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Excuse the pun, but Watford- based Rocket is blasting off. Having secured contracts that increased its turnover by 25% in 2013 it is on an upwards trajectory, hiring new staff, investing in new kit and expanding its factory space to secure what it anticipates being double digit growth again in 2014. Image Reports Editor, Lesley Simpson, met with former Service Graphics and McKenzie Clark man Antony Rider, now Rocket’s commercial director, to discuss the company’s rise and vision for the future. Here’s what transpired.

 

Tony Hodgson, director of PODi for Europe, provides a heads-up on marketing initiatives you should note for 2014.

As we kick off a new series of ‘Turning on the Talent’ articles the starter question goes to the Simpson Group. How are they doing just that?

To paraphrase the famous quote from the film ‘Field of Dreams’: If you build it, they will come. The Simpson Group can prove it. By building strong relationships with local educational establishments it is pulling in people that otherwise would never have thought of a career with a print company. Sri Kataram and Adam Riddick are proof positive. Both are IT/software development specialists who have been directed towards Simpsons by Teesside University, where the group’s ever strengthening relationship with computing sciences lecturer Barry Hebbron in particular is really paying off.

Image Reports is entering its 21st year in celebratory style, bringing to the party a host of new initiatives and developments. Here’s how it will support you and the industry even more in 2014 and beyond.

As you know, via its ‘Turning on the Talent’ initiative, Image Reports is focussing on what we can do within the print industry to attract bright young things. So it’s great to see that Ipex 2014 is running a Youth Day – we certainly need to do more to put the modern face of printing in front of future generations and show that it’s not just for those with a craft bent. If you are doing something to get that message out there, I’d love to hear from you.

How do you ensure you retain you best employees? Phil Thompson, head of BPIF Business, talks you through the essential steps to building a lasting relationship.

Recruiting great staff is one thing, retaining them once you have them is another. Often companies will take great care in finding the right type of employee for the business, but how much time is spent making sure it remains right for them? Increasingly PSPs are recruiting from the graduate pool for instance, but what does that mean in terms of both parties’ expectation?

Because wide-format print output is often not paper–based, its producers tend to feel sidelined when it comes to organisations like Two Sides waving the flag for print per se. So Lesley Simpson, Editor of Image Reports, met with Martyn Eustace, director of Two Sides UK and of Print Power, to ask whether these organisations can, and do, represent the interests of the wide-format print sector as part of the overall remit to put print back firmly on the marketing communications map.

The 21st century manager's role is to facilitate and coach, not to control, according to Michelle Bailey of Engage for Success, a voluntary movement committed to the belief that employee engagement is a better way to work.

Phil Thompson, Head of BPIF Business, explains how you can get more from your management information system.

Regardless of how well you use your MIS, there will be measures and processes that can be assessed and improved with relative ease and minimum cost, and in return help you with key management functions that will, if introduced appropriately, significantly improve your bottom line. While the following is by no means a comprehensive guide to managing a business via MIS, it does aim to identify where such systems can make a direct contribution to improved profitability.

Chime communications’ company icon has undergone the rigorous assessment required to become BS OHSAS 18001 certified. What about you?

Ever considered becoming a twinner with the printit! Education initiative to get youngsters into the print sector? Now could be the time.

Dorothy Agnew, senior solicitor at Moore Blatch, runs through the checks and balances worth making when it comes to your intellectual property.

A written contract of employment helps establish what you and your employees each expect of the other. Phil Thompson, head of BPIF business, runs through the drafting process.

Employers are required by law to provide employees with a document setting out the main terms of their employment within two months of their employment starting. In putting together a contract you, as an employer, need to think carefully about any special conditions (e.g. an employee’s promise not to work for someone in direct competition) and whether these should be in the actual contract. The contract itself can include express and implied terms). A good example of the latter is the implied term of mutual trust and confidence.

Dr Colin Thompson has a string of letters after his name and has over 30 years experience as a managing director in various companies where he’s gained experience of increasing sales and profit, rebranding and mergers/takeovers.

He’s now widely recognised as the managing partner at business development company Cavendish, though he’s also a visiting professor and mentor at Coventry University and sits on various boards. So what can we learn from this business coach, keynote speaker and author? Lesley Simpson, editor of Image Reports, speaks to Dr Colin Thompson in this Talking Point interview.