar organizations across key performance indicators so you can realistically assess your situation, see where improvements can be made and set goals for your business development.

    Research shows that benchmarking is linked strongly to both business performance and operational performance, and that is what the Future Print Business Transformation Project is all about – giving you the information, resources, tools and assistance to build a business which is strong, profitable and ready to face the challenges of the future.

    The good news for business owners is that the process should take less than an hour, with a straightforward online format allowing quick and easy data input of KPIs from your 2013-2014 financial reports. And, it’s completely free of charge, thanks to the sponsorship of Media Super.

    We know business owners are time-poor, so we’ve worked with to design a system which is fast, user-friendly and specifically tailored to print and related industries.

    Registration and setup can be done very efficiently, and then you can instantly see your businesses strengths and weaknesses compared with businesses like yours from across the industry in key areas like sales, gross profit, outsourcing, wages and other overheads as a percentage of sales, debt days and net profit to owner, among other things. You’ll also get a snapshot of how your business is tracking against businesses in other industries, which share similar characteristics like size and turnover, based on KPIs gathered from the ATO.

    It’s not a ‘one off’, either – business owners can go back and enter new data as their plans progress to check how they are going on addressing their weaknesses and building on their strengths.

    All data is absolutely secure and completely confidential. The program is run by an external specialist organization and secure login is required to access the site – not even Future Print Business Advisors or Printing Industries has access to the data.

    Businesses must be registered with the Future Print Business Transformation Project to access the Media Super Benchmarking service, but that registration is quick and easy and, most importantly, gives owners access not only to this service, but also the wider information, resources, ideas and personal support which can help businesses address the issues identified and get them sorted.

    Those who want to take advantage of the first round of the Media Super Benchmarking service have until 31 January 2015 to enter their 2013-2014 data, after which Future Print will conduct a complete analysis of all the data and provide participants with a report specific to their sector of the industry.

    With a New Year looming, there has never been a better time to plan for a more successful future – just go to to find your local Business Advisor, who will take you through the quick and easy registration process and forward access details for the Media Super Benchmarking service.








  • Market Watch October 2014 – acquisitions, mergers & major equipment sales

    Richard Rasmussen, director of Ascent Partners, posts his monthly analysis in what made industry news – mergers, acquisitions, business sales and closures, as well as the latest major sales and installations of capital equipment.

    Running digital technology does not guarantee success, in fact, it’s starting to look decidedly dodgy.  Last week on the same day in the same suburb, Port Melbourne, Victoria, two major digital players went down.

    The first was the biggest digital printer in the land, Bruce Peddlesen’s OnDemand. He went straight into liquidation, having previously sold the license to trade as On Demand to local print identities. How that pans out with creditors will very closely watched by the industry.  On the same day, not more than a couple of hundred meters away, Sumo Visual, a sign and display wide-format digital printer went into voluntary liquidation.  This caused more than a few frowns of puzzlement as the industry reckoned that part of the market is solid gold, especially if a large US-based multi-national is backing you.

    Combined these businesses would have turned over $30 million plus, predominantly of digital print. That’s a big chunk of print in anybody’s language. As Victoria is still coming back from it’s annual four-day Melbourne Cup long weekend, we’ll have to wait to see who are the winners and who are the losers.

    OCA Group’s appetite for acquisition shows no signs of abating with its purchase of trade binder, The Bindery, reportedly the biggest in the land. Clearly this actions supports OCA’s managing director, Naresh Gulati’s recent statement of wanting to offer complete trade services to the industry.

    Still in Victoria we saw troubled GWPM, a large print management firm, selling its client list and assets, not debts, to Vertical who have a similar business.

    In NSW Shoalhaven Commercial Printers and trade supplier TLC fell into liquidation.

    In QLD mergers were the order of the month – Dynamic Print Communication and Pure Print together moved to a new location in Molendinar. Both business were recently acquired by the purchaser of Focus Press, NSW, Mark Shergill. Inhouse Print and Design and Queensland Posters also merged.

    Finally in Queensland, fast growing packaging printer, Zacpack has invested $25 Million in a new plant in Stappylton, near the Gold Coast.

    Investments are ongoing

    On the equipment sale and installation scene we saw Creffield Digital (VIC) and Gold Leaf framing (NSW) install a Canon C800 and C700 Digital presses respectively.

    Satellite Digital (NSW) installed a new HP Indigo 7000 press and Cheque-Mates installed a Fuji Xerox C800 press.

    On the wide format side, Prints Alive (SA) installed a FujiFilm Acuity 1600 LED and Printbound (VIC), part of the OCA Group, a Spicers suppled Vutek GX 3250 LX Pro.


    On the supply side

    Pick ups and takeovers continue to focus the market. Neopost picked up Anitech to reinforce its address to the wide-format market.

    Also in NSW and in wide format, Starleaton took on Ian Cleary’s Adkote to widen its substrate offerings.

    Across the Tasman Spicers took over Total Supply to gain even more market profile.


    More details on last month’s happenings can be found on the Ascent Partners Market watch web site page, see for more details and free subscription.

    Due to recent sales successes, Ascent Partners currently have only a couple of print related businesses on the market. More are required around the nation, especially digital and client bases. Contact Richard at for a confidential discussion.

  • Market Watch Q3 2014 – acquisitions, mergers & major equipment sales

    Richard Rasmussen, director of Ascent Partners, brings you up to date with the events that have shaped the industry in the past quarter. He reviews all the major news including MBO’s, closures, along with the sales and installations of capital equipment in the region.

    Is there no stopping the Trade Service juggernaut?

    There was no shortage of movement on the trade service front:

    1. Vista Print launches new trade service, Trade Advantage
    2. CMYK Hub establishes NextDayFourColour in the USA, purchases Media Options (NSW), installs a HP Indigo 10000 (Vic) and installs a Ryobi 8 colour perfector and Perfecta guillotine (WA).
    3. Sydney Trade Print starts up in NSW, following its failed bid to purchase Media Options.
    4. LEP duplicate its QLD operation by starting up a manufacturing site in VIC.
    5. Avon Graphics (Vic) installs two Mimaki’s (wide format and roll fed printer) and an Océ Procut, again to service the trade.
    6. Mediapoint Trade (Vic) install a Swiss Q Print wide format printer
    7. OCA Group (Vic) announces it intends to become a massive trade supplier in the ex-Geon building where previously acquired Print Bound will also reside. It purchased a brand new Heidelberg XL – 6 UV press for installation before Xmas.


    Offset makes a comeback

    1. Heidelberg announces press sales in its high performance XL range – Print Bound / BPO Intelligence (XL-6 plus UV), Abaris (VIC), an XL 106-6 with double coater, Van Dyke Press (NSW) a XL 106-7 with Cutstar, Lighthouse Press (NSW), an XL 75-5 press and a mystery NZ buyer purchased an XL 75 press.
    2. Picton Press (WA) also announced its June installation of a KBA 106-10 colour.


    Sales and Acquisitions:

    1. Major print manager, Ergo bought by Konica Minolta
    2. Richard Cambridge Printing bought by Bart N Print (Bendigo. VIC)
    3. McTaggarts purchased by The Sticker Company (Hervey Bay, QLD)
    4. The Lab (New York) bought by Wellcom
    5. PNPS Packaging and Print Finishing, previously in liquidation, purchased by Packaging Processors (NSW)
    6. Another finishing services provider, TLC Print Finishing (NSW) who was about to close was purchased by Perfectly Bound.
    7. Opus Group sells its debt to HK Based 1010 Printing Group, giving it effective ownership

    On the Supplier side:

    1. Layar purchased by Blippar (Global)
    2. Direct Smile purchased by EFI (Global)
    3. Total Supply purchased by Spicers (NZ)
    4. Adkote purchased by Starleaton
    5. Anitech purchased by Neopost



    1. Focus Printing (NSW) had its auction
    2. Digital Post (owned by Computureshare, Salmat and Zumbox)
    3. TPS Venture (NSW) – liquidation
    4. Gopher Graphics (NSW) – Liquidation
    5. Worldwide Adelaide (SA) – Liquidation
    6. Expression Printing Group (NSW) – creditor’s liquidation
    7. Shoalhaven Commercial Printers (NSW) – Voluntary administration

    Mergers / MBO’s

    1. Big Colour Imaging and Flash Graphics (NSW) – Merger


    1. Tharsten – Management Buy Out (MBO)
    2. Mark Andy – MBO

    Major Equipment – Sales and Installations


    1. Fuji Xerox – Versant 2100 Digital Printer (new model)– sold to Minuteman Fairfield, Budget Mailing Services, Snap Dandenong, Kwik Kopy Penrith, Vivid Print, Cessnock Print Place, Dinkums the Copy Centre, Same Day Printing, Snap Rowville, Indie Print
    2. Konica Minolta Biz Hub C1085 Digital Printer (new model)– sold to MMP and Xtreem
    3. Konica Minolta C8000 digital press – two sold to Reflex Printing (SA)
    4. HP – Mezographic (VIC), installed a Scitex FB 10000 and Latex 3000 large format printers, Sign Enterprise (WA), installed a Latex 360 wide format printer
    5. Rapid – An XL 220 label press sold to Evolution Labels (NSW)
    6. EFI – a H1625 LED printer sold to Owen Signs (NSW)
    7. Vutek – a roll-to-roll LED printer sold to Hi – Vis
    8. Canon imagePRESS 700 to Gold Leaf Framing (NSW)
    9. Positive Camtec – a swissQprint to Mediapoint Trade


    1. Print Junction (SA) installed a Horizon CRF 362
    2. Megacolour (NSW) installed a Polar N137 Plus Guillotine and Stahl TH 82 folder
    3. The Paper Shop (Vic) installed a Morgana Digifold Pro folder
    4. Digital Logic (Vic) – Pitney Bowes D1950 folder inserter
    5. Hannanpak (NSW) installed a Bobst 106 Mastercut die cutter


    1. Kwik Kopy Bondi Junction installed a 3-D printer
    2. Bundall Printing (QLD) installed an Agfa Avalon N4 Thermal CtP

    Business For Sale / Businesses Wanted

    Due to recent sales successes we have only two printers available for sale, down from eight at the start of the year. So there is good demand for print businesses, especially client lists, in all states.

    Contact, Richard Rasmussen at Ascent Partners, for a confidential discussion about the market’s needs.


    Market Watch

    The above information was sourced from our free monthly Market Watch report. Please subscribe via our website,

    Ascent Partners is the PIAA’s preferred Australian supplier of business sales, appraisal and valuation services.