Archive for March, 2010

  • Caroline Leonard makes a mark at the Currie Group

    The Currie Group gives Caroline Leonard her start in the marketing, where she takes on the role of marketing assistant.

    A recent marketing and multimedia graduate from Swinburne University, Caroline (pictured) joined the Currie Group at the start of the month. “I’m very interested in the graphic arts industry. The role gives me the chance to use my PR and design skills,” she said.

    New to the printing industry, Caroline is currently learning the ropes. “It’s definitely something different,” she said. “I’m especially enjoying learning about the digital printing side of things.”

    Sales and marketing manager, Phillip Rennell, said that Caroline will play an important role at the Currie Group. “We are very pleased to have Caroline join our team,” he said. “I am sure that she will be a valuable member of the team going forward.”

    The Currie Group recently restructured its management team, with Bernie Robinson stepping up as managing director.


  • Target takes catalogue contract to PMP

    Print and distribution giant, PMP, gains traction as it snares Target catalogue contract from rival, Salmat.

    PMP’s reputation in the catalogue sector took a massive fall in 2008 when it admitted to distribution errors for some of its catalogues, resulting in the loss of the catalogue contract for Coles. When Richard Allely came on board as CEO, he was quick to make a number of new appointments to the company’s catalogue division, including David Chesser, who left PMP’s competitor, Salmat, to take up the role of general manager for PMP distribution.

    “Our appointment demonstrates our resurgence and shows we can deliver competitive and customer-focussed solutions, distribution services and facilities that customers such as Target demand,” said Chesser.

    According to a statement from PMP, this is the first time that Target has changed its catalogue distribution partner in 20 years and will see PMP Distribution responsible for all the retailer’s catalogue distribution requirements.

    At the Macquarie Bank Emerging Leaders Conference in 2005, Target’s general marketing manager, Murray Chenery, praised Salmat for “over 15 years in refining [Target’s] catalogue distribution.”

    Five years later, much has changed. Chenery told Print21 that: "Target has recently undertaken a catalogue distribution tender process, as we continually review our commitments in relation to strategic partners in all areas of the business, which is just good business practice," he said.

    "As a result of this exhaustive tender process our catalogue distribution has been awarded to PMP and we look forward to building a mutually beneficial partnership with them.  We continue to have a strong working relationship with Salmat as they hold contracts in other areas of the business. These contracts were not invovled in this tender process."

    PMP’s CEO, Richard Allely, (pictured), is happy that his restructure plans are bearing fruit. “Securing this significant contract rewards the investment that PMP has made in the last 12 months, bringing together the industry’s most skilled executives into one management team,” he said.

    “The transfer of knowledge and experience to PMP has paid off and sets the platform for PMP to cement its leadership position in the catalogue distribution sector into the future.”

    Target’s online catalogues are still visible through (owned by Salmat). PMP Distribution and Target will work together over the coming weeks to ensure a transition from Salmat. The new contract will be managed through PMP’s distribution centre in Clayton, Victoria.


  • Local industry opens up to KAMA

    Last week’s KAMA Open House at Heidelberg Print Media Academy gives local industry a demonstration of the ProCut die cutter and the ProFold folder gluer in action.

    The two machines were shown and guests (pictured) could see a number of jobs and a variety of special finishes produced live, including foiling, embossing, die cutting, folding and gluing.

    According to Lindsay Barnes, general manager product management for HAN, the event has already produced a number of potential leads. “Quite a few of the people who attended the open house requested a one-on-one demonstration of the equipment in the coming days and weeks, and in fact two customers came in the very next day to spend a few hours with us going through the equipment in more detail,” he said.

    “To see this many people at a new product demonstration, and to know the genuine interest that is out there is really uplifting, especially considering how sluggish the market has been. I have a very optimistic outlook for KAMA products in the Australasian market.”

    KAMA CEO, Marcus Tralau, also expects that the products will be well-received by the local market. “The Open House in Melbourne … provided the opportunity to demonstrate the huge capabilities of the ProCut and ProFold machines across a range of applications to a professional audience,” he said.

    “I am very confident that the versatile KAMA machines will enter the Australasian market as quickly as they succeeded in the Japanese market in recent years. Here we can already state a rising demand after a short break due to global crisis and delivered a ProCut die cutter with hologram stamping system in the demanding Japanese market last month.”

  • ***Advertisement: Ascent Partners 31 March 2010***

    We have a new listing for a Melbourne-based high quality commercial printer with an as new quality automated A2 2-colour press and multi colour GTOs. The business is long-standing and highly reputable, has around $750,000 of turnover (quality direct customers), on line ordering and warehousing – selling for $495,000. Much of the selling price is in the value of the machinery … read more

    Tip 2 / 5 Tips to consider when you’re planning to grow by acquisition

    Tip 2 – Set up funding. It will come as no surprise to many that obtaining finance in this market is tough, so it’s a good idea to discuss your needs with your financier before searching for a business to buy. You may be surprised at what they can and can’t do … read more

    Tip 2 – Set up funding. It will come as no surprise to many that obtaining finance in this market is tough, so it’s a good idea to discuss options with your financier before searching for a business to buy. You may be surprised at what they can and can’t do.

    There are five main ways a business acquisition can be funded:

    1.    Debt funding – this option is effectively borrowing money from a financier. Obviously this affects the gearing of the business, so needs to be carefully considered.

    2.    Equity funding – this is where the existing shareholders of the purchasing firm contribute money to purchase the business. This may include the acquisition of new shareholders.

    3.    Cash flow funding – here, funding is sourced from the cash flow of the purchasing business. In this circumstance you will likely be purchasing a smaller firm.

    4.    Merger – this is effectively buying the other business by selling part of your existing business to the owners of the acquired business. Many printers don’t like this form of acquisition, it has the benefit of not requiring a lot of cash, but can create issues in relation to culture and loss of organisational control.

    5.    Vendor funding – Here the vendor agrees to effectively loan some, or all, of the purchase price to the purchaser. An example of this is where the purchaser buys the business on the basis of a percentage of the purchase price being paid up front and the balance over time.

    Of course there are various combinations of these methods. For example some funding could be a combination of debt, equity and cash flow funding.

    With regard to vendor financing, some purchasers also want to tie in future performance into the price they pay. This is the same as the example given in (5) above, but the future payments are based on a performance criteria, such as sales. Eg, the purchaser may say “I’ll pay 50% now, and the remaining sum I’ll pay at x % of sales that your clients provide in the next 12 months, paid quarterly”

    Vendors usually want the money up front, and they don’t want to offer any vendor terms. To them it is a huge risk –They ask, how will the future payments be secured? If paid on performance, how do I know the purchaser will look after my clients? What if they increase prices, offer less service? How do I trust the new owner to pay me what I’m due?

    Some of these vendor terms issues can be partially appeased by the vendor working on as an employee or consultant in the purchasing firm. In fact it is very common, and may be a purchasing stipulation, that this occur.

    As a purchaser, if you are seeking any type of vendor terms, you obviously need to provide the vendor with the confidence that the risk is minimal, and you should factor in an increased offer price. Put the shoe on the other foot, and ask yourself would you accept the deal structure you are offering on your business?

    The more time you spend trying to understand the vendor’s position, hopes and concerns, the better chance a win – win deal can be structured. 

     Depending on how you structure the deal, your finance plan should not only include how you would finance the purchase, but also what affect that purchase will have on your existing business.  How will your cash flow be affected? What additional working capital is required?

    After reviewing your financial position / capability, it may be that you identify that you should be searching for a firm with a high asset to goodwill component, where much of the funding can be done on the equipment.  For example, say the business is selling for $1,000,000, and of that $700,000 is in equipment, and $300,000 is in goodwill. You may opt to lease the plant and equipment for $700,000, and only then need to seek the extra $300,000 plus working capital.  

    There are of course many ways to skin the cat. But doing your homework on how to finance the deal is obviously an essential component to purchasing a business.

    Ascent Partners offers business appraisals, and the subsequent development of options as industry consultants.  Contact Richard Rasmussen on 0402 021 101, or visit our web site at

  • Full house for Print21 Ipex BBQ

    The Print21 Ipex ANZ BBQ has received unprecedented support from supplier sponsors.

    “The Newbold Comyn Arms, will be ANZ-central on Friday 21st May,” said co-organiser Andy McCourt. “The response is terrific and, despite these difficult times for the industry, pre-registrations for IPEX attendance are at an all-time high according to the show organisers. It’s an indication of just how important IPEX is to the future of printing.”

    “Sponsorships for the BBQ are now closed and we would encourage visitors to IPEX to discuss ticket allocation with their favourite supplier/sponsor,” said McCourt. “There are a few independent tickets available and we have a wait-list in progress for these. We don’t want to disappoint anyone and will do whatever we can to fit all those wanting to attend in, by working with sponsors and the venue management.”

    Entertainment for the night will commence with the ‘Motley Fool’ himself, Jester Kevin Burke , followed by brilliant vintage rockers Rainbow Road.  All food and standard drinks are included and, courtesy CPI/HP Scitex, coach transport from IPEX to the venue and back to main hotels is laid on.

    Pictured: Sarah Miller, Manager of the Newbold Comyn Arms, ready to pull pints for IPEX BBQ guests.

    The BBQ sponsors are:

    •    Canon
    •    CPI -HP Scitex
    •    Currie Group
    •    Dainippon Screen
    •    DES
    •    EFI
    •    Fujifilm
    •    Fuji-Xerox
    •    GMG Color
    •    Heidelberg
    •    Kodak
    •    Konica-Minolta
    •    manroland
    •    Océ
    •    Optimus 2020

    Patrick Howard, publisher of Print21, visited the venue in February and reports “The Manager, Sarah Miller, and her staff are really looking forward to welcoming Aussies and Kiwis to her pub in May and promise fine fayre, and that they’ll do their best with the weather.”



  • Industry campaign ramps up with a call for action

    Sydney meeting issues a clarion call for companies and associations to commit support for printing and paper push-back crusade.

    paper – part of every day, the APIA initiated campaign to promote and defend paper-based communication, briefed the industry in the GEON board room at Banksmeadow. Tim Woods, the convenor of the campaign, informed the assembled industry professionals of the progress the campaign has made in the past six months since its last Sydney meeting in October.

    This includes setting up the website, the creation of print support collateral and a number of high-profile engagements with industry detractors.

    He reiterated the aims of the campaign – to promote and defend printing communication (not as originally proposed to ‘defend and promote’). He reminded everyone of the long-term nature of such a campaign as well as floating some potential ‘public good’ initiatives it could support.

    In a detailed presentation he outlined three campaign options for the rest of the year, based on the amount of financial support the campaign can attract. The current campaign is based on the financial support APIA (Australian Paper Industry Association) has contributed but Bernard Cassell, chairman, appealed for other industry entities to come on board.

    Representatives of Printing Industries, GASAA and GAMAA at the meeting promised to consider how they can work together to coordinate raising funds. Individual printing companies can join APIA and contribute $3,000, all of which will go towards the campaign.

    Bernard Cassell said he was not concerned how the campaign was organised provided it attracted sufficient support. “We have got this up and running, but it doesn’t matter how the industry eventually wants it to run. As long as it does,” he said.

    Questions about joining the campaign and making a financial contribution should be directed to Tim Woods

    Tony Onsley, GM GEON northern region (centre) welcomed Tim Woods (left) and Bernard Cassell to the GEON boardroom at Banksmeadow.

  • Free 3-year Preferred Warranty on Epson Stylus Pro GS6000® solvent printer

    Epson is aggressively building on the success of its Epson Stylus Pro GS6000® solvent printer in the sign and display market by including its three-year onsite vendor supported premium warranty and maintenance program in the price of the printer.

    Epson’s Business Solutions Manager, Craig Heckenberg, (pictured) said the Stylus Pro GS6000®, Epson UltraChrome® GS ink, and the inclusion of the Epson Preferred Warranty makes a strong statement about Epson’s intention to set new quality and performance standards for the sign and display market, and provides a unique offering to these customers.

    “Our confidence in the Pro GS6000 as a reliable, cost effective, operator-friendly and high quality printer for sign and display work is confirmed by our decision to include our Epson Preferred Warranty in the price of the printer,” Craig said.

    The Epson Stylus® Pro GS6000 is a 64-inch photo-quality printer equipped with Epson UltraChrome® GS eight colour inkset, a new ground breaking solvent-based ink that is nickel-free and has fewer harmful VOC (volatile organic compounds) than other solvent based inks. Prints made with UltraChrome GS ink are virtually odourless, eliminating the need for expensive ventilation and air purification systems to protect the operators.

    With a maximum print resolution of 1440 x 1440 dpi along with an advanced Epson MicroPiezo Dual Array printhead and Variable-Sized Droplet Technology capable of generating ink droplets as small as 3.7pl, the Pro GS6000 delivers the same high quality photo and display graphics as Epson aqueous printer technologies.

    Industry leading quality

    The Pro GS6000 has fast throughput and industry-leading print quality in Vinyl Production Mode with print speeds up to 9.2m2 per hour, and in Banner Production Mode, the speed is up to an impressive 25.2m2 per hour.

    Durable graphics created by the Pro GS6000 with UltraChrome GS ink on Avery Graphics substrates also receive the Avery Graphics Integrated Component System (ICS) three-year Performance Guarantee.

    “This is an exciting development for our customers because they now have peace of mind knowing that durable graphics produced with Avery Graphics materials and the Pro GS6000 will last up to three years in outdoor locations such as on vehicles and seven years indoors, under specified conditions,” said Craig.

    Peace of mind for print professionals

    The ICS Performance Guarantee combines Avery Graphics films with other qualified components to form a system that is guaranteed to be compatible and provide superior performance. With this system from Avery Graphics, print professionals know exactly what to expect from their finished graphics because the combination of selected Avery Graphics materials with Epson UltraChrome GS ink has already withstood rigorous scientific testing and met a very stringent set of durability and physical performance specifications.

    The Epson Preferred Warranty offers complete peace of mind by providing a range of benefits above those of the 12 month Standard Express Warranty, such as parts and labour, onsite scheduled preventative maintenance*, priority job placement and telephone support, and direct assistance by a senior technician.

    “Epson’s close involvement with its customers across a range of industries means we understand their special needs and, as a result, we develop products and services that meet and exceed their expectations,” Craig said.

    “The Epson Preferred Warranty is an example of Epson staying ahead of our customer needs. Our aim is to provide as close as we can get to 100% up time for our customers so that they can maximise productivity and the return on their investment.”

    The Epson Preferred Warranty is validated through the Epson Service Record book that is updated at each scheduled preventative maintenance service at six monthly intervals.

    The Epson Stylus® Pro GS6000, including the three-year Epson Preferred Warranty, has a RRP of $28,995.00 excluding GST.

    For the full terms and conditions of the Epson Preferred Warranty visit: or call 1300 131 928

  • Signkiosk changing the face of signwriting with the Epson Stylus® Pro GS6000

    For third generation signwriters Brett and Greg Bolan, the traditional hand-and-brush model of signwriting has been forever replaced; and together with Brett’s two sons, the introduction of a 64-inch Epson Stylus® Pro GS6000, the team at their company, Pty Ltd, means a radical change in the signwriting industry.

    The search begins
    The list of Signkiosk’s high profile clients reads like a who’s who in the Australian corporate community. Civic Video, Rent-A-Space, Iris Group, General Pants, Westfield’s, Turnbull Ossher Design and Diageo are only a handful of the companies that rely heavily on Signkiosk’s sign printing expertise and levels of excellence.

    According to Greg, he first came across rumours of the Pro GS6000 in mid 2008. “We were looking for a printer that could take us beyond having to rely on outdated technologies, such as computerised vinyl cutting and the major health and environmental risks typically associated with solvent ink printers,” he says.

    No surprise then, that within months of the Pro GS6000’s release to the Australian market, Signkiosk was running one in its Marrickville premises.

    Pictured: The team at Signkiosk.

    One printer for all applications
    A major advantage of the Pro GS6000 for Signkiosk is that rather than operating three different printers to cover the distinct requirements for internal and external signwriting, it’s now one printer for all applications. In the Signkiosk offices, two older solvent printers and a water-based ink printer now lay unused since the Pro GS6000 was brought on board.

    “It doesn’t matter what printing a client wants,” Brett says, “we know that with this printer we have the best possible solution. The durability required for external signage is there. The high print quality for business signage and exhibition prints is there. And the colour to meet virtually any corporate branding specifications is almost guaranteed.”

    On the issue of durability, Brett says: “The durability we get on all media types with the GS6000 stands up against any other type or style of signwriting. We’re able to create banners and external signage that can be used anywhere in Australia, despite the heat, cold and wet they’re subject to.”

    Massive savings on ink and media
    Of particular note is that the introduction of the Pro GS6000 (pictured) has resulted in the company’s cost per lineal metre dropping by up to 90 per cent. Where ink costs were generally up to $35 per lineal metre with their 12 colour water-based printer, it’s now closer to the three dollar mark.

    In regard to media, savings are just as marked. Greg explains: “Using a vinyl cutting system, there’s the need to have an enormous number of different coloured and sized vinyls on hand. Actually, it’s quite standard to have anywhere over 200 rolls; and with prices ranging from a couple of hundred dollars up to a couple of thousand, the investment that needs to be made is pretty extreme.”

    With the Pro GS6000, that “extreme” investment is now a thing of the past. Instead of hundreds of different vinyl rolls, Signkiosk now works more with a handful of laminate, gloss, lustre and satin self-adhesive vinyl rolls.

    Keeping business on the go… and safe
    According to Greg, the combination of the Pro GS6000’s 950ml hot-swappable ink cartridges, automatic take-up reel and internal heating system establishes the printer as a unique unattended signwriting tool. “For Civic, we can easily be printing out several hundred lineal metres of signage per month,” he says. “The fact that we can load a full roll of media and know that there’s more than enough ink in the cartridges to see it through, means we’re able to set a job printing at the end of the day and have it ready and waiting when we come in the next morning.”

    In commenting on the Pro GS6000’s nickel compound-free ink, Greg states: “For the first time the industry has a solvent ink printer that can be used safely without resorting to forced ventilation systems. We’re able to use the GS6000 in the office and, unlike with other printers, there’s absolutely no odour at all.

    “What it comes down to is having a printer that delivers on quality, speed, durability, cost, health and every other signwriting requirement. Essentially, it’s the printer we don’t want our competitors to be using.”

  • Candidate of the week: Account Manager, Sydney

    I am a very confident young individual with excellent communication skills and have the ability to liase effectively with people on all levels. I am equally able to work well within a team or alone on my own initiative. I have been working in the print sector since leaving school and have a strong desire to succeed within this industry.

    2001/2007 – Honeywood High School, Coggeshall, Essex, UK / Sandon High School, Essex, UK

    Further Training
    Work placement – working within a busy print communications company within central London
    Mac& Pc InDesign application training for pre-press duties.


    Employment History

    Tangent Communications PLC – Truscott House, 32-42 East Road, London N1 6AD
    March 2007 – June 2007
    Finishing/Despatch/Filing – Casual Work
    Working within the finishing room with all print finishing requirements (laminating/binding etc). Helping in the despatch departments with deliveries & filing work dockets.

    Total Print Solutions – Suite 4, 83 Leichardt St, Spring Hill 4000
    October 2007 – July 2009
    Digital Press Operator / Production Co-ordinator / Junior Account Manager
    Assist pre-press with artworking ensuring files are print ready, imposing & producing digital works on-site with the use of Xerox technology, finishing. Daily trafficking of existing clients works, taking new enquiries, generating new business with the use of TPS online enquiry system & re-activating dormant accounts. Creating quotes for clients using MIS online system. Daily use of Myob & taking payments via CC as required. Speaking with clients direct and assisting them with there printing requirements. Supporting BDM with quotes & talking to suppliers on a daily basis with regards to trafficking print works. Keeping clients informed of any delays & assist with despatch needs to ensure clients get their works on time.

    Kwik Kopy – 52 Baxter Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane 4006
    September 2009 – Presen
    Internal Account Manager
    Taking new enquiries via web, e-mail & phone, inputting details into PrintSmith (estimating & tracking software). Following up new enquiries and reactivating dormant accounts as well as chasing in live estimates.  Processing all new works including ordering stock for both digital & offset and track all jobs for this busy unit until final delivery has been made.

    Kathy Carey (HR Manager) – Tangent Communications PLC  (Tel: +44 207553 6600)

    Tony Bonfiglio (Director) – Profit Wise – (0412 574 733)



  • Wodonga workers rely on kindness of printers

    Print managers from around Australia and staff who have returned to work at Paragon Printing have pitched in to lend a hand to those affected by the troubled business.

    After an on-going stand-down and worker’s strike, 108 employees have now returned to work for a three-week period while administrators negotiate the potential sale of the Wodonga-based business, which entered voluntary administration earlier this month.

    As a sign of support, print managers PMA Solutions, Adelaide Business Forms and Ebisprint pledged $15,000 to help the Paragon workers. Natasha Ankus, national business service manager, hopes that other industry companies  will join in the cause.

     “As independent print managers, we have been following the story of Paragon Printing and were concerned for the workers.  We understand there are a number of staff who have been working with this company for decades, who have been affected and being in the same industry, we feel obligated to help them,” she said.

    “The directors of PMA Solutions, Ebisprint and Adelaide Business Forms have also been in the print industry for decades, and they hope this will spur others in the industry to donate.”

    According to Leigh Diehm, north-east regional organiser for the Victorian Branch of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, these three companies are not the only ones to part with their money.

    “Our members who have returned to work have decided to donate $10 out of their weekly wages to those employees who are still stood down,” he said. “This is really boosting members’ confidence.”

    Diehm said that 16 AMWU members are still being stood-down and that he hopes they can soon return to work. “It’s a waiting game, but we are hoping that someone purchases the company so that we can move forward,” he said.

    “Not all of the presses are running; it’s a limited start-up so that the business can be sold as a going concern.”

    Centrelink today held an information day for staff at Paragon Printing to advise them of their options and help them deal with financial management. Diehm added that another seminar is likely to take place next week.

    Those interested in making a contribution to the fund can contact Natasha Ankus of PMA Solutions on (02) 9629 0800.

  • Final call on IPEX accommodation

    If you are planning to visit IPEX in May, the Easter break will likely be the last opportunity to finalise special price accommodation arrangements.

    Printing Industries IPEX tour’s three accommodation sites in Birmingham will shortly end their guaranteed booking and pricing arrangements and with rooms at a premium during IPEX, visitors may find themselves in difficulty pre-booking accommodation or having to pay extra.
    Currently, Printing Industries has three hotels in Birmingham, the IBIS Birmingham, the newly built luxury serviced Spires Apartments and the Crowne Plaza hotel. Beginning from $980.00 per person you can have four nights twin share in a one-bedroom apartment at The Spires Birmingham.
    Hotel details including costs and photos are available in the IPEX section of or by clicking here.
    Information and bookings, including flight and additional travel information is available through Eastern Suburbs Travel (talk to Marty or Sonia) toll-free on 1800 634 714 or (02) 9388 0666 e-mail:

    IPEX 2010 will take place from Tuesday 18 May to Tuesday 25 May 2010 at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, England.

  • Mark Wilton joins DES X-Rite team

    The chance to work with DES brings Mark Wilton back to Australia.

    Wilton, who is well-known for his time at Creo/Kodak, along with his position on the CIP4 committee, returned to Australia this month after on-going discussions with DES, after he saw the job advertised on Print21, which resulted in him taking on the role of business development for the X-Rite business locally.

    “I was always planning on coming back,” he said. “It was just a matter of when and, more importantly, the right opportunity.”

    According to Russell Cavenagh, sales director of DES, Wilton has the knowledge and skills to handle the position. The two men met years ago at a GAMAA workshop and have been firm friends ever since. “His background and experience was perfect for the role,” Cavenagh said. “It’s time to bolster up the team.”

    Pictured: Russell Cavenagh (right) welcomes Mark Wilton to the DES team.

    Part of the role involves developing X-Rite’s presence in the industrial, imaging and media and retail markets. In addition, Wilton manages an X-Rite sales team that includes David Stead (industrial sales), based in Sydney, and Nideera Evans, (retail sales) in Melbourne.

    Wilton sees significant opportunity for the X-Rite range in Australia. “With increased focus and direction, we can penetrate the market further than we have already done,” he said.


  • For sale: Pitney Bowes DI875 F610 inserter with F601 booklet feeder

    Pitney Bowes DI875 F610 inserter with F601 booklet feeder up for sale.

    Only 15 months old and not used since December 2009.  This device was purchased for a specific job which has now been finished.  The device is under a silver maintenance agreement which includes parts and service with Pitney Bowes until 19/1/2012.  Perfect for inserting large quantities of catalogues, magazines or saddle stitched books into C4 envelopes.  Reference from Pitney Bowes available.  All offers over $45,000.00 will be considered.

    Contact David van Gelder: or 0419 681 320

  • Turn-key B2+ Heidelberg CTP system for sale

    Upgrade to B1 means this excellent complete CTP system is for sale, ex-Sydney. Everything you need to start making visible light plates, at a bargain price.

    Model: Heidelberg Prosetter 74, with processor and all extras
    Year: 2003 mfr, 2004 installed
    Hours on laser: 897.4
    Laser power: 30mW Violet
    Plates made: 29,725
    Plate processor: Raptor Pro 68S
    Max Plate size: 670mm x 750mm
    Min Plate size: 370mm x 323mm
    RIP: Heidelberg Prinect Metadimension installed on a Xeon 3.06GHz server with 3GB RAM and running MS Windows Server 2003
    Workstation: Heidelberg Prinect Signa Station installed on a dual AMD Athlon 64 1.9GHz computer with 3GB RAM, Windows NT
    Proofer: HP 120nr proofing printer included


  • Promote print outside our own industry: Andy Vels Jensen

    Always big on opinions, and never afraid to voice them, Andy Vels Jensen, managing director of Heidelberg, once again delivered in his usual humour at the National Print Awards. In a transcript from his speech below, he explains what the industry should be doing to prosper, and why it’s still okay to call him Rock Bottom.

    Good evening. My name is Andy Jensen, but I readily admit, my wrestling name, Rock Bottom, has kind of stuck with me for the past 12 months. And yes, that would probably tie into the fact that I unfortunately remain CEO of a non-profit organisation.

    2008 was an awful year; that was until 2009 came around! When thinking of equipment orders in 2009, Lara Bingle comes to mind: "Where the bloody hell are you?"

    I don’t know how you saw it, but I have this awkward feeling that the rest of the Australian economy forgot to take us along for the ride on the train called "recovery". Last year, by taking a shower with Brendan Fevola, Lara Bingle made more profit than most printers and suppliers. She even got a front seat at the Boxing Day cricket for free!

    In the past, I have enjoyed meeting up with fellow CEOs within other industries, but it is no longer something I cherish. As much as I have the ability to feel happy for others’ good fortune, it depresses the hell out of me to hear how well other industry sectors are doing when we seem to be left behind at the station.

    However, I’m almost dead certain that following tonight’s National Print Awards, everyone will know about us, what valuable passengers we are and everything will be just fine.

    Maybe not.

    And I can’t blame the National Print Awards for this as it’s a fine party for everyone in the industry and a major event for NPA to stage.

    The question is of course, when we decide to celebrate print, does it not make sense to invite the people: who buy print; who decide where to spend their advertising dollars; and the people who come up with regulations and policies that either helps our industry or works against it? Is the annual NPA actually a lost opportunity to promote print and our industry?

    Passengers on that "recovery" train include the local big banks. The same passengers who cried for help only 18 months ago, and duly received help from government, are now riding the train with record profits and huge provisions in their balance sheet.

    Maybe the print industry should look towards the banks for inspiration. You can’t really blame the banks for being slightly reluctant when it comes to funding printers and their suppliers.

    We don’t exactly have a great reputation for working with stable asset values, professional companies who know their cost to print or reliable businesses ventures. We continue to come across companies who are in print for the sake of selling, not for profitability.

    Every day of the week we hear and see cases where one printer undercuts another by 20 per cent, even 30 to 40 per cent. How can they? What’s the point?

    It’s like the banks charging a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know in advance there isn’t enough money. It’s like kamikaze pilots wearing helmets!

    Just wait, we always say, these printers who sell on only price, will eventually go out of business.

    I mean, man evolved from apes, so how many monkeys can be left within print?

    As you may have noticed, there are plenty around and the ones who do fall from their trees have this amazing ability to recover and crawl right back into the tree they came from.

    You will note, I never mentioned the word "reinvent themselves", and they certainly don’t seem to wonder why they fell out of the tree to begin with or learn from their mistakes. Shouldn’t we all try to keep them grounded? We should, but we don’t.

    I have a fine example to share with you, so bear with me for a moment.

    A customer runs into difficulties with his press investment. He contacts his existing supplier and cries help. The supplier immediately proposes the only safe and obvious option: invest in a new $ 900,000 press. The customer, however, doesn’t think he can afford it. But the supplier insists he can, he can.

    He reminds the customer that "buying" a press now will put $ 135,000 cash into his pocket. The big banana – also known as the 50 per cent Tax Investment Allowance.

    The supplier offers to sweeten the deal even further by offering a 360-day holiday on payments. To make 100 per cent sure it’s the "deal you can’t refuse" the supplier then offers to pay out the existing press without it costing the printer a single cent. The very thing that caused him to fall out of the tree in the first place!

    In other words, you can get into four-colour offset printing with a new press by accepting $135,000 in cash, you enjoy full tax depreciation over 12 months and you have no payments whatsoever for 12 months.

    Or, in other words, you get paid for falling out of the tree and you get to have another go without having to put your own hand in the pocket. The only thing missing is a picture of you in the shower with Lara and Brendan!

    The question is of course, will this printer, as he enters back into the tree-tops, include in his print costing the cost of the asset? Somehow I don’t think so.

    At what stage does he get equity in his investment? Potentially never!

    Will he use the tax savings on improving his business? Fat chance, I say.

    Or will he be using the $ 25,000-plus month advantage to drop prices and buy market shares? Eureka!

    And if he does buy market shares, has he considered the repercussions? For himself? For the industry?

    How does he expect to increase his prices 15%-30% after 12 months when he has to start paying for his asset?

    What’s different now? He still has the same problems he was experiencing 12 months earlier when he fell out of the tree and caused injuries! The good news is that the print industry loses a member and the TAB wins another gambling retiree.

    Right? Nope. This time the TAB doesn’t win. But the print industry sure does lose.

    The fallen printer will find another equally minded person who will offer him a similar meaningless proposition. Before you know it, the resurrected printer will be back with the same unique selling proposition, offering quality printing and complete print solutions at unbeatable too good to believe prices.

    If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Maybe that’s how the banks make profits:

    • They don’t lend money to just "anyone",

    • They always do their homework before entering into business with anyone,

    • They manage their risks and exposures,

    • They understand their cost structure,

    • They know how to promote themselves to government and use policies/regulations to improve their bottom-line,

    • They innovate and differentiate their offering;

    • They are famous for charging like a wounded buffalo;

    • They all work closely together and somehow manage to increase their prices in concert with each other;

    • They always seem to offer some sort of new service; so as to be able to charge customers for anything and everything,

    • They don’t accept 360 days delayed payment terms,

    • And they certainly don’t see a need to undercut fellow banks by 30 per cent in order to gain business.

    The world has changed but we, as an industry, have not changed with it. I believed the recession would and should have forced change upon us, but apparently not.

    Will it happen in 2010? What if the next PacPrint reduces in size, like other shows, and there is much less income for our associations from shows?

    Will industry associations then be forced to consolidate? Will printers and suppliers pull back, as they can’t afford to be a member and supporter of "everything"?

    Good chance they will. But rather than wait for change to be forced upon us, wouldn’t it be better to welcome change with open arms and fix what needs to be fixed?

    North American Indians say that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, best thing is to dismount and leave the horse. The advice we seem to be following these days is more along the lines of:

    • Let’s buy a stronger whip and whip that dead horse a bit harder;

    • Let’s visit other sites and countries to see how they ride dead horses;

    • Let’s establish committees who meet to discuss and come up with ideas on how to best ride dead horses;

    • Let’s harness four dead horses and then maybe, just maybe, the power of four dead horses will make it happen!

    • Or let’s provide additional funding to improve the performance of that dead horse!

    I say listen to the tribal Indians: dismount and walk away.

    Having said that, what is it the industry wants from associations? Firstly, the association needs to represent and promote the industry and in cases of threats, defend the industry. Secondly, printers want to be provided help when they need it; whether it relates to HR, health and safety, to interpreting regulations and laws.

    The larger companies and printers will see a value in the former, whereas 85 per cent of printers see the value in the latter. Both areas are equally important, but why spread this effort across so many associations?

    We simply fail to get any value for money and we fail to deliver in both areas. Too many unhappy industry members!

    APIA is doing a fine job promoting and defending the industry as pertains to sustainability and the environment. Shouldn’t PIAA, GAMAA, and all the other associations, along with everyone involved in the print industry, get behind APIA on this cause, and provide them full support and funding?

    Instead of making the same effort, potentially re-inventing the wheel? Everyone agrees that we as an industry are due for a major overhaul.

    And in Heidelberg we know the customer is always right, even in situations where he is blatantly wrong, unreasonable and doesn’t know what he is talking about. I mean, why else do we continue to produce square boxes for round pizzas?

    My call remains for fewer industry organisations, representing the total industry and backed by all 100,000-plus industry members.


  • It pays to ask for help: Richard Rasmussen

    There is no shame in letting others know you are in trouble, writes industry expert, Richard Rasmussen. He has some tips on what to do if you don’t like where your business is heading.

    I’ve read with much interest some of the closures that have occurred over the past months, and I can’t help but thinking how many of these operations could have been saved in some form had early appraisal and intervention occurred. Would it have been possible to find a solution?
    Insolvency practitioners, Worrells identify those phases that lead to the collapse of a firm:
    1.       The confident phase (the rise)
    2.       The consolidation phase (the plateau)
    3.       The debt phase (the decline)
    4.       The denial phase
    5.       The collapse
    Although their article is not industry-specific, see resources/5_phases.htm , I’m sure many printers around the land can relate to these phases and perhaps at what stage they may be. I’ve seen many of the stated characteristics as identified in this article. I’m sure other members of the industry have also.
    Unfortunately, my fear is that many printers are in the debt and denial phase, and in some instances are trading in solvently. Add to this what I see as the present state of the industry and it becomes a little more worrisome that:
    •         As print sales fall, there is more competition to fill the presses and this has lead to lower prices / reduced margins.
    •         Those with hungrier stakeholders / shareholders are more aggressive in the market place
    •         Conventional offset printers are facing more competition from more efficient business models and non print media such as the web
    •         The conventional print market is shrinking – don’t let anybody kid you otherwise
    •         Market values of plant and equipment have fallen heavily in the last 12 months
    •         In 2009 the ATO, banks and other creditors were more lenient than normal many printers, and let them trade out of normal terms. This is starting to stop and they are tightening up.
    •         Paper suppliers have been burnt big time by the liquidations – much of these debts are covered by insurance. So it follows the insurance companies have been burnt worse than the paper suppliers. In turn paper suppliers are likely to pay higher premiums, and collect money faster. This vicious circle has some lag time. It is just about to catch up with the printers who will have there terms of trade drawn in, or be moved onto COD. This will in turn to lead to worsening more cash flow problems for many printers
    We hear in the press that there are some green shoots, but this isn’t happening fast enough for many printers who simply can’t continue to put their hand in their pocket to prop themselves up. This will lead to more closures if something is not done to address their plight.
    I’m not trying to be negative, only trying to tell it as it is, in the hope that proprietors recognise and acknowledge where they are and seek early help. If your business’s trends are bad, ask yourself, what is the chance of turning this around by doing nothing?
    The first step is to recognise and admit you have a problem and seek help (as Worrells suggest at the end of phase 3). You need to have the business independently appraised – and once appraised, develop options and then chose a course of action and act on it. Who you choose to help you and conduct the appraisal is up to your own individual circumstances, perhaps with your accountant being the first port of call from a financial perspective. If that leads to seeking an appraisal on what your business may be worth, and the development of options then we and other industry specialists can assist.
    I think there are ways to successfully consolidate, and for many to avoid closure – the key is early admission, and recognition that there is a problem.  

  • Fairest of the fair – NPA Sponsors awards

    The winners that caught the eye and demanded affirmation of their excellence from the three sponsors of the National Print Awards – Currie Group, Heidelberg Australia and PaperlinX Mechanting.

    1. The Currie Group Graphics Award is presented for the most innovative use of imaging in printing. The award went to Picpress, a Victorian specialist photo printing company for its production, Antartica… in the footsteps of shackleton.

    Picpress director, Michael Warshall, said that to receive an award so soon was a real achievement for the company. "We are from the photographic industry – we’ve only got two years of experience in the printing industry. We started this business in response to the needs our customers put on us for photobooks," he said.

    "We’re all learning, we’re the new kids on the block and we really appreciate the support."

    Of course, winning such a prestigious award has made the team at Picpress even more inspired to stick around. "I’m sure we will be coming back to this exciting industry," Warshall added.

    Pictured: (l-r) Paul Atkins, (Picpress director); Phil Rennell (sales and marketing manager, the Currie Group); Michael Warshall (Picpress director); Will Street (Picpress director) and Paul Gilbert (Picpress director).

    2. The Heidelberg Award for excellence in craft is awarded to the company judged to have demonstrated the finest traditions of craft in printing. The award went to Adams Print, a Victorian printing company for 2009 Mark Wilson Calendar.

    "We have a long tradition to protect. Adams Print was founded 115 years ago; we’ve been here for the past ten years. It’s important for us to keep and imporve the company’s reputation. This award is very satisfying for to to achieve," said Shane Soutar, managing director, Adams Print.

    Pictured: Andy Vels Jensen, managing director of Heidelberg with Shane Soutar, managing director of Adams Print.

    3. The PaperlinX Award goes to the entry the company considers demonstrates outstanding excellence in printing. This year it went to Platypus Graphics for its gold medal winning entry – one of four – Kids of Sydney V.

    Platypus director, Tom Lusch, said that winning the Currie Group award, in conjunction with four golds, was great recognition. "After 25 years of slogging away, it’s a satsifying feeling," he said.

    Lusch admitted that being the biggest winner was a "surprise". "You can’t go out there thinking that you’re going to win awards because you never do," he said. "To win [five awards] was akin to all the stars being in the right place at the right time."

    Pictured: Tom Lusch, director of Platypus Graphics (left) with Brian Longmore of PaperlinX Merchanting.