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Imagine making 50% margins on your inkjet printed products! Well, there’s a design company in Sawtry, Cambridgeshire, that thinks it can do just that.

Employee engagement and morale are frequently dismissed as functions of HR and dealt with via team building days or by putting a ping pong table onsite. But is that the best way of getting the best from you people? Apparently not. Here are some pointers to achieving more beneficial results.

With a turnover of 200m Euro and over 1m customers, Onlineprinters is one of Europe’s biggest Web-to-print providers. CEO Dr Michael Fries has said that “print companies that embrace industry transformation” will do well, and that he expects online print shops in Western Europe to continue a two-digit growth in turnover over the coming years. So should you be looking to W2P? Given the group’s bold expectations for continued growth, I met with Simon Cooper, MD of UK-based subsidiary Solopress, to talk strategy – and find out where wide-format fits in.

By Lesley Simpson

Most business failures are the result of inexperience or poor management, or reasons beyond the directors’ control. But some end up in receivership because of owners taking too much money out of the company or otherwise displaying what Companies House would define as ‘unfit conduct’. So how do you safeguard your business from companies seemingly come back from the dead?

Fespa UK Association has been around (in various guises) since 1934, providing business, technical and legal guidance, educational services and events and networking opportunities to digital wide-format, screen and specialist PSPs - and to suppliers. Carol Swift took over the helm from Peter Kiddell last summer. Now she’s settled into the role - and given it’s show season - I took the opportunity to ask her how the association is representing the large-format sector, and to comment on hot topics like business confidence and investment plans.

By Lesley Simpson

Showcard is on the scent of something good according to MD Mark Smith. Here’s how the company is refocusing to take advantage of structural print opportunities.

Money talks. So what have you been hearing about R&D Tax Credits? That it’s an incentive out of your reach? Don’t be too dismissive. Innovation can and does pay, as the likes of Signbox and Augustus Martin will testify. So can you too get a tax rebate on your development work, or is it too much hassle for the pay-back? I met with Adam Kene, MD of London-based R&D tax incentive advisory Kene Partners for the heads-up.

By Lesley Simpson

So you’ve stopped recruiting ‘print reps’ and are instead seeking ‘business builders’ to promote your diversified services offering. But how do you find the right people - those conversant with printing, consulting, design, installation and everything else that your business does?  Brandon Stapper has ten questions you can use to vet potential candidates.

It’s Heimtextil in January, an event that gets those involved in textiles all excited. But you don’t have to go Frankfurt to do that crucial job of networking - you can go online to TexIntel, Never heard of it? Well perhaps you should because it was founded by Debbie McKeegan, a designer with more than 25 years experience in textile design, buying, sales and manufacturing - including an in-depth knowledge of digital print. Her aim is to bring creatives and PSPs together. Sound useful? I met her to talk about the project, and how she thinks the relationship between creatives and printers can be improved. 

By Lesley Simpson

Opponents are playing tough, daring businesses to issue court proceedings and risk substantial court fees, meaning many disputes that have a good chance of winning are going unheard. But, with the right support, you can do better than just chalk it down to experience as lawyer Gemma Carson outlines.

Yes, YourPrintPartner is extending its Web-to-print model to cash in on the huge personalised print products market. Should you be doing likewise?

Have you got a healthy attitude to employee wellbeing? Justine Clarabut at Wellbeing People explains why proper consideration now can prevent problems later on. 

On 10 October Fespa UK is hosting the conference ‘The Future of Print i4.0’ at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry. But who will be there, and should you be? Image Reports’ own Widthwise Survey - conducted among 151 of the UK and Ireland’s large-format PSPs at the start of this year - showed that only 5 of them had invested in i4.0 technology over the last 12 months. Those who hadn’t were asked if they would be doing so in 2018. The answer? A big fat 0. So, what’s going on? I spoke with Fespa UK Association’s Peter Kiddell for his take.

By Lesley Simpson

Last summer we brought you a story entitled ‘war on waste’, looking at the value stream mapping lean journey Data Image had embarked on with Esko to make its business more efficient. So what have its actions achieved a year down the line, and what’s its target now?

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