Archive for June, 2017

  • EFI PrintSmith Vision MIS

    Are your employees buried under a mountain of paperwork? Do you have visibility into your print production? Are you effectively engaging your customers? EFI PrintSmith Vision MIS is your key to automation, streamlined workflows and improved customer service.

    EFI PrintSmith Vision is a browser-based, scalable and customisable print management solution designed to streamline operations, reduce costs and provide the visibility you need to be successful. With over 10,000 systems sold worldwide, PrintSmith is a flexible, feature-rich print management software (MIS) that offers powerful estimating, point-of-sale, account management, production management, receivables and sales analysis tools within a single, easy-to-use application.

    Danny Saunders, EFI.

    “It’s a cost-effective, easy-to-use web-based MIS solution that can link to all our other suites, including Fiery and Digital Storefront, as an end-to-end integrated workflow – EFI can be a one-stop solution for your needs,” said Danny Saunders, EPS sales development manager at EFI.

    Features of PrintSmith Vision

    • Easy-to-use and leverage solution: PrintSmith Vision offers a browser based interface that lets the user focus on improving business performance
    • Remote secure access from mobile, tablet and desktop: Extended visibility allows you to service your customers whether you are on the road or in the office
    • Flexible and Scalable: Offering a modular architecture, EFI PrintSmith Vision lets you choose the solution that best fits your business requirements, size and budget providing the ability and flexibility to grow with your organization as your business needs evolve
    • Easy and Quick Implementation: PrintSmith Vision is a self-implemented solution and can be fully functional within 40 hours
    • Fast ROI: Take advantage of the benefits of PrintSmith Vision within weeks and start growing your business
    For more information, contact EPS Sales Development Manager Danny Saunders about making your business more productive and efficient on 0450 166 977 or at See the possibilities at
  • Check out Heroprint’s new website

    The new heroprint website can be found here.



  • Issue 923 – June 30, 2017

    The march of digital is unstoppable – those little green forms you have to fill out when going overseas are going in the dustbin (where people tend to put them anyway, according to ABS data). Come tomorrow, the information previously collected from outgoing passenger cards will now be taken from data the government already has, which makes you wonder why they were needed in the first place. Canberra’s CanPrint will still print the incoming passenger cards for the Department of Immigration, but the question now is how long it’ll be before those forms go the same way.

    Welcome to your latest issue of Print21, the premier news and information service for the printing industry across Australia and New Zealand.

    Jake Nelson

  • Government to dump outgoing passenger cards

    The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will no longer use printed ‘outgoing passenger cards’ at Australia’s ports from Saturday July 1.

    Peter Dutton, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.

    The green cards required travellers leaving Australia to provide information including passport number, flight number, destination, date of birth, occupation, nationality, and customs declaration. This information will now be collated from existing government data, a process which Peter Dutton, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, said would improve the experience for travellers, as well as strengthen border security and cut red tape. “The automated process will add to existing state-of-the art passenger processing technology at our border and will help reduce queuing times and get travellers to their destination more quickly.

    “Removal of the outgoing passenger card further supports the move towards a more seamless, secure and simplified border clearance process,” Dutton said.

    DIBP has cited an increase in passenger numbers as a reason for the move, saying Border Force processed more than 40 million international travellers across the border in 2015-16, a number projected to rise to 50 million by 2020. The removal of the outgoing passenger card is critical to ensuring the continued smooth passage of increasing traveller numbers departing Australia, the department said in a press release.

    In addition, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed that passengers frequently fail to put these cards in the drop boxes provided, with more than 230,000 outgoing passenger cards going missing in March this year.

    The $6 million contract for printing passenger cards is held by Canberra’s CanPrint Communications, a subsidiary of Opus Group. CanPrint staff were unavailable for comment.

    The completion of incoming passenger cards will still be required for all travellers entering Australia.

  • First compact KM label press up and running

    Roger Kirwan, MD Foxcil, with the Konica Minolta bizHUB C71cf.

    Sydney label converter Foxcil’s new Konica Minolta bizHUB C71cf digital label press, the first in Australia, has been installed at the company’s Brookvale plant.

    Konica Minolta announced the sale of the small toner-based press, designed for short runs, at PacPrint 2017 in May. A month later, the machine is fully operational, and Roger Kirwan, owner and managing director, is pleased with the results. “It’s increased our capacity, and it’s helped us to maintain and even sometimes improve our lead times, which is what we were aiming for,” Kirwan said.

    The machine’s small footprint, high output quality, and strong standard of maintenance and support were three factors that helped sell Kirwan on the C71cf, he says, adding that being the first company in Australia to own one fits with Foxcil’s philosophy of always looking for the latest technological innovations. “We like to be at the front of the technology curve, and I wanted to make sure we remained there – if we don’t, then people will jump in front of us. I was confident around the press’s technology, which has been used in Konica Minolta’s sheetfed business for a long time, so even though it’s web-fed, I feel like the technology is proven,” Kirwan said.

    The C71cf joins Foxcil’s existing Xeikon 3030 label press, which is used for jobs involving variable data or white toner, among others. “The two presses really complement each other,” Kirwan said. “Before we purchased the C71cf we were 100 percent reliant on our main production press, and if there were any issues with it we’d wind up dead in the water – we wanted to have an alternative available,” he said.

    Kirwan says he has been very happy dealing with Konica Minolta. “They’re a very good company to deal with, very professional. Like anything, there have been a few teething problems, but they dealt with those issues very well. I’d actually had very limited exposure to Konica Minolta beforehand, but I’ve been very impressed with them,” he said.

  • Warning on ACM Panels – McCourt’s ReVerb

    External cladding similar to that used on Grenfell Tower has been discovered on a four-storey accommodation block in Perth, WA.

    Since their invention in 1964 by Alcan (now 3A Composites), Aluminium Composite Panels have proved to be an excellent medium for screen print use in signage, display, POP and, more recently, digital inkjet decoration using flatbed UV printers. Correctly used and fabricated, ACM is yet another reason why wide format inkjet printing continues to outstrip most other areas of the graphic arts in growth and versatility.

    From the instant I saw the first news footage of the Grenfell Tower inferno here in the UK, I could see the building had been clad in ACM panels and wondered if they were the correct grade. In my mind was the 2014 Lacrosse Building fire in Melbourne, where a third party had wrongfully used the PE (Polyethylene) cored ACM product which resulted in an intense and rapidly spread fire that destroyed the building but, mercifully, no lives were lost.

    The Grenfell London high-rise fire so far has killed 79 people including children and babies. The rapid spread of the fire both up and down the building has focused attention on the ACM cladding used in a recent renovation. Subsequent investigation has revealed up to 600 residential tower blocks in the UK may have the same non-fire retardant cladding. Nine buildings have already begun removal of ACM cladding, with more to follow.

    Scotland Yard has commenced a criminal investigation to see if deliberate use of the cheaper, PE-cored ACM instead of the more expensive mineral-cored fire-resistant ACM, has occurred. If it proves to be so, it is not inconceivable that prison terms could eventuate for suppliers, installers and specifiers. If deliberate substitution of ACM material has occurred, the charges will be very serious indeed, some UK media even calling it mass murder.

    Why PE-core ACM spreads fire so fast

    On its own, ACM does not typically start a fire but if one does start (Grenfell ignited from an exploding fridge), the PE core can ignite, drip flaming globules down while accelerating upwards through the gap in the ACM sandwich. As it gets hotter and hotter, it sucks oxygen in and effectively becomes a blast-furnace, fuelling even hotter and more violent combustion at very high speed. The melting point of aluminium is around 660 celsius: the London Fire Brigade estimate that Grenfell peaked at well over 1,000C so you can imagine what happens to the thin aluminium facings – made from coil rolled aluminium in the same way offset plates are made.

    The result is a horrible, inhumane and completely avoidable holocaust of death, maiming and family tragedy. Contributing to this in an almost mind-boggling omittance, is that Grenfell Tower had no sprinkler system and neither do most of the other council-run low cost accommodation blocks in London.

    What to do in Australia and New Zealand

    Our industry importers of ACM suppliers are many and varied, from top-grade well documented ACM with appropriate warnings, to cheap Asian imports of questionable specification and testing. Used only for signage, POP and display and there is no problem whatever is used. It’s a great medium for excellent quality UV printing and fabrication.

    For architectural and construction use, PE-cored ACM must never be used but we know from the Lacrosse Building fire that it has. Who knows how many other buildings are potential blast-furnace infernos? A full UK-style inspection is needed and removal undertaken if PE core is found.

    If ACM suppliers see a large order for PE-cored ACM that is uncharacteristic, they must ensure it is for signage use alone. The mineral ‘wool’ cored ACM contains a hardened slurry of rock or slag and has a higher melting point than even the aluminium it joins. If it looks like the panels are going onto buildings, the more expensive fire-grade ACM must be supplied. Just as with our uranium, the supply chain must be monitored to end use.

    If an architect specifies fire-resistant grade ACM and a contractor substitutes cheaper non-fire grade, this should then be a criminal offence. Just as concrete is tested prior to a big pour, ACM architectural panels should be spot-checked and tested prior to and during installation.

    If you have already knowingly or unknowingly supplied or installed ACM panels for construction purposes that are not the fire-resistant kind, then for pity’s sake ‘fess up and notify the local authorities immediately.

    Grenfell was and is an ongoing unimaginable horror and tragedy. Let’s make sure it never, ever happens in Australia or New Zealand. It’s something our industry can do something about, so let’s do it.







  • Australian Paper price hike on the way

    Australian Paper's mill at Maryvale, VIC.

    Australian Paper will increase prices on selected uncoated woodfree copy and printing papers by three to five percent effective July.

    Andrew Menck, Australian Paper.

    Andrew Menck, general manager sales at Australian Paper, said the price rises were necessary to offset costs. “Following a sustained period of upward pressure on a number of our key input costs including energy, transport, logistics, and raw materials, we have notified our customers of the decision to implement a market wide price increase on selected uncoated woodfree copy and printing papers.

    “Australian Paper regularly reviews all components of our manufacturing and supply chain processes to ensure that we continue to provide our customers with superior service, high quality locally made products and market competitive pricing,” Menck said.

    Australian Paper was unable to comment on which specific brands would see price increases. The move comes not long after the company won a victory against cheap imported paper in April, when the Anti-Dumping Commissioner ruled that dumping duties must be paid on paper imported from Brazil, China, Indonesia and Thailand.

    In a press release, Menck reaffirmed Australian Paper’s commitment to quality products and service. “We remain committed to continuing to offer a full range of premium products to the Australian market backed by a high level of service to our customers. Australian Paper greatly values the market’s support for our local paper manufacturing operations and we will work closely with our customers as we implement these necessary increases,” he said.

  • Holgate gets Printing Industries tick of approval

    Christine Holgate, incoming CEO of Australia Post.

    Printing Industries is ‘very pleased’ with the appointment of Christine Holgate as CEO of Australia Post and is looking forward to improved relations between Australia Post and the industry, says Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA.

    Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA

    Macaulay has expressed his hope that Australia Post will negotiate with the industry about its planning and direction. “We’re hoping this is the beginning of a positive change in terms of engagement with Australia Post and we’ll be asking questions about its plans for the future of the letters and bulk mailing industry,” he said.

    Holgate, former chief of Blackmores, was appointed CEO of Australia Post this week and will take over from outgoing CEO Ahmed Fahour in October, following his resignation effective July. “We’re hoping that this is the beginning of a positive change in terms of engagement with the industry,” Macaulay said.

    Peter Bass, executive general manager for Australia Post’s letters and mail network, will speak with Macaulay and Printing Industries members as part of a live event in July. “Australia Post’s executive GM of Letters, Peter Bass, has agreed to sit down next month in Melbourne and be interviewed by myself and a couple of printers in a live broadcast that will go out to all of our members around the country. Members will also have the opportunity to submit questions. We’re just putting this together now and we’re still finalising the technical details but the meeting is scheduled for 11 July,” Macaulay said.

    Printing Industries has also secured a commitment from Australia Post to have a roadshow with the industry, including involvement with PIAA members in each state.


  • Avant closes after 300 million postcards

    'I have loved every moment': Pat Mackle, MD Avant Card

    Avant Card, Australia’s first free postcard advertising company, will close its doors at the end of July 2017 after 25 years in business.

    Since being established in 1992, the company produced more than 20,000 campaigns, and distributed more than 300 million postcards in venues including cafes, hotels, cinemas, high schools and universities.

    The very last card to be issued will be card number 20850, titled “Elvis has left the building.”

    “Although the product offerings were expanded beyond the classic postcard, the combination of the rise of digital advertising, funding cuts to the arts – the company’s number one client base, reduced marketing budgets in all sectors, and a very competitive media environment, has resulted in the business no longer being financially sustainable,” says Avant Card founder and MD Pat Mackle.

    “It is with sadness, tinged with immense pride, that the time has come for the very last Avant Card to grace our displays. Who would have thought that 25 years ago, as an unemployed 28-year-old, we could have come this far, placing a postcard a day into the hands of delighted people.”

    Avant Card

    Ground-breaking in the early 1990’s, Avant Card was an informative and tangible out-of-home medium that was popular with people of all ages. The company had offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

    “All thanks to everyone who ever believed in the product…the humble postcard,” says Mackle. “I wish to pass on my heartfelt thanks for all the clients that also believed in me, for all the many staff over the years that have been by my side and given a piece of themselves to the business, through the good times, the fun times and the tough times. Although we will be gone, I hope some postcards will be treasured and live on.

    “Dear Avant Card,” Mackle writes in an email, “thanks so much for being my best friend, for giving me a great life, for introducing me to so many amazing people, for allowing me the privilege of giving back to society and for being part of so many people’s lives. I have loved every moment. Yours sincerely, Pat Mackle.”

    An Avant display at a high school



  • Winds of change – Andreas Rau heads home

    DS Chemport, Campbellfield VIC

    With over three decades of experience in the graphic arts and printing industry, both in Australia and abroad, Andreas Rau, national product manager of Melbourne-based DS Chemport, has resigned effective 31 August 2017.

    Andreas Rau, DS Chemport

    Rau and his wife Caroline have decided to relocate themselves and their children to Germany to spend more time with their respective families.

    Peter Drozdowicz, CEO of DS Chemport, a Fujifilm subsidiary, said that in his nine years with the company Rau had made a substantial contribution to the sales growth of the Trelleborg Offset Blanket Agency in both the Australian and New Zealand market.

    Paul Henderson, who’s held a technical role over the past six years at DS Chemport, will take over the sales and customer support role.

    “We wish Andreas all the best with his new venture and welcome Paul to his new role,” says Drozdowicz.

    DS Chemport (Australia), a subsidiary of Fuji Hunt Asian Pacific Holding, is a manufacturing company providing goods and services to the printing and graphic arts industry. Its ultimate parent company is FujiFilm Holdings Corporation, Japan.


  • Sarah Kennedy is graduate of the year

    (l-r) Mark Smyth representing Heidelberg; LIA Graduate of the year Sarah Kennedy; and LIA Federal President Mel Ireland.

    Sarah Kennedy of Brisbane printer Colorcorp has won the LIA-Heidelberg Graduate of the Year Award presented at an awards night in Brisbane.

    Kennedy won the Graduate of the Year prize ahead of runner-up Lauren White of Greenridge Press and finalists David McDowall (Printcraft), Jeremy Nichol (APN) and Jeffrey Zielke (Inprint).

    More than 130 people attended the 2017 LIA-Heidelberg Graduate of the Year Awards & PIAA QLD Early Stage Apprenticeship Awards held at South Bank.

    Winner of the Stage 1 Apprenticeship Award was Kyal Ragh of APN, ahead of runner-up Josie Sach of BB Print.

    The Stage 2 Apprenticeship Award went to Jack Kelly (Southport Printing), with Robert Edge (Amcor Flexibles) finishing runner-up.

    The Stage 3 Award winner was Andrew Rett (Inprint), ahead of colleague Joshua Irving (Inprint).

    “The discussion on selecting winners this year was as tough as it gets,” says Brendan Pearce, LIA QLD vice president. “Judges had a very difficult time in finalising the awards and said the quality of the candidates had risen to a new level. The quality of the contenders made it extremely difficult to split them.”

    Print historian Clinton Harvey (pictured) entertained the crowd with his presentation on the resurgence of letterpress printing and the history of print in Australia. The underlying theme to the industry at large was not to overlook the rich history of printing in Australia, says LIA federal vice president Bernie Hockings.

    This year also saw the inaugural presentation of the “Gary Bender – Industry Contribution Award,” named in honour of long time industry and LIA contributor, Gary Bender, who was present to receive the trophy from Hockings.

    “This has been a great night and highlights all the good things that our industry has to offer,” says Mel Ireland, LIA federal president. “I also want especially thank the sponsors and the training organisations who put forward their best and brightest.”

    Sponsors included Visual Connections, Spicers Paper and Currie Group.

    Gary Bender (left) receives the inaugural Gary Bender award from Bernie Hockings.

    Graduates and apprentices at awards night

    Other images from the event are available at







  • Issue 922 – June 28, 2017

    The appointment of Christine Holgate as CEO of Australia Post presents the opportunity to reset that organisation’s priorities. The printing and mailing industry will be watching closely to see if there is any change in the corporate disregard of mail that dominated the previous regime. Australia Post’s first and foremost role is to deliver the mail and encourage its use as a communication channel.

    Ms Holgate is stepping up to a challenging role; let’s hope she sets her own agenda.

    Welcome to your latest issue of Print21, the premier news and information service for the printing industry across Australia and New Zealand.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor.

  • Whittaker paid $1m to exit Fuji Xerox: report

    Neil Whittaker (pictured), the former high-profile MD of Fuji Xerox NZ (FXNZ) and Fuji Xerox Australia (FXA), was paid more than $A1 million to leave his job after parent Fujifilm uncovered ‘accounting irregularities’ in its Australasian subsidiaries that had overstated revenues by $450 million, according to a NZ report.

    Fujifilm’s independent investigative committee’s 75-page finding – just translated – refers to the former managing director of FXNZ and FXA only as “Mr. A.” However, NZ First Party leader, Winston Peters has since named “Mr. A” as Neil Whittaker, who was FXNZ MD from 2004 to 2015, when he took up a similar role at FXA.

    The report states that one of the causes of the ‘inappropriate’ accounting practices at FXNZ and FXA was the use of incentives, such as commissions and bonuses, that placed an importance on a corporate culture based on “sales at any cost.”

    In particular, Mr. A had an extremely high sales target achievement rate, which was particularly emphasised among the assessment items for calculating standard bonuses, and he therefore was paid significant amounts as incentives-based remuneration. It can be inferred that this type of framework caused other employees to seek higher sales and escalated the development of the sales-centric mindset.

     According to interviews with multiple persons concerned, FXNZ’s corporate culture was characterized by a “sales at any cost” mindset. The FX group also had expectations for FXNZ’s sales due to sluggish sales growth in Japan, which helped form FXNZ’s sales-centric corporate culture through incentive-based remuneration, and others. Additionally, Mr. A, who was the MD, personally strongly pursued incentive-based remuneration by expanding sales.

    The report found that the ‘dysfunctional’ practices later spread to Fuji Xerox Australia.

    The circumstances discussed above with dysfunctional organisational governance allowed Mr. A’s sales-centric culture to spread. Like at FXNZ, this was due to the strong expectations to FXAU’s sales under circumstances where sales in Japan were not growing, as well as due to bonuses for achieving targets making up a large proportion of employee compensation (30% of his base pay in the case of Mr. A) as an incentive, of which the portion of sales consideration was big (30%-40% of the bonus). Under this kind of culture, it is believed that inappropriate accounting practices came to be carried out without giving consideration to whether it would contribute to FXAU’s revenue.

     Further, Mr. A made organizational changes where the employees from the Commercial Team (whose role was to check whether transactions should be approved in accordance with price decision policies, to cause the Sales Team to comply with rules, report on failures to comply, and review procedures) that was originally part of the Finance Department and employees from the Legal Department were transferred to the Sales Team, which suggests that the organization was changed to weaken the organizational checks and balances on the power of the Sales Team. According to the interviews, there were issues with the capabilities of personnel in the Finance Department, and it seems that the Finance Department functioned weakly, and could not perform its monitoring and checking function properly.

    The report says that a decision was made to relieve “Mr. A” of his duties in May 2016.

    Mr. A was informed that he was recommended to leave the position on May 16, 2016. He subsequently signed a settlement agreement to leave the firm that paid him the full salary and retirement benefit etc. that he would have received had he stayed with the company for the entire term (AU$1,031,457.62; approx. ¥88 million).

     On March 17, 2017, Accounting Firm 2-2 gave notice that it had reason to suspect that fraud had occurred at FXNZ, and that it would be sending official notice (Fraud Letter) on March 20 to FXNZ of its intent to conduct an investigation into the suspected fraud.

    The committee’s report “rips the scab off fraud rife at Fuji Xerox NZ,” according to Peters.

    “Schools, councils and the government have been fleeced by the $500m fraud at Fuji Xerox NZ – with the financial fallout on schools and ratepayers likely to be felt in coming months. It’s a massive fraud right up there with Equiticorp, Goldcorp, Securitibank, South Canterbury Finance and Bridgecorp.

    “How could a supposedly loss-making company afford to jet staff off to lush parties in New York, Aspen and Paris and put its managers into cars worth well over six-figures?” says Peters. “How could anyone trust a former boss, ‘Mr. A’ in Fujifilm’s own Independent Investigation, who lauded ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ as a hero?”

    New Zealand’s Serious Fraud Office is now said to be “obtaining additional information” about the case.

     Read the full report here.




  • ‘Site rationalisations’ for Ball & Doggett

    Paper merchants BJ Ball and K.W. Doggett have revealed their newly merged business will be known as Ball & Doggett from 1 August. Details of the expected ‘site rationalisations’ arising from the merger have yet to be announced.

    The deal, announced in April, will see leading global pulp and paper company Japan Pulp & Paper (JPP) acquire a 51% stake in the new entity.

    In a statement, K.W. Doggett says the completion date for the merger and change of ownership is 3 July 2017. The operational merger of the two businesses will take place on 1 August 2017.

    As we merge the two businesses, some great synergies among our people are emerging. We’re excited about what Ball & Doggett will be able to offer and our ability to keep supporting the graphics and printing industry in Australia and New Zealand. In a few weeks, we’ll confirm all relevant contact details to ensure you experience a smooth transition into the new entity, plus we’ll reveal the new Ball & Doggett logo and state teams.

    Pulp and paper industry analyst Tim Woods of IndustryEdge says ‘rationalisations’ of existing BJ Ball and K.W. Doggett facilities are on the way.

    “Inevitable site rationalisations have already been flagged, with the merger providing an opportunity to ensure the cost base of the business is consistent with the changes in the industry’s demand, and is capable of delivering future value in both the mature and growth sectors of the graphic communications industry.”

    Tokyo-based JPP is a leading Japanese paper and paperboard distribution company and has expanded the activities of its group to include manufacturing, processing and wholesaling of paper and paperboard, along with other arms of the business such as real estate leasing, ICT and renewable energy generation.

    Woods says the Japanese parent company will bring its diversified business model to Australia.

    “When JPP arrives in Australia and New Zealand as the majority owner of the newly merged BJ Ball and KW Doggett, the venerable merchant, manufacturer and converter will bring with it an increasingly diversified business model, spreading its reach beyond the world of paper and paperboard.”

    JPP is also preparing to change its name to OVOL. The new name is intended to be reflective of a business that is in transition, says Woods.

    “The Australasian market has long been attractive to JPP,” according to Akihiko Watanabe, President of JPP/OVOL. “The opportunity to enter this market with such a strongly-aligned partner enables us to leverage significant existing relationships and introduce more diverse products here. We look forward to the ongoing benefit this will bring to the market and customers and becoming a long-term partner to the ANZ market.”



  • $3 million pay cut for female AusPost CEO

    "I feel fortunate': New Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate

    Australia Post’s new CEO, former Blackmores chief Christine Holgate, will earn millions less than outgoing boss Ahmed Fahour, who resigned earlier this year after his $5.6 million salary was revealed by a Senate committee.

    Fahour, who will step down next month after seven years in the role, could receive a three-year bonus of up to $6 million this year, on top of his $2 million salary and other bonuses.

    Holgate will be paid just under $1.4 million, with a potential bonus that would double her earnings to about $2.75 million.

    In a statement, Australia Post said: Ms Holgate’s remuneration has been set at $1.375 million fixed annual total remuneration and the potential to earn incentive payments of up to $1.375 million, in accordance with the parameters set by the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal.

    [Following intense criticism over Fahour’s salary package, the Federal Government announced earlier this year that the Remuneration Tribunal would now determine the Australia Post managing director’s pay and conditions.]

    Ahmed Fahour, CEO Australia Post, at a Senate Committee hearing.

    Holgate, who will start in mid-to-late October 2017, joins Australia Post after a nine-year tenure as CEO of Blackmores and previous executive roles with Telstra, JP Morgan and Cable & Wireless.

    Group Chief Customer Officer, Christine Corbett, will lead the business through a ‘CEO transition period’ – between Fahour’s departure on 28 July and Holgate’s arrival in October.

    UK-born Holgate says she feels privileged to be appointed as CEO of such an iconic Australian corporation.

    “Australia Post has proven itself to be one of the most resilient and successful postal businesses anywhere in the world,” she says. “I feel fortunate to be joining at a time when we can really strengthen Post’s leading position in the eCommerce market – both here, in Australia, and in Asia. I’m a passionate advocate for Australian business seizing the opportunity that’s on our doorstep in Asia and that creates opportunities for everyone – our workforce, our shareholder, the community, as well as businesses across Australia.

    “I’m really looking forward to joining the team. And I’m especially looking forward to getting out and meeting the posties, the drivers, post office staff, licensees and other partners who deliver services in communities across Australia, every day.”

    'Her knowledge of global eCommerce will be invaluable': John Stanhope, chairman Australia Post

    Chairman John Stanhope says Australia Post undertook a thorough global search before choosing Holgate as the outstanding candidate to lead the business through the next phase of its transformation program.

    “Over the past seven years, we have transformed Australia Post into Australia’s leading parcels and eCommerce company and introduced critical reforms to the letters service. With Post now entering a new stage in our transformation, it’s the perfect time for Christine to take the helm. Christine has a demonstrated track-record of delivering results in large, complex organisations, both here in Australia and internationally.

    “The board was impressed by her experience of working very successfully in a range of different industries that are highly regulated. And, on top of that, she has a proven ability to implement strategy – and successfully grow a business in Asia. Her knowledge of global eCommerce will be invaluable as we pursue our Asian Strategy, which is all about offering logistics support to Australian businesses that are either selling in Asia, or sourcing their products there.

    “Christine’s business philosophy is also a perfect fit for Australia Post,” says Stanhope. “She is a firm believer that businesses must perform commercially, but also serve the community. And that’s entirely consistent with our objectives as a community-based business that has both commercial objectives and community service standards to uphold.”

    The Australian Catalogue Association welcomed Holgate to the job.

    “Warm congratulations to Christine Holgate on this new role,” says ACA CEO Kellie Northwood. “We look forward to working with Ms Holgate in our ongoing Australia Post partnerships as we collaborate to build a positive future for the mail and print industries.”



  • Job losses in Spicers restructure

    Paper merchant Spicers is cutting several back-office jobs as part of the restructuring of its Australian business following the settlement of a long-running dispute with former PaperlinX hybrid shareholders.

    Spicers told the ASX that the estimated cost-savings of these ‘headcount reductions’ will be $1.3 million in financial year 2018, progressing to an annualised benefit of $1.7 million.

    Several roles in predominantly back-office functional areas will be made redundant as a result of this specific and targeted restructuring, with minimal impact on customer-facing roles. The cost of these redundancies will be $0.9 million, which will be recorded as a significant item in Spicers’ financial report for the year ending 30 June 2017.

    'Further changes were necessary': David Martin, CEO Spicers

    Spicers CEO David Martin says “less than 15” mainly non-operational, back-office jobs will go. “There will be no change to customer-facing roles in our production print operation. It’s not a wonderful day for the people made redundant but they’re being looked after through the business. We’re strong on our values and we’re making sure that we’re supporting these people.

    “While our Australian business has taken several steps to optimise operational performance and reduce costs throughout the year, including portfolio profitability reviews, optimising our working capital and reducing premises lease costs, further changes were necessary to improve our profitability in a challenging market environment,” says Martin.

    “The resolution of a number of legacy corporate issues, culminating in the imminent simplification of Spicers’ capital structure, will lead to reduced corporate administrative activities going forward. It is important to note that the redundancies we have announced today are directly related to the need to restructure our operations and cost base, enabling investment in our business growth.

    “We thank the affected team members for their contributions to the business and will support them through this difficult period.”

    Meanwhile, Spicers confirmed its acquisition of SPS Trust, the responsible entity for its former PaperlinX hybrid shares, and SPS Trust was removed from trading on the ASX at the close of business, 27 June.

    Spicers also announced its NZ business has acquired Sign Technology, a leading supplier of LED and neon sign components.

    “Sign Technology has been identified as a good ‘bolt-on’ acquisition for Spicers NZ, which will provide us with excellent access to strong global LED and neon component brands in a market sector where our Sign & Display operation currently has a relatively small presence,” says John Greenacre, GM Spicers NZ.



  • Bobst roadshow rolls into Melbourne

    (L-R) Daniele Sacchini, Eric Pavone, Vincent Van Doorn, and Ettore Perego, from Bobst.

    Swiss flexographic and gravure titan Bobst and its partners reached out to Australian decision makers at a roadshow event in Melbourne on Tuesday June 27th.

    Held at the Langham Hotel, Southbank, the Bobst and Partners Roadshow aimed to connect with current and potential clients, and featured presentations from Bobst, Esko, Daetwyler SwissTech, Kodak, Atlas Converting Equipment, DuPont, LasX, Bandera, and Simplot Australia.

    Joe Hancock, TCL Hofmann.

    “It’s a concept of Bobst – mostly in emerging markets, they create a roadshow, invite industry to such an event, and present their portfolio of activities,” said Joe Hancock, managing director of TCL Hofmann, which along with Gulmen Engineering sells and distributes Bobst equipment in Australia. “Australia is a more mature market, but we still see a benefit to it – we have brand owners, industry groups, flexo customer/converters, and label converters coming today to see the latest offerings from Bobst and how they can apply them to their businesses.”

    The event focused on Bobst and its partners’ offerings in the labels and flexible packaging space, and is convenient both for Bobst and the roadshow’s guests, said Eric Pavone, business development director at Bobst. “I think it’s important to be more and more present in Australia, due to the distance from Europe and the US. It’s not every day we can be here, so doing this kind of event means that, in one day, we can bring flexible packaging and label suppliers together to meet with us in one place, and I think the audience appreciates that, because it means that instead of the market having to go to Europe, we will come to the market,” Pavone said.

    Roger Kirwan, owner, Foxcil and Roller Poster.

    Guests at the event gave positive feedback, including Roger Kirwan, owner of Foxcil and Roller Poster, who flew down from Sydney to attend. “It’s been enjoyable – a very good day. I was interested in seeing what the latest developments are in the narrow to wide web segment – with Foxcil being a label producer, we were in the narrow web space, and taking on Roller Poster has taken us into the wide web space. We wanted to see what was out there in that mid web range to see if there were solutions that could complement both Foxcil and Roller Poster,” Kirwan said.

    The next Bobst and Partners Roadshow will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, on Thursday June 29.