Posts Tagged ‘Hagop’

  • PIAA teams up with NSW government for print industry benchmarking tool

    The Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries) and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage are in discussions that could lead to the development of a new benchmarking tool for the printing industry.

    Hagop Tchamkertenian (pictured), Printing Industries national manager for Policy and
    Government Affairs, said that a joint survey was launched on 8 July to give printing industry companies the opportunity to identify what they consider to be critical benchmarks that could help their performance.

    “Benchmarking is a powerful management strategy that enlightens businesses to new methods, ideas and tools to improve their effectiveness,” said Tchamkertenian. “If a business does not measure their performance against other similar businesses, then they have no basis to determine how well they are doing in their sector.

    “Benchmarking also helps overcome resistance to change by using performance data to demonstrate better practices than some companies may be currently using to resolve issues,” he said.

    According to Tchamkertenian, the project would aim to provide a simple tool, focusing on a small number of useful benchmarks.

    The survey will be open until Tuesday 23 July 2013 and can be accessed via this link.

  • PIAA launches business succession plan survey

    The age of industry business and the succession plans of their owners is the subject of a snapshot survey from the Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries).

    The new survey forms part of the Association’s succession planning and industry exit strategy options currently being developed.

    Printing Industries National Manager for Policy and Government Affairs, Hagop Tchamkertenian (pictured), said the 90 second survey was part of research on industry business demographics, in particular the age of businesses and the extent of related succession planning.

    “We are seeking data on the degree of family ownerships, their business sectors and the age at which owners believe they may want to pass their business on,” he said.

    “It is also important to know whether or not they currently have a succession plan in place.”

    The survey is open until Friday 5 July 2013 and can be accessed via this link.

  • PIAA hosts New Business Opportunities webinar

    The Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries) is hosting the next webinar in its free industry webinar series on 28 June, with the ‘New Business Opportunities’ webinar set to tackle some of the changes the local printing landscape is undergoing.

    This free webinar will focus on the results from the Printing Industries’ New Business Opportunities survey conducted during April/May this year.

    It will provide details about the range of new services printing businesses are investing in and offering to their clients as they modify their business models to remain commercially relevant in the emerging and evolving digital economy.

    In addition, short and medium-term forecasts on a number of key industry variables will also be exclusively disclosed.

    Printing Industries’ national manager for Policy and Government Affairs, Hagop Tchamkertenian (pictured), will present the webinar based on his analysis of the survey responses and of local market conditions.

    “Attitudes towards creating more service focussed business models and the use of new technologies were an integral part of the survey and yielded some interesting results,” he said.

    The webinar will run from 1-2pm and pre-registration is essential. This can be done by clicking here.

    Click here for information and other upcoming events featured in the Print21 Calendar.

  • No joy for printers in Federal budget – PIAA

    Treasurer Wayne Swan’s sixth budget to the nation looks unlikely to benefit printers, according to the Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries), following budget night on 14 May.

    The association says that there are simply no measures such as corporate tax cuts, personal income tax cuts or measures to significantly boost economic activity or measures aimed at reducing regulations and compliance costs faced by small to medium sized printing businesses.

    In a statement, Printing Industries said:there is not much joy for the printing and associated industries in the Treasurer’s sixth budget.”

    Printing Industries says the budget has confirmed more cost pressures for business generally but specifically for small to medium sized businesses are just weeks away with increases in the compulsory superannuation to 9.25 per cent from 1 July 2013.

    According to Hagop Tchamkertenian (pictured), Printing Industries’ national manager, Policy and Government Affairs, the anticipated slowdown in economic growth during the next financial year will not provide much comfort to printing businesses facing challenging economic conditions, as printing businesses generally benefit from increased rates of economic activity.

    Consumption expenditure, a key driver of activity for the printing industry, is forecast to remain modest over the forward years.

    Printing businesses look set to benefit from lower projected inflation and moderate wage increases. A slight projected rise in the unemployment rate should help those printing businesses facing labour shortages by increasing the pool of labour resources available for hire.

    Printing Industries is also encouraging members to support the Small Business – Too Big to Ignore campaign this week, to give small business a greater voice in the agendas of political parties.

    The campaign was created by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) of which Printing Industries is a member.

    Printing Industries CEO Bill Healey (pictured) said the campaign was developed to give small business a collective voice that previously had not been possible.

    “Since the vast majority of our membership falls into this category, the campaign is well suited to complement our own strategies over the next few months,” he said. “While our members have many industry-specific concerns related to how they navigate the future in a multi-channel, digital world, they also share the broader concerns of business about being overtaxed, over-regulated and overlooked by government.

    “There are some two million small businesses in Australia employing more than seven million people – 60 per cent of Australia’s workforce – and that’s a force that collectively we want to be part of making a big noise to be heard in Canberra by all politicians from all political parties,” he said.

    Healey said the Too Big to Ignore campaign had a website where companies could voice their support simply by showing their support through visiting it, sharing it with others, making a comment, uploading a supporting video and her options.

    “I encourage everyone to to show their support and make themselves heard,” he said.

    Click here to read Printing Industries’ full report on the Federal budget.

  • Cash-flow dries up for local printers

    A majority of the Australian print businesses included in the latest Printing Industries trends survey reported a shift into negative cash-flow territory, with average debtor days outstripping average creditor days for the quarter ending March 2013, according to the Printing Industries Association of Australia’s (Printing Industries) Printing Industry Trends Survey Report for the March quarter.

    The report found that the average debtor days (the time in which cash is collected from debtors) among respondents stood at 52 days, outstripping the average creditor time-frames (the number of days allowed by creditors within which to pay off debts), which stood at 40 days – implying an underlying industry cash-flow gap of 12 days.

    A number of large suppliers in the local printing landscape moved to tighten their credit terms with customers during the March quarter following the GEON collapse in February. While not suggested by Printing Industries in the report, this shift in the local industry could have contributed substantially to the first quarter cash-flow gap indicated in the survey.

    According to the report, the majority – 57 per cent – of respondents indicated they had experienced negative cash-flow for the March quarter, with only 15.9 per cent reporting a positive cash-flow for the period. Meanwhile, 27.1 per cent of companies reported a cash-flow neutral quarter.

    The release of the latest issue of the report for the March 2013 quarter confirms trading conditions in the printing and associated industries remained challenging.

    Hagop Tchamkertenian (pictured), Printing Industries National Manager for Policy and Government Affairs, said that the March quarter outcomes represent the twenty-first consecutive quarter where reported industry outcomes came in below expected outcomes for a number of key economic indicators. 

    The survey respondents reported net balance reductions in a number of pivotal industry indicators including production, orders, sales, selling prices, net profits, employment and overtime.

    It was also reported that both labour and finance was harder to obtain and there was an increase in the number of outstanding debtors. Cost pressures while present during the quarter with reported increases in wages and material costs continued their moderating trend.

    Some 91.7 per cent of survey respondents ranked ‘lack of orders’ as the primary barrier to increasing production levels, an outcome that is higher than the 86.7 per cent proportion reported during March quarter 2012.

    Despite these findings, the report also found that printing industry respondents are remaining positive about future economic prospects with a greater proportion of industry respondents expecting improvements to take place in general business conditions relative to those expecting deterioration, this, despite another quarter dominated by soft trading conditions.

    On the pivotal industry indicator of capacity utilisation rates, the March quarter results shows that 59.6 per cent of respondents were operating at capacity/activity levels of 70.0 per cent or over, an outcome that is higher than the 54.3 per cent of respondents who reported for the same period a year earlier.

    Tchamkertenian suggests that, over the outlook period, industry respondents are forecasting modest net balance improvements to take place in a number of pivotal economic indicators. Based on these forecasts the June 2013 quarter is expected to yield net balance improvements in orders, production, sales and net profits.

    Further falls in employment and overtime levels are also being forecast but expectations for investments over the six months to September 2013 in plant and machinery remain strongly positive, in fact, the March 2013 quarter forecasts are the most buoyant since December quarter 2005.

    The forecasts also point to continued but moderating cost pressures with expectations that wages and material costs will rise by lower net balances during the June 2013 quarter.

    For the individual states, the outlook for general business expectations over the next six months remains largely positive with respondents from New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland forecasting improvements on net balance basis, while respondents from South Australia and Tasmania are forecasting deterioration.

    Respondents from Western Australia reported the highest utilisation rates with 80.0 per cent operating at capacity utilisation levels of 70 per cent or more, followed by respondents from South Australia (70.0 per cent), New South Wales (62.2 per cent), Queensland (53.3 per cent), Victoria (53.1 per cent), and Tasmania (40.0 per cent).

    Most individual sectors within the industry are forecasting improvements or no change to take place in general business conditions during the next six months, while respondents form the Trade Binding sector are forecasting deterioration in business conditions. Over the outlook period the most optimistic sectors are Screen Printing, Security Printing and Graphic Arts Machinery and Supplies.

    Relatively higher capacity utilisation/activity levels were reported by the Labels, Folding Cartons, Security Printing, Other Packaging and Paper Converting, and Graphic Arts Machinery and Supplies sectors. However, considerable levels of excess capacity were reported in Trade Binding, Screen Printing, General Promotional and Commercial, and Books, Magazines, Periodicals and Newspapers sectors.

    With most sectors reporting either reduced investments or no change in plant and machinery, reported improvements were confined to the Labels, Books, Magazines, Periodicals and Newspapers, Folding Cartons and Screen Printing sectors during the six months to March 2013.

    With the exception of Trade Binding (forecasting decline), the sectors are forecasting either increased investment in plant and machinery or no change over the six months to September 2013. The most optimistic forecasts are being made by respondents from the Security Printing and Digital Printing sectors.

    Printing Industries suggests that while industry capacity utilisation rates need to lift further to reach more economically sustainable levels, the reported improvement during the March 2013 quarter is nevertheless an encouraging development.

    Long-term employment intentions continue to remain weak especially amongst the larger employers who are responding to challenging trading conditions by becoming more lean and efficient. Moderating cost pressures for materials and wages are also a welcome development in an operating environment characterised by downward pressure on selling prices.

    Tchamkertenian says that while industry forecasts for a range of key indicators remain positive some caution needs to be exercised due to a general poor forecasting record by industry participants over the past five years.

    “The highlight of the March 2013 quarter is that industry respondents remain optimistic about the industry’s future economic prospects as reflected by the positive sentiment concerning both general business conditions and the reported willingness to undertake further investments,” he says. “Following the collapse of some prominent industry participants in recent times, survey respondents are reporting increased activity and opportunities have started to flow their way, and some even expressed hope that it could lead to a turnaround in the sheet-fed market as a consequence.

    “The trend in printing jobs reducing in both quantity and value continued to be a feature of the market during the March quarter. Other respondents cited the high Australian dollar as being an issue by causing the price of imported goods competing with local production to fall, while some attributed the announcement of the federal election as having a negative impact on industry activity” he says.

  • PIAA launches survey for ink canister recycling program in NSW

    The Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries) is joining forces with the NSW government to discover the viability of a polypropylene ink canister recycling program in NSW.

    Printing Industriesis is launching a survey as part of the research that is underway for a project that could provide a new solution for the disposal of polypropylene ink canisters in NSW.

    The research is being carried out by Printing Industries in partnership with the NSW Government’s Office of Environment and Heritage.

    Printing Industries national manager for Policy and Government Affairs, Hagop Tchamkertenian (pictured), said a state survey was being launched on 17 April that was crucial in helping to quantify the extent of polypropylene ink canister use and the geographic location of user businesses.

    “Anecdotally we know the disposal of the canisters is a problem and a cost to many printers,” said Tchamkertenian. “The results of this survey will help us to establish how many canisters enter the market in NSW and map out areas with major use. This will help us identify potential locations for centralised collection points.

    “If the usage is significant enough, there may be a business case to establish recycling capability to reuse the canisters. This could save printing companies some money and perhaps even generate a small recycling fee back to the user companies,” he said.

    Karinne Taylor, Office of Environment and Heritage Project Officer, Sustainability Advantage Program, said the Department saw this project as an important initiative and was happy to be working with Printing Industries and its members towards finding a solution.

    “Exploring the development of a cost-effective recycling stream for the ink canisters is a key objective of the Printing Cluster which is part of the NSW Government’s Sustainability Advantage Program,” said Taylor. “Printing companies who are members of this group are working together with the program on this and a number of print industry issues.

    “We all share a commitment to understand sustainability issues pertinent to printers, to pinpoint how they can benefit from addressing these issues, and to provide a clear path for action.  We want to help printers focus their efforts to deliver the best results for their businesses and for the environment,” she said.

    Click here to complete the survey, which will remain open until Friday 3 May 2013.

  • PIAA takes stock of the industry and its future in new survey

    How the Australian printing industry has changed during the past decade and what it will look like in the future is the focus of a new survey by Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries).

    The New Business Opportunities Survey aims to identify the factors that have changed the industry during the past decade along those that will define its future.

    Hagop Tchamkertenian (pictured), Printing Industries national manager for Policy and Government Affairs, said that the printing industry was an ever-evolving industry providing change, challenge and opportunity – much of which was identified some 12 years ago in the Printing Industries-driven industry repositioning strategy known as the Print21 Action Agenda (industry plan).

    To assess how the industry is managing change, we initially developed the on-line survey last year to capture the changing industry dynamics over the past decade, but we need to continue to ask the important questions as change accelerates,” said Tchamkertenian. “It’s important that business understand the factors that are changing the course of the industry and providing new opportunities as well as challenges.

    “We need to know how the industry is coping, how it is adapting and where it sees its future so that we can provide the resources and information necessary for companies to function effectively in challenging times.

    “Equally important, the industry needs to know how it is performing overall and dealing with change and where the opportunities for growth lie, because there are many new opportunities, but they often mean significant change away from the traditional view of how customer needs are met,” he said.

    Tchamkertenian said the survey is now being undertaken on an annual basis.

    “It looks at what is being done by companies to restructure their businesses, asks about their understanding and perceptions of change,” he said, “whether their service offerings have changed and whether they have implemented web-top-print solutions.

    “It seeks comment on multi-channel marketing, social media and web to print; and services and processes such as QR codes, 3D printing, and functional printing and whether these are perceived as offering exciting opportunities,” he said.

    The survey will be open until Friday 26 April 2013 and can be accessed via this link: New Business Opportunities Survey

  • Last chance to speak up on Carbon Tax impact

    This is the final week local print businesses can have their say on the impact of the Carbon Tax, with a survey launched by the Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries) seeking to quantify the impact of the new tax on printing industry business set to close on 5 April.

    Results from the survey will be used as part of Printing Industries industry advocacy efforts with politicians and senior policy makers in government.

    Printing Industries National Manager, Policy and Government Affairs, Hagop Tchamkertenian (pictured), said the survey results were an important part of an on-going campaign to find ways of minimising the impact of the tax on businesses.

    ”The greater the participation and comments we can get on this issue, the more effective our lobbying can be on behalf of the industry,” he said. “With the Price on Carbon or Carbon Tax as it is better known, now operating for some eight months, sufficient time has past to make an assessment of the impact of this interim tax on businesses operating in the printing and associated industries until the planned introduction of an Emissions Trading Scheme in 2015.”

    The short survey asks seeks information on the financial impact on companies covering employment, productivity, sales and profitability. It also asks whether companies absorbed the tax or passed it onto to clients in part or fully.

    The survey can be accessed via this link and closes on Friday 5 April 2013.

  • Printers paying too much in wages – Print21 magazine feature

    Recent government statistics outlining the performance of the printing industry compared with other manufacturing sectors show that printers’ labour costs are too high. Printing Industries’ Hagop Tchamkertenian has the details.

    Recently the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released industry data covering a range of macro indicators. Notwithstanding some of the qualifications made about the limitations of macro or aggregated industry data, the ABS data provides some interesting trends. The period covered by the data between the 2006-07 and 2010-11 financial years was significantly influenced by the GFC.

    Industry revenue:

    With a reported revenue reduction of 3.4 per cent, the printing industry is one of six manufacturing sectors that experienced a decline in revenue. Pulp, paper and converted paper product manufacturing reported an increase of 14.1 per cent. Interestingly sectors that have received government support, such as clothing and footwear, and which continue to receive government support, such as transport equipment manufacturing which includes car manufacturing, experienced a steeper reduction in industry revenue. Total manufacturing industry revenue over the same timeframe increased by a modest 5.2 per cent.

    Employment growth:

    Any industry that is able to provide continued employment will attract attention from various levels of government. Unfortunately only two manufacturing sectors, comprising food products and fabricated metal products, reported increased employment. Employment in the printing industry contracted by 10 per cent during the same period compared to a 12.5 per cent reduction for pulp, paper and converted paper product manufacturing and 6.9 per cent contraction for total manufacturing.

    Industry value added:

    This indicator measures the contribution that each manufacturing sector makes to the Australian economy. The printing industry along with pulp, paper and converted paper product manufacturing continued to make positive contributions. At 2.8 per cent growth, the printing industry growth rate is very modest while the paper sector’s growth could be described as displaying the characteristics of a mature industry. Interestingly, total manufacturing’s contribution declined over the same period.

    Industry profit margin before tax:

    The printing sector’s reported profit margin at 8.3 per cent was higher than the 7.2 per cent reported for total manufacturing as well as the 4.9 per cent reported for pulp, paper and converted paper product manufacturing. At a profit margin of 21.5 per cent, beverages and tobacco product manufacturing reported the highest profit margin amongst the manufacturing sectors.

    Industry expenses as proportion of industry revenue:

    At 91.8 per cent, the printing industry’s total expenses as a percentage of total revenue is just below total manufacturing. On the other hand pulp, paper and converted paper product manufacturing exceeded total manufacturing and had one of the highest reported expense profiles at 95.9 per cent of total revenue. There is however, one expense category in which the printing industry reported significant inferior performance compared to both total manufacturing as well as all the other sectors of manufacturing, and that was labour costs.

    The ABS data confirms that, of all the manufacturing sectors, the printing industry reported the highest reported wages and salaries and total labour costs component expressed in terms of total industry income/revenue. One possible explanation for this could be that compared to other manufacturing sectors, the printing industry remains less automated and hence more labour intensive.

    In conclusion, between 2006-07 and 2010-11, the printing industry experienced some challenging economic conditions. Revenue and employment levels declined and the industry’s contribution to the Australian economy grew at very modest levels. Printing profit margins remain modest compared to other sectors and could be significantly improved if the industry better managed its labour costs which are amongst the highest of all manufacturing sectors and significantly higher than the total manufacturing sector average.

    For printing operators, the key message from the manufacturing industry benchmarking analysis is the importance of managing labour costs as this expense category is clearly impacting on the bottom line and the overall competitiveness of the print medium.

    To read industry gadfly, James Cryer’s comments on Tchamkertenian’s report, click here.

  • $800 million for energy efficient upgrades

    The Federal Government has set aside $800 million for companies planning to upgrade their business and increase their energy efficiency as part of its Clean Technology Investment Program – a move Printing Industries says will help save print businesses money and power.

    The program, which is part of the government’s Clean Energy Future Plan, is now open for funding grant submissions from businesses that can demonstrate that their upgrades will improve their energy efficiency.

    The initiative is designed to support Australian manufacturers adjust to a lower carbon economic environment by providing grants to finance investments in energy-efficient capital equipment and low-emitting technologies and processes.

    Hagop Tchamkertenian (pictured), Printing Industries national manager, Policy and Government Affairs, says that businesses proposing to make an investment were not bound to focus only on new technology or processes.

    “Modifications to existing plant, equipment and processes also qualify for funding,” says Tchamkertenian. “The program threshold can be met from energy/fuel used at a single site or across a company’s manufacturing activities in Australia.”

    To be eligible a company must:

    • Use 300,000 kWh of electricity per annum (which equates to 25,000 kWh per month or 75,000 kWh per quarter).

    Based on Printing Industries estimates this equates to:

    • Spending more than $70,000 per annum on electricity (which is about $5,833 per month or $17,499 per quarter).

    Tchamkertenian says that for businesses with a turnover of up to $100 million per annum the grant amount ranges between $25,000 and $500,000 and the applicant needs to match the funding on a 1:1 basis.

    “For business with turnover greater than $100 million grants still range between $25,000 and $500,000 but the applicant to grant funding ratio becomes 2:1,” says Tchamkertenian. “For grant amounts ranging from $500,000 to $10 million the applicant to grant funding ratio remains at 2:1; and for grants of $10 million or more the ratio rises to 3:1.”

    The program will provide grant funding on a competitive, merit-basis until 2017-18.

    Printing Industries members considering an application should contact Hagop Tchamkertenian on (02) 8789 7361 or E-mail: