Posts Tagged ‘Hagop Tchamkertenian’

  • International print use survey needs input

    Printing Industries is calling on local print houses to participate in a 15-country survey covering the role print plays in everyday life. Companies are being asked not only to directly take part, but also to pass the survey on to their customers to help capture the broadest range and greatest number of responses.

    The Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) is conducting the survey in conjunction with Europe’s Print Power organisation, Two Sides Australia and the PIAA.

    According to Hagop Tchamkertenian, national manager for policy and government affairs at Printing Industries, this is the first time such a survey had been carried out covering Australia, the UK, Europe and the US.

    “In a multi-channel world we have to understand how consumers relate to print and how reading habits are being impacted by new media.

    “This survey will give us valuable insight, ensuring that our promotion of print as a highly effective and sustainable media is clearly focused on consumers’ reading preferences,” he said.

    Tchamkertenian believes the survey results would provide up-to-date data on print use and be invaluable for the printing industries in all participating countries in assessing consumer media preferences.

    Print shops, mailers, packaging operations and the greater print community are encouraged to circulate the survey as widely as possible. The questionnaire consists of six short stories, each describing a different media use situation.

    Printing Industries, Joe Kowalewski, invites consumers to read the stories and rate how well they fit into their lifestyles and media use habits. Attitudes towards advertising in different media channels are also studied.

    “In the second phase later this year small groups of consumers from different countries will be invited to provide more detailed information on their media use habits.

    “The focus will be on finding out what kind of needs and expectations people have for print advertising and examine the role of print products in everyday life,” said Kowalewski.

    The survey can be accessed via this link

  • Enterprise Connect offers health checks for print businesses

    Printing Industries is encouraging all small to medium printers to apply for a Enterprise Connect Business Review and gain an independent assessment of their business. One company already benefitting from the process is Theo Pettaras’ Digitalpress, which has seen a 15% increase in productivity.

    Following advice from their business adviser, Digitalpress implemented a cash flow management system and developed a detailed business and marketing plan to define market demands and clarify the future vision for the Sydney-based printer.

    “We were in an early growth stage and were very focused on the day to day running of the business, we welcomed an outside perspective on improvements we could make to the way we do business,” said Pettaras.

    Experienced Enterprise Connect Business Advisers are available to conduct a top-to-bottom analysis of individual businesses within the printing industry. The Business Review is conducted on-site and involves assessing strengths and weaknesses, benchmarking against other businesses in the industry and providing recommendations for business improvements.

    Enterprise Connect has been offering the Business Review service to Australian businesses across an expanding range of industries for over three years, approving over 5,500 Business Reviews.

    Enterprise Connect recently established the Printing and Publishing Industries Support Network to provide professional business advice, development services and linkages to businesses within the printing and publishing industries. With specialist expertise and networks, Enterprise Connect can now provide more tailored advice and support to printing businesses.

    Printing industries CEO Bill Healey, said feedback from printing businesses among the first to pilot the Enterprise Connect Business Review had strongly endorsed the value of undertaking the Business Review and of accessing other tailored services offered by Enterprise Connect.

    “The Business Review is conducted by an Enterprise Connect Business Adviser whose goal is to help the printing business to reach the next level with unbiased advice and their specialist knowledge of the printing industry.

    “These people have significant private sector experience at a senior level and are focussed on helping companies to achieve very real and sustainable change and use a range of industry contacts, tools and resources to assist business for the longer term,” Healey said.

    According to Healey, on average each client could expect their review to identify at least five recommended actions across a wide range of areas including strategy, human resource management, financial management, business and production processes and marketing.

    “Once they have completed the review, businesses can access Tailored Advisory Service funding to help implement change. The goal is to make the individual business robust and sustainable into the future,’ adds Healey.

    Hagop Tchamkertenian, national manager for policy and government affairs at Printing Industries, said he was hopeful the Printing and Publishing Industries Support Network will provide a new impetus and result in increased take-up of the services offered by the Enterprise Connect.

    “We have been calling for increased support for our industry for some time. Having a dedicated Network for our industry is a major triumph. It is now up to printing industry participants to take full advantage of the opportunity that has been made available to them and strive to become more efficient, competitive and sustainable.

    “83 per cent of Enterprise Connect clients have reported improvements in productivity and efficiency. We are now inviting our industry to take up the opportunity and become part of the process of continuous improvement,” said Tchamkertenian.

    To find out more about accessing business improvement services tailored to the printing industry, contact Printing Industries on 1800 227 425, or to apply for an Enterprise Connect Business Review visit or call 131 791.

  • RBA rate cuts offer printers a timely boost – Hagop Tchamkertenian

    The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) decision to cut official interest rates has been welcomed by Printing Industries. The RBA announced that is was reducing the cash rate by 50 basis points to 3.75 per cent taking interest rates to their lowest level since December 2009.

    Hagop Tchamkertenian, national manager for policy and government affairs at Printing Industries, said that while today’s rate cut represented the deepest cut in official interest rates since the Global Financial Crisis, the magnitude of the rate cut was not exclusively based on concerns about prevailing economic conditions. The banking sectors recently adapted stance on responding to RBA monetary policy decisions was also a factor.

    He believes it is critical that the banking sector pass on as much of the cuts as possible to their business and household customers.

    “The RBA was concerned that the banks may lessen the stimulatory impact of today’s cash rate cut and as a consequence it decided to cut official rates by 50 basis points. The banks should now pass on most if not all of the cuts to their customers.

    “If economic conditions do not improve noticeably and provided the RBA remains comfortable with the trend in underlying inflation, there may be further interest rate cuts in the current cycle,” said Tchamkertenian.

    The RBA justified its decision on information it has received in recent months suggesting that economic conditions have been somewhat weaker than expected, while inflation has moderated. Growth in the world economy is also expected to be below trend in 2012 with Europe remaining a potential source of adverse shocks for some time yet.

    “With economic conditions remaining patchy in the printing industry according to official data and our own research via the Printing Industry Trends Report, today’s decision is a timely one for our industry.

    “I still believe the RBA should have cut interest rates much earlier given the modest economic conditions in the non-mining segments of the economy. However they wanted to see the inflation data before making today’s decision to cut and I think the weak inflation data convinced them that economic growth was in danger of remaining below trend growth if they did not act” he said.

    Despite this, Tchamkertenian warns that there could be some downside risk for the printing industry associated with the interest rate reduction.

    “The Australian dollar fell ahead of the interest rate decision in anticipation of a rate cut and again immediately after the decision. If the currency trades lower over the coming months, then that will have a detrimental impact on imported consumables and technology used by the printing industry.” he said.

  • Real improvement or more wishful thinking from printers – Hagop Tchamkertenian

    “Over the past four years, the industry has tended to be overly optimistic in its projections concerning trading conditions. Now they are once again forecasting improving trading conditions over the June 2012 quarter. It will be interesting to see whether this time, expectations will be met, ” said Tchamkertenian, Printing Industries national manager, commenting on the latest Printing Industry Trends Survey Report.

    “An easing of monetary policy conditions would be a welcome development as it would help lift consumer sentiment and drive consumption activity which is an important driver of economic activity in the printing industry,” he said.

    On the critical indicator of capacity utilisation rates, the March 2012 quarter results shows that 54.3% of respondents were operating at capacity/activity levels of 70.0% or over, and outcome that is slightly higher than the 51.9% proportion reported for the same period a year earlier.

    Queensland had the highest utilisation rates with 62.5% of respondents operating at capacity utilisation levels of 70% or more, followed by respondents from Western Australia (60.0%), New South Wales (54.5%), Victoria (51.9%), South Australia (50.0%), and Tasmania (40.0%).

    Tchamkertenian said the results mean the June 2012 quarter is expected to yield the following results:

    • Net balance increases in orders, production, sales and net profits;
    • Reduced employment and overtime levels;
    • No change in availability of finance;
    • Increased availability of labour;
    • Further falls in selling prices;
    • Reduced stock levels;
    • Further net balance increases in all production cost categories – average wages, other labour costs, and average material costs; and
    • Increased number of outstanding debtors.

    Over the next six months (June and September 2012 quarters) the survey respondents expect:

    • Increased investment in plant and machinery; and
    • Reduced investment activity in buildings.

    Varied outlook persists

    The outlook for general business expectations over the next six months remains mixed with respondents from New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland forecasting improvements, while respondents from Tasmania and Victoria are expecting deterioration, and no change is being forecast by Western Australian respondents.

    Most sectors are forecasting improvements or no change to take place in general business conditions during the next six months, while trade binding, business forms and continuous stationery, books, magazines, periodicals and newspapers, paper merchants and labels are forecasting deterioration in business conditions. Over the outlook period the most optimistic sectors are graphic arts machinery and supplies and graphic reproduction.

    Some 86.7% of survey respondents ranked lack of orders as the primary barrier to increasing production levels, an outcome that is slightly lower than the 88.9% proportion reported during March quarter 2011
    Print professionals in cheques and securities, digital printing, and graphic reproduction sectors reported relatively higher capacity utilisation/activity levels. Considerable levels of excess capacity were reported in general promotional and commercial, trade binding, graphic arts machinery and supplies, other packaging and paper converting, screen printing, greeting cards, calendars and diaries and labels sectors.

    In terms of general observations and emerging trends, the deterioration in trading conditions reported during the March 2012 quarter is largely aligned with season influences. Most sectors are reporting no change or increased investment in plant and machinery during the six-month quarter, while the reported deteriorations are confined to the labels, screen-printing, general promotional and commercial, and trade binding sectors.

    While capacity utilisation rates have not deteriorated compared to the situation a year ago, this is of little comfort as overall capacity utilisation rates in the industry continue to remain low. Another emerging issue concerns the long-term employment intentions, which continue to record significant deterioration especially amongst the largest employing businesses.

    Costs on a net balance rose across the board but encouragingly the net balance outcomes are indicating a degree of moderation in cost pressures. This is important given that selling prices continue to progress in a distinctive downward direction.

    Tchamkertenian says the March 2012 quarter outcomes represent the 17th consecutive quarter where reported industry outcomes came in below expected outcomes for a host of economic indicators.

    Pivotal March 2012 quarter developments reported by the survey respondents include:

    • Reduced orders and production;
    • Reduced sales and net profits;
    • Reduced employment and overtime levels;
    • Reduced investments in buildings and plant and machinery during the past six months;
    • Finance reported harder to obtain for the 17th consecutive quarter;
    • Labour availability reported to have deteriorated for the 9th consecutive quarter;
    • Increased material and wage costs;
    • Selling prices reported to have fallen for the 45th consecutive quarter;
    • Reduced levels of raw material stock levels: and
    • Increased numbers of outstanding debtors.