Sat, Aug

Over to you... James Kemp, Group print manager, AB Print Group

What’s having the greatest impact on your business at the moment?

I think the greatest impact on our business is yet to come, we have made a lot of investment in equipment recently which will keep us at the forefront of digital wide format printing, but with the European Referendum in the summer, and having over 800 customers from all business sectors, this has the potential to put the brakes on our continued growth, but hopefully not.

Where do you see the greatest wide-format opportunities?

Tough question, we are getting them every week, with having such a large and varied customer base, we produce a massive spectrum of work, having the right equipment and a work force with a can do attitude and a large skill set makes nearly all opportunities than come our way a walk in the park.

What would make your day-to-day operations easier?

No one thing - as a company we are always looking to see what new equipment, better training and software are in the market. If we thinks something’s going to take us in the right direction and we can afford it - or put another way, we cannot afford not to - we will always make the investment.

Your favourite bit of kit is..?

At the moment its our Fuji Acuity, it complements our Inca Spyder perfectly. These, with our screen presses, give us a very broad spectrum of output capability.
What’s the best bit of business advice you’ve been given?
Never let any one customer become more than 15% of turnover. This has been a key to our success - we never have all our eggs in one basket, at present our biggest customer is less than 3% of turnover, which we are very proud of.

What are you most proud of achieving?

Five years ago, like a lot of print companies we were having a hard time: we had to make just a few redundant, but the workforce as a whole took a 5% wage cut - which we know wasn’t easy for them - but we managed to get things turned around and have given everybody their 5% and more back. Proud is the wrong word, relieved, and thankful that we have such a great staff working for us, who backed us to turn things around which with their help we have done so and some.

What lesson does the wide-format sector need to learn?

Another tough question, with Moore’s law it must be so difficult when suppliers are doing their R&D - by the time most of their machines and software come to market, somebody else is overtakeing them, or doing the same but cheaper. As a sector as a whole, I think internet sales have got it all wrong. Anybody can get anything from the internet, but its never at a premium, always at a discount - customers should be paying a premium for next day, off-the-shelf. As an industry we should all be making good money, not a little on big volume internet sales. Why not make good money on big volume internet sales?

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