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Sat, Aug

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.

How do you keep abreast of legal developments impacting your business. At Image Reports we flag up what we can, but do you have a fail-safe mechanism to ensure you remain up to speed? If you do, I’d love to know.

It’s not about you...it’s about your customer. It’s about print companies harnessing new technologies and services to put a value-for-money route in front of clients to that marketing nirvana — customer data. It’s about print providers becoming more proactive participants in the whole marketing campaign mix and pushing print’s interactive capabilities under the noses of those that might consider it a very limited static medium in a fast-paced digital era.

At one time I was hearing grassroots calls for one centralised media profiles database, but it’s something I’ve not heard mentioned for a while now. Is that because it’s become recognised as an impossible task, or are you happy with the way things are?

Then make sure you’re nominated for the Fespa Hall of Fame which closes to entries this coming Friday. Those that make it will receive not only plenty of cap-doffing from their peers but a haul of pressies that will help keep them at the top of their game. So get nominating at http://www.fespa.com/halloffame/

What’s your feeling on the number of new start-ups entering the wide-format space? My gut feeling is that there’s been a slow down in recent months, but perhaps there are regions where new entrants are still coming in quite quickly. If you’ve noticed much increased competition in your area please let me know – perhaps it’s something worth monitoring in this year’s Widthwise Survey which will be going live very shortly – I’ll keep you posted!

Is there an identifiable trend in terms of those most responsible for late payment? At one time it was local councils that were so noted but in many parts of the country that seems to have improved. Is it now the case that the bigger the brand the slower you can expect to get your money or are Unilever’s and Sainsbury’s payment terms of 90 and 75 days respectively, as highlighted in the FPB story, just par for the course?

That is still very much a question within wide-format, so what is your take on the value-added potential of offering print ‘versioning’. Do you do it? Is it worth the cost and effort?

Taking workflow to encompass everything from order to delivery, and including the likes of Web-to-print, versioning tools etc, where do you still see the greatest stumbling blocks the wide-format space? We’ll be talking to software developers on the subject of workflow, so let me know which areas continue to give you the biggest headaches.

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