Archive for January, 2011

  • Digital key to Kodak future

    Kodak’s 2010 results reflect steady growth in digital print, while share prices drop.

    Full-year sales for Kodak in 2010 were $7.187 billion, a six per cent decrease from the previous year. The digital businesses grow by one per cent, however, reflecting an 18 per cent revenue increase in the consumer and commercial inkjet, packaging solutions and workflow software and services businesses.

    Revenue for inkjet printers and ink grew by 35 per cent, while traditional revenue for 2010 decreased 22 per cent from the prior year to $1.767 billion. This growth will form the basis of Kodak’s digital future, according to chairman and CEO, Antonio Perez.

    “This was our best digital earnings performance ever, and in line with our segment earnings forecast for the year,” he said. “During 2010, these new businesses grew by a combined 18 per cent, and all of our digital businesses as a group delivered more than $300 million in earnings for the year.”

    Perez also admitted that “there were particular business challenges in 2010 that we are aggressively addressing”. Some of these factors included a decline in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2010 due to industry-related pricing pressures in prepress solutions and digital capture and devices.

    Kodak’s new managing director, Adrian Fleming, was unable to comment on the local market.


  • Print sales into the future – Print21 magazine article

    In a high-demand market for print, superstar sales people can name their own price and work only on ‘getting the orders’. When supply outstrips demand, as with today’s printing industry, businesses should focus more on marketing, relationship-building and brand promise, says Andy McCourt. Even as W2P automates ordering online, we will always need sales people, but with new skill sets and a more sophisticated marketing approach to negotiations.

    “The man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want. You take me, for instance. I never have to wait in line to see a buyer. ‘Willy Loman is here!’ That’s all they have to know, and I go right through. I knocked ‘em cold in Providence, slaughtered ‘em in Boston.”

    These words, spoken by Arthur Miller’s character Willy Loman in his 1949 play Death of a Salesman, give an insight into the mind of a career salesman. Be popular, look sharp, get around your territory, network and pursue the dream. You’ll knock ‘em cold in Melbourne, and you’ll slaughter ‘em in Brisbane.

    But as we know, Loman is a tragic figure with a major fault – he believes his own sales pitch. Driven by nothing more than the pursuit of materialism and his own ego, he neglects being a good father to his two sons, does not appreciate the simple love of his adoring wife and fails to recognise that the world of commerce moves on from past conventions.

    He eventually loses his salaried position and opts for a commission-only job with the company he has worked with for 34 years. Despite his hard efforts to ‘knock ‘em cold’ his productivity is insufficient, and he loses that job too. The next thing he loses is his mind and then his life, by his own hand. He figures out he’s worth more dead than alive, through insurance policies, and crashes his car in a final act of sacrifice that will deliver a payout to his family.

    A modern print tragedy
    It’s a tale very much in the vein of the Greek tragedies that Miller modelled it upon, although Loman is a middle-class working American rather than a high-born Oedipus or Antigone. Forgetting the Aristotlean connection, there is another message and that is that salesmen are not perennially relevant unless they adapt to the constantly changing business environment.

    In the modern world of print sales, this is becoming more apparent, and yet so many printers think that a gung-ho sales force, combined with fine craft-based print production, will win the day. A better product, sold well…you’re on a winner for sure. Maybe when print media was more in demand than the supply could keep up with, this was true; but in our industry, the rules of commerce have moved on. It’s no longer about winning deals and contracts by sharp sales practices and ‘have I got a deal for you’ pitches. It’s about the relationship between the customer and the vendor.

    I can already hear howls of derision from the CRM sceptics. “Customers are only interested in the lowest price,” they might say. “There is no loyalty anymore, therefore the relationship doesn’t matter … it’s price, price, price.”

    I call this ‘Two-dollar shop mentality’. You can get an amazing array of products in the two-dollar bargain shops and they are successful in their own market niche – based on price, price, price. Because price is the promise, there is no effort to sell you anything, just help yourself to what you want and pay the person on the way out. No loyalty programs, no airline miles, no fancy merchandising, just stack the shelves high and sell low. Two dollar shops are fine – if you like that sort of thing.

    Fire the loss-making customers
    But in the printing industry, if you have the majority of customers who only buy like this, I have some advice for you. Let them go. Don’t try to sell to them. If you can’t make a fair profit from a transaction, don’t go breaking your neck so you can lose money. Find customers that better suit your business model and cost base. Alternatively, keep selling to them on price only and keep complaining – but not to me please.

    Successful modern print sales depend on many factors, not the least of which are: a deep understanding of true costs, the customer, the market in general and, above all, human relationships and behaviour. In the online world, companies such as VistaPrint do all of these things very well indeed and they don’t have a single sales rep on the road. You think VistaPrint only sells on price? Think again.

    I priced a real job, a simple A4 CMYK one-sided flyer, 1,000 copies. VistaPrint’s online price? $420.99 plus delivery and extra for logo upload and proof if I wanted them. My friendly trade offset printer ran this small job off at $180, and on 150gsm instead of Vista’s 120gsm. I am sure Vista still gets plenty of business at these prices and why? Because they are excellent marketers and they know their costs and margins to the nth degree. Many printers do not really know their true costs and take a stab at pricing to win deals.

    W2P – your silent salesman
    Which brings me to something every printer should have by now but many don’t: a well-constructed web-to-print strategy. By this I don’t mean many of the half-arsed attempts I see out there with clunky slow websites telling me what wonderful presses they run and how many awards they’ve clocked up since Uncle Bert founded the business in 1923.

    I mean, a proper, user-friendly, accessible W2P site that serves as both a time-saver for existing customers and a marketing tool for those you are hoping to attract. It should be good enough so they tell their friends, who will then visit the site and say, “Wow! Mitch was right, this is what I have been looking for.”

    W2P websites are not advertising, so don’t create them as you would a printed ad. They are portals into your world of wonderful service and print buying experiences, where ingénue ‘Alices’ should be free to wander in awe into your Wonderland of graphic communications. They are windows into a new world of commercial opportunities, but many printers either stay on one side of the glass, or pull the blinds down completely.

    Web-to-print is another feature article altogether but suffice to say, this silent salesman is worthy of investment and development, along with its close allies, search engine optimisation (SEO), affiliate marketing and social media.

    A shining example must be the launch of We Print It, a federation of seven print sites around the country offering digital and offset production at all levels. They launched with a very slick printed marketing piece backed by W2P and even an iPhone app. That’s the way to do it! iPhone apps are selling just about everything else today, so why not print? How cool would it be to respond to a customer query “When will my job be ready?” with the sales rep showing it in the bindery, via webcam, on his iPhone or iPad?

    Introducing your best salesman
    The best salesman for your print company works for free – and I don’t mean the poor unfortunate proprietor! While he or she often works long hours for diminishing returns, the best salesmen and women of all are – your customers.

    If you have a great product or service, customers sell for you. They sell to themselves and to other departments within their organisation and they sell to others through their networks and affiliations. They are proud to refer your company to friends and colleagues but the worse thing that can happen is they pass on your contact details, the new prospective customer calls or emails and then – nothing. No follow-up, no hunger for the new business, no courtesy and no progress. This is where relationship management comes into its own.

    The early stages of any relationship are the most critical. Are you serious or only interested in a one-night stand? With print sales, the first job for a newly referred customer should receive intensive coddling with regular calls, questions and maybe a press check site visit. Meet the family, have a coffee, get to know the customer.

    A predominantly marketing-based approach to gaining and retaining customers is far better than a sales-only approach. With this in mind, print sales people need to be better informed on all aspects of the company’s offerings, have a firm knowledge of real costs and the ‘walk-away’ prices and be prepared to be with the customer every step of the way – not just when the order is taken. Come to think of it, is today’s ideal print sales representative really a print manager? I think they are in parallel universes. Print management companies succeed not just because they are better marketers, but also because they exhibit all of the attributes desirable in a great sales person. Constant contact, excellent communication and people skills, caring for detail, nothing too much trouble and a result every time.

    Face up to it
    A sales presentation I gave some years ago spoke of three ‘Faces’ of selling:
    •    Face-to-Face: the most effective way but time and resource intensive.
    •    Face-to-Base: encourage customers to deal with the office, telephone, email and fax touch-points backed by occasional face-to-face.
    •    Face-to-Space: cyberspace that is. The web, social media etc. Create a compelling reason for doing business over the web with e-commerce.

    I suppose you could add Face-to-Facebook too! A blend of all methods works best for most print businesses but to achieve overall success requires marketing.

    The bridge between your business and your customer base needs to be established and maintained with advertising, regular contact, conversations, offers, events and brand-building that takes you out of the dog-eat-dog world of price-only selling where it is a race to see who can go broke first through selling at a loss.

    Willy’s son, Happy Loman, towards the end of Death of a Salesman says: “I’m gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream. It’s the only dream you can have – to come out number-one man.”

    There’s nothing wrong with such a dream for a sales person. Thing is, to realise it, there is one heck of a lot of reality to get through these days.


  • No easy answers to paper’s hard questions – Print21 magazine article

    Buffeted by the GFC and facing a long-term decline in demand for different grades, paper companies continue to face uncertain times. One thing is assured though – the era of steady year-on-year growth is over, as Tony Duncan explains.

    It’s difficult to make a firm call on the paper supply scene for next year. A number of changes this year have confirmed the difficult state of many sectors of the paper industry – primarily those directly competing with electronic communications – and reinforced the need for credible and robust environmental credentials, as amplified recently by Gunn’s decision to exit native forestry.

    This pattern will continue for the foreseeable future. Pricing is unlikely to pick up in most graphics paper sectors, as mills compete for market shares in non-growth markets. We are already seeing machines swinging between newsprint and coated grades as flexibility becomes a competitive advantage over scale for older machines in particular. New capacity from developing countries continues to gain more customers as local distributors search for competitive advantage in no growth markets.

    The growing complexity of the marketplace across all sectors is, to me, what characterises the current business environment.

    In the print business, complexity has increased markedly in the past five years. Investment decisions are based not only on whether offset/digital/other is the appropriate way of putting ink on paper but must also take into account the much more difficult forward market outlooks. The continued fragmentation caused by more and more ‘e’ technology platforms means the days of automatic market growth are gone – often to technologies which were not around when most decision makers entered the business. Markets which traditionally had consistent year-on-year growth are disappearing, and diminishing markets are hell to play in – just ask the continuous business forms guys and gals, if you can find them.

    On the other hand, it is always exciting to talk with printers who are prepared to make commitments to developing new business in the new markets ‘e’ technologies provide – eg adding internet hosting capability for SME customers. It’s not easily done and requires a considerable medium-term commitment, but it shows courage and, ironically, commitment to the print business as both print and ‘e’ capacity provide cross-selling opportunities.

    Diversify or die

    To see a global distribution company such as PaperlinX report revenue drops in Europe and North America of 21 per cent over the past two years, and 12 per cent in Australia/New Zealand in the past year, provides a clear indication of the state of traditional paper distributor markets. These results, along with public statements from other local paper companies, confirm a structural change in the industry.

    It’s difficult to judge accurately, but probably 25 per cent of the downturn had been predicted with the balance exacerbated by the GFC, and a reasonable percentage of that tonnage is not coming back. So gone are the good old days of guaranteed year-on-year tonnage increases. To avoid losing further revenue these companies will have to do what many in the print industry have been doing for a number of years – diversify into new business sectors, while continuing to address cost bases to maintain enough profitability to fund the new investments. There are, however, two further scenarios which we are likely to see occur in the medium term: either buy-outs to unlock value sitting in a specific sector within the merchant, or perhaps purchase by a company looking for downstream distribution certainty.

    Difficult decisions
    From a macro sense, it is reasonably easy to look at markets long term and establish likely trends – up and down. However, God and the Devil are in the detail, and developing new profitable business plans to support continuing (needed) re-investment is an increasingly difficult task. These decisions are complex enough given the long investment timeframes involved, but in recent years further variables have been added.

    While papermakers have always had to consider the environmental issues surrounding a possible investment in a new pulp mill or paper machine, complexity has increased as the number of people/groups who now demand to be considered ‘stakeholders’ in the paper business has increased. Governments and local communities have always had an input into paper-making investment decisions – in Australia that means three levels of government – but now more and more issues around environmental sustainability are being represented by a range of interest groups and organisations.

    Making paper in Australia means addressing all these groups, plus local communities, unions, State governments, without forgetting shareholders – and one thing is for sure, there is no magic bullet which will satisfy everyone. Likewise, there is no single solution which will work as a one-size-fits-all; every mill has its own particular issues and priorities within the local community and the technology it chooses. How do you manage your business when your major customers are being picketed because they are buying your product? To change fibre sources would cost tens of millions of dollars per year and cost jobs. The alternative for the customer leads potentially to perverse outcomes with imports from a less sustainable source.

    The straightforward answer is there is no straightforward answer. Issues like these develop over long timeframes and cannot be resolved over night. Like train wrecks, there are usually a number of issues that have not been addressed over time, or short term fixes put in place to obscure longer term issues, usually because management has not had the foresight to recognise the longer term trends.

    Dealing with complexity is why CEOs are paid the big bucks, and some have obviously been better at it than others.

  • Product Almanac 2 February 2011

    Lots of new releases and it isn’t even PrintEx yet. DES launches Capsure; Canon launches two new 44-inch printers while Fuji Xerox expands its light production Printer Portfolio with the New Color 550/560 Printer.

    DES launches Capsure
    The new handheld colour-matching tool provides a powerful, versatile way to find an exact match for any sample. CAPSURE accurately measures the colour on smooth, textured, patterned or any inspiration object, and matches against any selected fan decks.

    Available in two versions: OEM & PATNONE with up to 10,000 loaded colours spanning all PANTONE libraries & MUNSELL Books of Colours.

    Capture colour inspiration from any surface, material or fabric – even small, patterned, multi-coloured textures and textiles – and match it quickly and accurately to a PANTONE Colour. Created for professionals in fashion, home, interior, industrial and graphic design, as well as for contractors, paint retailers and do-it-yourselfers, CAPSURE is easy to use and portable, yet its advanced image capture technology sets a new standard for accuracy and versatility in a portable device.

    CAPSURE comes preloaded with more than 8,000 PANTONE Colours.

    Canon launches two new 44-inch printers for design, architecture and production print markets
    Canon has launched two new 44-inch imagePROGRAF models to its large format printer range, with the five colour imagePROGRAF iPF815 (pictured) and iPF825. Featuring high speed and exceptional quality the new models have been designed for applications in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC), Computer Aided-Design (CAD) and production print markets.
    “The new models incorporate groundbreaking new features that maximise productivity and increase usability. By blending features with functionality, the latest additions to our large format printer range boast the fastest print speeds, greatest accuracy and richest features available in the AEC, CAD and other technical documents markets,” said Troy Neighbour, product manager – LFP, Canon Australia.
    The 44-inch printers deliver line reproduction, with minimum line width of 0.02mm and 1,200 dpi high resolution printing. Both models are capable of printing a full-density A1-sized plot in 24 seconds and up to 120 A1-sized plots per hour. A0 sized plots print in 45 seconds.
    Succeeding the imagePROGRAF iPF810 and iPF820, the updated models include additional accounting functionality, an administrator mode, a larger hard disk drive, more space for dedicated file processing and enhanced HP-GL/2 support.
    The new accounting manager cost-tracking software allows for accurate management of job logs and other information that allows users to collect print job data and calculate printing costs. The introduction of the administrator mode brings increased security, control and efficiency in networked environments. Both printers are equipped with up to 29 password-protected user inboxes.  

    Fuji Xerox adds to light production portfolio
    Fuji Xerox Australia has unveiled the latest addition to its light production printer portfolio with the launch of the new Fuji Xerox Color 550/560 Printer. An entry-level light production colour printer, the Color 550/560 delivers image quality, advanced finishing and powerful workflow integration, at an affordable price.

    The Fuji Xerox Color 550/560 (pictured) is an efficient choice for quick print shops, small commercial printers, in-plant operations, ad agencies, creative shops and corporate print rooms. The Color 550 prints at 50 colour pages per minute, while the Color 560 produces 60 colour pages per minute.

    The Fuji Xerox Color 550/560 Printer includes features such as:

    •    Low melt emulsion aggregation toner to produce an offset-like finish with crisp text and high resolution graphics
    •    2,400 x 2,400 dpi printing
    •    Modular in-line finishing options including stapling, hole-punching, folding and booklet-making on uncoated and coated media
    •    Wide media latitude from internal trays to maximum productivity
    •    Advanced colour management tools and streamlined production with Xerox FreeFlow, EFI Fiery or Creo print servers2

    “Fuji Xerox has a proud history of innovation in the graphic communications industry. Our understanding of the industry means we identified a requirement for high quality colour at an affordable price,” said Simon Lane, national manager graphic communications of Fuji Xerox Australia.

     “The Color 550/560 offers customers a range of feeding, finishing and server options which will meet the needs of both customers who are yet to invest in digital, as well as existing customers who are looking for the next step up.”


  • Commercial notice: Fuji Xerox DocuColor 1257GA rental agreement transfer

    Thinking of buying or upgrading your A4/A3 network colour printer? Due to closure of Melbourne-based business, you have the opportunity to take over the rental agreement of this high quality, current model printer on attractive terms. Approx 4 years remains on rental agreement. Includes full service contract with Fuji Xerox. Call Steve Bohan on 0407 770 038 for full details.

  • New consumables addition keep Heidelberg on a roll

    A new line of press-ready rollers marks the expansion of Heidelberg’s consumables range.

    According to Bill Wall, (pictured) general manager consumables, Heidelberg ANZ said the inclusion of the rollers in the Saphira consumables range was motivated by the desire to provide the market with a “more competitive range of high quality rollers and to have better control over distribution.”

    Heidelberg began to introduce the new range this month under the Saphira brand. “With these rollers we have a great product that has been proven in markets throughout the USA and Europe. We’ve also been trialling the rollers on our presses in the Print Media Academy and with selected customers and we are extremely pleased with their performance,” Wall added.

    Heidelberg will also provide its customers with some onsite press training if the press operators need assistance to change the rollers and provide “a hassle-free service” where the customer pays for the rubber only. Heidelberg will carry a full complement of rollers for presses from A3 up to XL105 size.

    Wall sees a strong uptake for the rollers and further growth for consumables. “Heidelberg’s consumables business continues to grow exponentially. The interest in the new rollers has already shown us that this product is a welcome addition,” he said. “We have already taken advance orders for complete decks from two and five colour presses and we anticipate the new rollers will only add to Heidelberg’s continued consumables success.”

  • On Demand Installs New HP Indigo W7200 Commercial Digital Press

    Melbourne’s On Demand is to add to its digital print capabilities with the February installation of an HP Indigo W7200 Commercial Digital Press. The new press will join the company’s existing two HP Indigo 7000 presses.

    Managing Director Bruce Peddlesden (pictured) said the purchase of the HP Indigo W7200 was due to “exponential growth that has resulted in our existing HP Indigo presses consistently operating at full capacity. The new press will enable us to better meet our clients’ deadlines and will also open new opportunities for us.”

    The new press will be used predominantly to produce books, periodicals and educational materials, but Peddlesden said there was a variety of other revenue streams the company will pursue because of the capacity, flexibility and speed of the new press.

    “Our growth and market advantage over the last 25 years has always been based on offering our clients the latest technology and delivering the best quality. Working with the latest technology means you can produce work faster, more competitively and value-add by creating new options for your clients,” he said.

    “Digital print has been growing for many years, and even with the economic woes the world has been through in the last couple of years, digital print still managed to grow.  In fact the near-collapse of the global financial sector forced many companies to review their purchasing to cut costs. In this environment digital in most cases proved a cost saving for them over the way they had previously been producing print. Being able to print short runs quickly and cost effectively enabled companies to continue to communicate with their markets, and to be more targeted.”

    Peddlesden puts the success of On Demand down to a commitment to work with his clients’ to deliver solutions that will enable his customers to meet their objectives. “Printers need to find ways to value-add and to demonstrate the best ways for clients to use print. Print itself isn’t dead, but the old approach to printing is. We all need to be working with our clients to show them how and where print fits into their communication strategies and to come up with new ways of using print. That’s where digital printing gives you more freedom because of the versatility it offers”.

    Designed to offer digital productivity with true offset quality the HP Indigo W7200 Commercial Digital Press is a roll-fed, dual-engine solution for high-volume short-run and variable-data application-focused commercial printing work. The press can produce up to seven million A4-size colour images or 30 million monochrome A4 images per month. The press combines proven HP Indigo offset quality with breakthrough productivity required to excel in a variety of production environments including on-demand and short-run book printing, high-volume colour direct-mail campaigns and transpromotional statements.

    A long-time HP and Currie Group customer Peddlesden said his relationship with the two companies has “helped us to continue our strong growth. It is important to have a supplier that knows our objectives and can work with us to help us move forward. We’ve always been adopters of new technology, but it’s not enough to put in a new machine, you have to have a strategy to drive sales for that equipment and to enhance the service you offer. HP understands this proposition and has created a press that delivers outstanding results,” he concluded.

  • ***Advertisement: Ascent Partners 2 February 2011***

    Wanted – Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne, A3 Commercial Printers.

    With businesses of this type we’ve recently sold, we’re left with some very good prospects who are searching for complete businesses and / or for mainly goodwill.  We’re not acting for them, but we need to source more stock to satisfy this demand. So if you have a business of this type, no matter if it is profitable or not, and are considering selling, please contact Richard Rasmussen on 0402 021 101

  • Moore misses out on new Tabcorp contract

    Loss of contract for Tabcorp’s venue consumables is bad luck for Moore Australasia.

    According to a statement, Tabcorp have advised Moore Australasia that the contract, which was the subject of a recent re-tendering process, will expire on 31 May 2011.

    The venue consumables contract business represented approximately 21 per cent of total revenue for the twelve months to 21 December. In October, Moore (then Argus) announced a future outlook for the year ending  30 June 2011 for total revenue in the range between $54 million and $57 million, with projected earnings between $1.2 million and $2 million.

    In a statement last year, it said that the ability to achieve the increase in sales would depend on the results on a number of tenders that the company has recently submitted.

    The full effects of this loss of Tabcorp are yet to be determined. “The company is currently assessing the impact of this loss on the company’s future outlook and a more detailed statement will be provided once this review has been concluded,” the statement said.

    Moore Australasia’s chairman, David Paterson, did not return calls.


  • How wIll a Carbon Tax Affect Your Business?

    A joint Printing Industries and Lithographic Institute of Australia (LIA) activity, the evening event will provide a critical look at the two options being considered by the Australian Government, explore the likely scenarios for the printing industry and offer insight into what companies can do now to minimise future cost impositions to their businesses.

    Environmental advocate Phillip Lawrence will review the two main carbon abatement mechanisms the Australian Government is likely to implement. He will describe in some detail the extent to which the printing industry will be affected.

    Chris Sewell, CEO and founder of The Gaia Partnership, will demonstrate the CO2 counter carbon calculator application that is finding wide acceptance across a diverse range of industries and in particular demonstrate its application to the printing industry.

    To conclude the evening, Printing Industries National Manager, Learning and Development, Ian Walz will explain the purpose of and the steps involved in the Sustainable Green Print (SGP) environmental certification system and how it can help reduce energy costs and improve the bottom line of your business. He will also outline some of the successes being achieved by local printers.

    Price includes a two-course dinner, tea/coffee. Drinks are additional at bar prices.

    Download Registration form here

  • Letters, feedback, get it off your chest: 2 February 2011

    Readers have their say over last week’s news. Why not write in and let us know what you think, too.

    Re: Print sales into the future – Print21 magazine article
    Bravo – a well-written article from someone who obviously understands that there is more to selling than just turning up on the doorstep with a smile and pen at the ready. Now, if only we can get the plethora of business owners out there with tight pockets and big dreams to open their minds to the world of possibilities that exist from having a marketing plan that flexs with the changing needs of our customers.
    Keep up the excellent work
    Nigel Williams

    Great article and so true. Unfortunately, too late for many printers!
    Ross Campbell


    Re: The winds of change: 26 January 2010
    I certainly join with you in congratulating John Walker on his new appointment as MD of Sappi Trading Australia … well deserved John, and in wishing Tim Shafer all the best in his forthcoming retirement to beautiful Fingle Bay.
    However, one thing that needs correcting here is that the Sappi Trading office in Australia was opened by Barry Connors, as MD, and myself, as regional sales manager, in 1999 after we both departed Stora Australia.
    Tim replaced Barry, as MD, when he retired in 2002.
    Dallas Pascoe  

  • Christchurch crisis calls for Geon team merger

    New Zealand earthquake damage leads Geon to combine its Christchurch and Timaru team together to go forwards.

    The move comes after Geon’s sales office on 80 Lichfield Street was struck down by aftershocks measuring 4.8 on 26 December. Forced out, the team has relocated to new premises at 6D Washington Way, Sydenham, Christchurch.

    “These premises are much larger than our Lichfield Street but we eventually found a suitable fit for our Geon team,” explained Meagan Cross, branch manager of Geon’s Christchurch sales and digital business.

    The move has also prompted a review of the Christchurch operations. “In line with our bigger premises, we have decided to merge the Christchurch and Timaru team to ensure a more productive and efficient approach to all our valued clients over the South Island,” Cross said. 

    “We have new added more talent to our team and our sales team now boasts nine-plus experienced solution providers covering Invercargill to Nelson, Greymouth to Timaru.”

    According to Cross, it was “a hard decision to make” for Timaru and surrounding clients, but she does not see any interruptions to services.

    “From a production point of view, it is business as usual and we look forward to a successful time ahead for all south island businesses,” she added.


  • Candidate of the week: Graphic Designer, Queensland

    Career Objective
    My current objective is to gain steady employment within an industry that will advance my interests, skills and responsibility.

    Completion Grade: Year 12, Marist College Ashgrove
    University: Griffith QIBT; Diploma of Graphic Design, 2008
    Bachelor of Interactive And Visual Design, 2009 – 2011

    Work History:
    Freelance Design – 2009 – Now
    To accompany my studies at university I have been taking on as much design work I can find as a student. The most notable jobs completed this year include a complete corporate rebrand for a Brisbane based consulting agency, and a music video shoot I directed, scripted and managed for a melbourne musician, this was a large role as in the planing stages I was handling thousands of dollars and on the days of filming I was managing up to 40 people at a time.

    Woodford Folk Festival – 2009 – 2010
    This role was head barista within one of the larger venues at Woodford: The Duck and Shovel. Roles included the making of coffee, customer service, organising staff, keeping stock up and having fun doing it all.

    Centenary Pool Cafe – October 2008 to September 2009
    In this position I was required to perform a lot of barista work, food preparation, handling money, coping with many orders and people at once. This job also required the managing of stock, retail, waitering, looking after children and dealing with customer concerns.

    Infront Solutions – July 2008
    This position was work experience within a very influential print and design studio, my roles consisted of creatively interpreting instructions and making deadlines.

    Computer Skills and Abilities:
    I have an extremely educated understanding of computers, internet and email. I also have a refined level of skill in the following software:
    MS Word
    MS Power Point
    Adobe Photoshop
    Adobe InDesign
    Adobe Illustrator
    Adobe After effects
    Adobe Premiere
    Adobe Dreamweaver

    Personal Skills and Characteristics:
    As an employee I prioritize organisation and reliability within the workplace and when it comes to dealing with customers I am always sure to be fun, friendly and as helpful as I can be.

    Hobbies and Interests:
    Since leaving school I have made sure that design and art have remained a very high priority in my study and personal life. Music has always been a strong passion of mine too whether it be playing it, listening to it or seeing it live. Alongside this I have managed to be very sociable always meeting new people or simply hanging out with old friends.


  • 2010 a tough year but NZ printers prove optimistic

    PrintNZ Industry Report printing company respondents cut investment on their businesses by more than half, spending $23.2m in 2010 compared with $49.8m in 2009. This is just a third of what they were investing in 2006.

    However, in determined defiance of the recession, they announced their intentions to almost double investment in the year ahead.

    This is despite an 11% drop in printing sales to last September with no sign of volumes recovering. According to the accompanying Infometrics Industry Review, sales in the year to June 2010 are still 13% below where they were two years earlier.

    The 7th PrintNZ Industry Report received responses from 229 companies covering 4,394 employees with $817 million in sales. It reported that it’s almost impossible to put a gloss on investing in the industry with the average rate of return being just over 1%. Incomes in the printing industry were on average 9.3% lower in the year to March 2009 than in the previous year.

    Nonetheless 64% of respondents expect their businesses to grow in the next 12 months and 86% expect growth in the next three years. More companies are expecting to train staff in 2011 in order to keep them up to date with technology.

    Overall 38 printing businesses closed their doors while the average size of those remaining shrank from 8.1 employees to 7.9. Wellington and Canterbury saw the largest falls while Auckland still remains print central with 52% of printing employment. Since 2000, employment nationally in printing has fallen by 1,659 from 11,841 to 10,182.

    The Industry Review considers last June quarter to be a turning point for the printing and publishing industries with expected growth of 4% over the next three years. This is due to a forecast improvement in general economic activity and the fact that not as many printing businesses failed in the recent recession as in past downturns. Although printing companies downsized they still kept their highly skilled workers, which would seem to indicate that the survivors are now almost unsinkable.

    Even with this the predictions are it will take until March 2013 for activity levels to return to pre-recession levels.

    In responding to Opportunities and Threats individuals gave a salty flavour to the bland statistics.

    Under Opportunities:
    “Fewer printing companies.”
    “Create the need for print by convincing clients it is a superior communication medium.”

    Under Threats:
    “Cowboy pricing especially during this recessions is still with us.”
    “Crazy pricing dragging everyone’s prices and margins down even though costs have increased.”
    “Staff being as good as they are.”

    And finally from a Canterbury printer;
    “Well, a 7.1 earthquake didn’t help!”

  • Flood flagged to impact APN results

    Queensland floods expected to impact on APN News & Media’s results for 2010 and 2011.

    According to a statement, the company has “incurred very limited damage to any premises”. It operates in a number of major markets that have been affected by flooding, including publishing centres in Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Ipswich, and radio and outdoor operations in Brisbane.

    New APN chief executive officer, Brett Chenoweth, said that there would “inevitably be some impact on our results for both 2010 and 2011.” However, he also added that half of its revenues are generated from New Zealand.

    “The affected areas represent only a third of our Australian regional publishing advertising and around 14 per cent of out Australian outdoor and radio advertising revenues,” Chenoweth said.

    Not all printers in Queensland, however, have been so lucky. 17 of Worldwide Online Printing’s 21 Queensland centres are now fully operational, with four Brisbane centres operating out of neighbouring centres.

    Worldiwde CEO, Rob Dallimore said that the South Brisbane Centre has had more than 100 people, some complete strangers, help remove walls and undertake a massive cleanup to allow it to at least open its foyer for business on Monday. While it may be a few weeks until the centre is again fully operational, it and the Redlands centre are operating from the owners’ Springwood centre to ensure no disruption to customers.


  • Candidate of the week: Pre Presss Operator affected by floods: Available for work immediately, QLD

    I am seeking a position of Pre Press Operator as my current employer has been severely affected by the recent flood disaster in Milton, Brisbane. Sadly, it may be many months before the business is up and running. My preference is to work rather than to rely on government support which means I am able to start immediately should a position be available with a company.

    I’m available to work in any of the major Australian capitals ans suburbs.

    Career Objective
    As a highly experienced technical and creative professional I am constantly learning both in and outside of the work environment to enhance my creative ability. I am now seeking to apply and further develop my skills and expertise within a dynamic team of people. In all things I continuously demonstrate innovative thought and a desire to add value at any given opportunity. I am looking to share my high work ethics and creativity with a like-minded employer.

    * Graphic Design
    * Typesetting – Prepress Technician
    * Consistent demonstration of marketing principles.
    * Client relationship management.
    * Computerised plotter and engraver.

    Key Skills
    Extensive print industry experience.
    Supervision of junior staff.
    The planning and coordination of successful events.
    Meticulous attention to detail.
    Ability to quickly learn new systems and procedures.

    Employment History

    ABC Printing, Brisbane QLD: July 2007 – Current
    Processing client files to ensure they meet required specifications for print production.
    Altering previous files as required.
    Creating new artwork, typesetting, layout and design.

    Screen Truflow workflow and imposition system.
    Kodak Prinergy Workshop 5.1- Kodak Preps 5.3 – Imposition Software
    Adobe Creative Suite 4
    Quark Express 8.0
    Freehand MX and Coral Draw
    MAC OSX and Windows XP

    Screen Plate Rite 4300s auto load plate setter.
    Screen Plate Rite 4300 manual load plate setter.
    Epson 9600 large format plotter.
    HP5500 Designjet large format plotter.
    HP Business 2800 Inkjet.
    Sharp MX 4100N – A3 Color laser proofing.
    Inkjet Proofing Solution – Epson Stylus Pro 9900 for Kodak Match Print

    Alcan Packaging, Totona, ITALY: Sept 2000 – May 2007
    Treatment of existing graphic files (editing, checking & reprinting).
    Creation of new decors (incl. page layout and manipulation of images).
    Production of offset plates (clichés) and screen printing frames through the photographic exposure process.
    Maintenance of all equipment and management of the IT system (archiving, updating of software and hardware).
    Preparation and management of consumables (developer, film, printing plates etc).
    Apply creative design when supporting new client projects in the defining and creation of decors.
    Trained and assisted junior technicians.
    Analysis of anomalies and subsequent decision making to apply best business practice to rectify problem/loss.

    Appointed Italian resource for ‘Retc Esperti Prepresse’ Network of Prepress Experts, Alcan Packaging Eurpoe.
    Successful optimization of exchange of production orders.
    Standardised methodologies for graphics treatments.
    Superior knowledge and understanding of co-partner business (materials, printing techniques, control tools, software).

    Adobe Creative Suite 1 & 2
    Quark Express 4.0 & 5.0
    Freehand MX and Coral Draw
    Harlequin RIP – Pantone Hexachrome Suite
    MAC OS9 & OSX and Windows XP

    Agfa Duoscan T1200 scanner
    ECRM 1036 Delbox (Harlequin)
    Norscreen MS17D developer
    Combitype A5 FLEXO group (for photosensitive development of BASF photoploymer).

    Seritarghe, Torino, ITALY: May 1998 – Sept 2000
    Designer and maker of posters, signs, plates, synoptic panels and decals.
    Engraver using computerized pantograph.
    Maintenance of all equipment.
    Preparation and management of consumables (developer, film, printing plates etc).

    Adobe Creative Suite 1 & 2
    Freehand MX and Coral Draw
    MAC and Windows XP

    Flatbed plotter for cutting polycarbonate and vinyl.
    Cielle pantograph BETA model 65 x 45 for engraving, milling and cutting of aluminium synoptic panels and
    plexiglass and production of decorative plates in bronze and aluminium.
    Roland vertical plotter for heat transfer printing and vinyl engraving.
    Mimaki vertical plotter for vinyl engraving.


  • Aussie digital dailies hit London streets

    Colour copies of the world’s leading newspapers are digitally printed on the same day using Océ JetStream inkjet technology.

    The Australian and Sydney Morning Herald will join the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal in the stable of international newspapers available on the same day in London. Digital production house Stroma prints and distributes international newspaper titles from across the globe now using a JetStream 1000 press.

    Steve Brown, Stroma, says: “In these testing times for newspapers, digital color is a real expansion opportunity for the industry. This is something the publishers have been wanting for a long time. With the Océ JetStream 1000 production press, it can now be realised with ramifications for the future growth of Stroma.

    Océ pioneered the digital newspaper market a decade ago with its Digital Newspaper Network. Around 30 million newspaper copies have been produced globally through this network since 2001, making Océ the world market leader in digital newspaper production.

    “Ensuring immediate delivery in international markets of newspapers printed digitally in colour with a print quality comparable to traditional printing provides a steady revenue stream and potential growth opportunity for newspaper publishers,” says Herbert Kieleithner, Océ Australia’s Marketing Manager, Print Production.

    “We are fully committed to the digital newspaper market, and with the Océ JetStream at Stroma, we move into a new era of digital newspaper production.”