Tue, Sep

Peter Barham, Director, Graphics Works

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

Timescales!  Lead times are getting shorter and shorter - same day is not unusual now.
Machine capacity can be provided, but it puts a huge strain on the front end to source correct materials and troubleshoot artwork.

Where do you see the greatest wide-format opportunities?
Everywhere you look wide-format digital print has an opportunity, and often in unexpected markets. Businesses must keep their eyes open and focus on being very adaptable to take advantage of new applications. Interior design markets will continue to grow, and digital will continue to take over in packaging. New opportunities for digitally printed fabrics will see major growth.

What would make your day-to-day operations easier?
A return to the days when customers used experienced artworkers! Tight timescales are just about manageable if you can rely on good artwork, but so often time is needed to correct or improve what is provided. Customers don't want to pay for it, so often we put in the time out of professional pride alone. Ultimately the customer appreciates it, and they come back happy.

Your favourite bit of kit is..?
Our Zund G3 XL-3200 cutter. Of all our purchases over the years, the Zund G3 was the most transformational. As a great creative tool you need to rethink the ways you work to use it to best advantage, and make use of good front end workflow software, but it's a brilliant machine.

What’s the best bit of business advice you’ve been given?
Say yes - then learn how to do it later! You need strong nerves, good planning and very adaptable staff, but everyone wins when it goes well. These days you have to be prepared to step outside your comfort zone.

What are you most proud of achieving?
Getting to the end of each day with happy customers and happy staff! Yes - it is possible to have both, and they usually go together, even when the customer is being completely unreasonable! Oh - and my wonderful children.

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

Our customers need to learn that printing the size of a house occasionally takes longer than a business card. For us - we simply need to learn. Treat every day as a school day, learn something new, and the business develops itself. Be prepared to take risks and use machines creatively - don't just do what it says in the manual. This is a very exciting and fast-changing market, and successful businesses are usually the most versatile.

Upcoming Events