Fri, Aug

How closely do you follow consumer trends? Two Sides has recently flagged up a shift in packaging preferences, with the general public now opting for paper-based choices where available because of its sustainability credentials. There are plenty of other areas where consumer demand is affecting change. How do you keep abreast of those that are likely to impact your business somewhere down the line?

Well, I’m normally inundated with emails and press releases, but it seems everyone has gone into summer mode - apt given it’s the Summer Solstice I guess - because it’s very quiet out there. If you’re doing anything exciting - in terms of large-format print business that is - let me know. Our soon-to-be-published Widthwise survey findings suggest there’s still plenty of activity, so keep me abreast of your developments.

Well, the rain has started here - but I’m trying to keep upbeat by putting together a new gallery of the most interesting large-format work to have been produced so far this year. Make me smile by emailing me your best of the best, and I’ll do my utmost to get them in the mag and online!


So it’s looking like the final lockdown restrictions in the UK are being put on hold for another month. Is that going to impact your business? I’m not expecting you to whip out your crystal ball, but what does your gut tell you – I’d appreciate a quick ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if you can manage a quick email. I’m in the process of writing this year’s annual Widthwise Report and, as always, your latest input would be valued.

What do you think to Fujifilm’s claim that it is creating a new blueprint for wide-format by resetting expectations for price/performance and ROI with its new Acuity Prime and Acuity Ultra R2 flatbed printers. At the time of posting this newsletter I was awaiting an indication of price, something that may help with decision making. Let me know your thoughts - does it sound to you like this is a game-changing moment?

…what does that acronym mean to you? A new survey shows that an increasing number of companies are looking to improve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, and to integrate supply chain sustainability into these programmes rather than silo it into procurement. Is this something you are paying particular attention to?

So, the Fespa UK association is to restart face-to-face events later this month with a round-table think tank. What’s your thinking - are you ready to start meeting up again, and if so, what’s the limit of your comfort zone?

A reminder that Fespa’s ‘Innovations and Trends’ programme of virtual talks kicks off with a wide-format orientated event this week - 26-27 May to be precise. Durst, HP, Mimaki, EFI, Kongsberg, PrintFactory and OneVision will all be presenting. Details are on the Fespa website.

So, those of you who have been asking if you can become SGP sustainability certified may well get the chance! News that the US-based organisation is launching a pilot scheme in October to test the feasibility of rolling out its programme to Europe and Asia gets a resounding ‘Yes!’ from me. What are your thoughts?

Yay, things are opening up – so just wanted to take this chance to wish you all well, and hope that the easing of Lockdown brings you a personal feel good factor as well a business bounce.

It seems there are a good many companies in this large-format print sector that are investing their way out of the pandemic induced doldrums. Are you one of them? If so, and you’re willing to talk about your business strategy, I’d like to hear from you. Thank you in advance.

It’s the last week of our Widthwise 2021 survey of the UK/Ireland’s large-format print community, so if you haven’t already taken part can I urge you to please do so - go to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WW21IR. Your input will be hugely beneficial to the annual project, which will see the 14th Widthwise report published this summer. Thank you so much to all who have already taken part - your effort is much appreciated.

As we’ve all become used to doing more with less, I'm wondering how much further PSPs can increase their efficiency? To what extent is it a product/software/systems-based thing, and to what extent a more people-based management issue?

To what extent is automation proving to be your ally in getting your business through the Covid pandemic? We constantly talk about its importance in remaining competitive in this sector, and other small-to-medium sized businesses are beginning to realise the same according to the new ‘2021 Zapier State of Business Automation Report’. Its data shows that 88% of SMEs say they are innovating through automation. If you fancy a read go to: https://zapier.com/blog/state-of-business-automation-2021

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