MD, W&CO Displays and Signs
What’s having the greatest impact on your business at the moment?
Staff leave as we’ve had two ladies off on maternity at the same time, sickness, holiday, compassionate leave and even jury service recently. I find that temporary staff simply do not fill the void. Customers and quality take precedence over other aspects of the business so internal issues can be on the back burner for much longer than I would like.
Where do you see the greatest wide-format opportunities?
It’s hard to single out any one specific area. We’ve had lots of large-format fabric printing over the last few years for illuminated in-store graphics. Looking to future I think the rise of the pop-up shop means that temporary graphics will be required more and more. We have already found that low-tack self-adhesive vinyls and digital wallpaper have been proving popular with these short-term stores.
What would make your day-to-day operations easier?
Having a full complement of staff.
Your favourite bit of kit is..?
Definitely the HP 310 Latex Printer - it’s really very good. We print a lot of backlit prints for lightboxes and the Latex printer produces amazingly sharp and punchy graphic quality with the added benefit of being scratch resistant.
What’s the best bit of business advice you’ve been given?
When I took over W&Co I had a business advisor who told me to produce proper management accounts. From that point I’ve always known what type of printing, product or service is selling the best so I can make informed business decisions.
What are you most proud of achieving?
I’m proud of taking over the company in 2004 and nearly doubling the turnover in my first year and turning a company making a loss back to making profits. And I’m proud that in 2012 we fulfilled our plan of moving to brand new premises and relocated from Kent to Lakeside, in Essex, where we have a showroom, offices, design and printing area, warehouse, kitchen and staff break out area – which keeps the team happy.
What lesson does the wide-format sector need to learn?
I think sometimes we need to learn how to print things by ‘yesterday’ to cater for ever decreasing timescales. But seriously, it would probably be quality control and thoroughness.