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How Quote & Print can combat an ever-changing world

Wednesday, 12 March 2008
By Print21

The printing industry continues to evolve due to changing costs and changing technology, says Alan Alexander, Quote & Print distributor for Queensland.

Staffing is one area that is affecting costs of printing companies.  In Queensland, most industries are experiencing difficulty in attracting good staff; but none more than the printing industry.  Shortages in all departments, including press operators, bindery staff, sales and administration and accounting, has led to increased movement of capable staff between companies as they better themselves and look for better paid jobs.  Companies now have to offer more to attract them and this is forcing the cost of labour upwards.

Part of the problem is there seems to be a lack of new people entering the industry.  There are insufficient apprentices for the printing industry coming out of TAFE.  This may be because school leavers are looking for more traditional trades such as in the building industry where there is also a desperate shortage of trained tradesman.

It is necessary for existing staff to be working as efficiently as possible.  A properly implemented computer system such as Quote & Print and can help.  To support this, Q&P in recent months has gained some new customers in Queensland as well as in other states.  There has also been an increased interest in the workflow, scheduling and back costing modules.

Another aspect to consider is the changing mix of machinery.

The most noticeable is the addition of digital printing.  More businesses are adding digital to complement their traditional offset business.  There is also wide format digital.  But this is not one way; some digital businesses are adding offset to help for their longer run jobs.

The effect of this is that the print capacity is increasing and the industry is becoming more and more competitive. Staff also need to be more multi-tasking.  For example, estimators need to be adept in offset, digital and wide format digital.  And the medium for estimating is changing.  Gone almost is the fax and it is being replaced by the internet and email.  As an evolving product, Quote & Print is addressing these issues with improvements in the internet interface, digital and wide format digital areas.

So, increasing costs, increasing print capacity, digital printing and the possible effect of rising interest rates, highlight the requirement of a not over-complicated MIS to improve efficiencies in a continuing competitive print industry.

This article was brought to you by Quote & Print

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