Mon, Jun

If you have youngsters on your staff who could do with an extra £1500 in their pocket then get them to apply for a Futures Award. It’s not to spend on wine, women and song mind you – but on skills training. Those aged 16-30 have until 31 May to apply for the cash grant.

I don’t mean Margaret Thatcher – I mean Efi Arazi, founder of namesake EFI, whose death last Sunday marks the passing of a real innovator and entrepreneur who took this industry forward. He has certainly left an indelible mark.

As part of our commitment to providing readers with learning and development opportunities we have a 10% discount offer on Matthew Park’s book ‘How to Make Print More Profitable: The Print Industry Negotiation Handbook’ -  more details are at the bottom of the newsletter. You can also download a free pdf of his book ‘10 Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them’ at http://profitableprintrelationships.com/e-book/

If you’re serious about offering merged media services it might be worth noting the new Media Marketplace event taking place in Leeds towards the end of this month. It won’t be on the scale of Cross Media 2013 which takes place in October, but if you want a heads-up before then…

The first data analysis from the Image Reports Widthwise Survey 2013 is in – and it shows that almost 30% of the 223 UK and Ireland wide-format print companies polled are unsure about investing in new digital print kit in the next two years. Concern about the economy in general is one issue, but so is finding finance. That said I’d be interested in hearing your opinions on whether you think the new business bank - phase one of which is just going live – will have any impact at all on your business.

Here’s a useful little tool to watch out for – the SmartSign Analytics system shown by EFI at the International Sign Expo in Las Vegas last week. Sadly I wasn’t in the US to see the technology demo first hand, but it sounds like a neat little offering that could deliver the Big Data info so many customers are yearning.

It’s great to see Astley and Elite Graphics UK pledge to sponsor a local veteran of the armed forces onto RBLI’s LifeWorks course and provide them with paid work experience. If you are doing anything similar please drop me a line.

It’s proving a tough time for exhibition organisers in general, what with the continuing economic turmoil and the changing ways in which manufacturing companies now aim to establish and build customer relationships. And then there’s the shift in how printers themselves want to do business – an increasing number considering shows passé as a shop window and place to do actual business. So just how relevant are print trade exhibitions?

It will be interesting to see Clarity’s new Web-to-MIS system at Sign and Digital given the discussion that was had between print company chiefs at the W2P Round Table held by Image Reports at the end of last year (see Jan/Feb issue or go to http://www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/features/special-report/3507-round-table for the subsequent editorial report). Is Web-to-MIS to your wish list for 2013?

OK – what’s your take on last week’s Budget? I’d love to know whether you think it will help or hinder your business.

Also, can I remind you to take part in the 2013 Widthwise Survey. The link is: www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/widthwise 2013.

In this issue you’ll find a story on the coming together of 11 print-related charities to promote what they do. As part of that programme Stephen Gilbert, chief executive of The Printing Charity, has asked that “if you know of anyone experiencing difficulties, please spread the word that there is help available. These print-related charities exist for people in our industry and their dependants.” So please pass on the offer of help where you think it may be needed.

Also, can I remind you to take part in the 2013 Widthwise Survey. The link is: www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/widthwise 2013.

The SAi story in today’s enewletter raises the issue of data protection and has me wondering just what measures print companies have in place to protect both their own data and that of their customers. As a marked amount of PSPs diversify into providing various online-based services the issue can only climb up the management agenda so let me know if you have any issues you particularly wish to raise on the subject.

Are you providing integrated print and dynamic screen solutions to clients? Today’s enews stories are perhaps enough to convince you that you should be given that they come on the back of various other reports and editorials on what promises to be a long-term key trend. Printers have talked to me about the difficulty in sourcing economic and reliable screen technology – and of the maintenance issues raised by producing integrated graphics projects, but is it so big a trend to necessitate involvement despite the headaches it may bring?

Also, can I remind you to take part in the 2013 Widthwise Survey. The link is: www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/widthwise 2013.


Having been on a northern odyssey last week, visiting a number of wide-format print producers, it was clear that the interaction between companies was paying real dividends. I don’t just mean in terms of the work they pass on to each other, but in terms of stimulating new ideas and prompting experimentation. The value of networking is well documented, but where do you make the most significant connections these days?

First up, a big sorry to those of you that have already tried to get online and take part in the sixth annual Widthwise survey. A technical ‘blip’ meant it went live a bit later than expected, but it’s now good to go. So please take part in what’s the biggest poll of UK/Ireland wide-format printers. The link is: www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/widthwise 2013.

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