Sun, Nov

Phil Thompson, head of BPIF Business, considers customer relationships and provides some basic ground rules on building the most profitable ones.

Do you fix customer files without charge? If not, do you explain that this is a value-added part of the service? Phil Thompson, head of BPIF business, explains why it’s imperative that you have a true collaboration with your customers.

Typically the further down a company resides on the supply chain the greater the pressures from both suppliers and customers. However, because of the expertise that is available to the industry, there are areas where the business can go on the offensive and make life a lot easier and more profitable for itself. Educating your customers, if done well, can tie them in to share investment to create transaction technology infrastructure and develop an almost symbiotic relationship that will benefit both parties. Companies can also look to standardise files in a format that is compatible, to reduce the sometimes significant amount of work needed in order to make them print ready. Often, for the one off and irregular work there is little opportunity to influence the work that is coming in; however, are there ways of improving the transfer of information between the end client and the printer? Obviously there is little point in doing this unless it will reduce your costs, turnaround time and improve profitability - so what can you do to maximise these benefits?


Lesley Simpson, editor of Image Reports, speaks to Justin Murray about Print Project Management, which calims to be a missing link between designers and the advertising agency to print manufacturers.

2012 will be a rocky ride for many so taking early protective measures might make sense. Walter Hale looks at the key trends to help you prepare

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David Hudson, partner at Baker Tilly Restructuring and Recovery LLP, throws a lifeline to those of you who fear your business is about to become insolvent with this top tips feature.

If you’re not making the most of your purchasing and supply chain management you’re not getting the profits you could be. Phil Thompson, head of BPIF Business, walks you through what is acknowledged to be a complicated process.

Trying to tie down a comprehensive and universally accepted definition of ‘supply chain management’ reflects the physical management of suppliers in the sense that it is elusive, complicated and often a bit of a minefield.

Industry chiefs come together to discuss the findings of this annual wide-format survey and chew over the state of the sector.

Selecting the correct Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are essential to any business but putting them in place can be easier said than done. For example, often a lot of money is spent on management information systems (MIS) to support the production process; however, it is often the case that capturing the correct information to enable accurate analysis is often a lot harder than is expected.

The phrase “rubbish in – rubbish out” is quoted on numerous occasions, so how do you ensure that the data generated is useful and relevant? What can you do to make sure that the generation of KPI’s will have the desired effect? How can they be produced effectively with the minimum of effort and how will you get your employees to buy into the whole idea?

Money, money, money…and how to get your hands on it more easily via print finance specialists.

With so many print companies diversifying into new and/or changed markets, the question has got to be asked: how valid are customer surveys and are they worth undertaking?

Insolvency group KSA provides tactical advice to those thinking of expanding by buying a troubled business at a knock down price.

What can we learn from Apple’s late, lamented genius Steve Jobs? After his death, many eulogisers – like Eric Jackson and Gene Marks at Forbes magazine – quoted his famous address at Stanford University in 2005, as did Megan McArdle in The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/10/follow-your-bliss-sort-of/246350/) when she rebuked him for advising students to “follow their bliss” – i.e. pursue their dreams. Good advice if you are the next Steve Jobs, McArdle noted tartly, but most people aren’t.

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