PressOn's joint managing director Andy Wilson is hoping to avoid interesting times in 2016, unless they involve winning more awards.
What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?
Peace and goodwill to all men and a properly cheesy Christmas
What trend (business or technology) do you think 2015 will be remembered for?
Printing trends don’t just appear within 12 months but for us I suppose it’s been longer runs of digital print. We’re chipping away more quickly and getting more of a market share using digital print against more traditional methods. For example, we’ve seen bigger jobs coming though here that would’ve gone screen printing before. We have not actively pursued textiles but we are certainly getting a lot of enquiries and in 2015 we’ve done a lot more than ever before.
What do you think will represent the single biggest opportunity for printers in 2016 and why?
There is a lot of interesting new technology in that fabric printing market. I think that market is going to open up for a lot more of us that haven’t previously specialised in dye sub.
What do you think will represent the single biggest threat for printers in 2016 and why?
Personally speaking we’ve been recruiting in the last six months and we’re finding it harder to recruit good people because the economy has picked up and the industry has picked up.
Space is also an issue - the cost of the space we use is going up. Units big enough for us to operate out of are in short supply. We’re looking at moving into a unit next door and the rent’s gone up by 15% in one year. There’s also a queue of people waiting for that unit. So I suppose the threat is to expansion, with quality people and quality space.
What’s the one thing that the industry should do more of, or do better, in 2016?
I think investing in training because we are struggling to find people of a calibre.
What was your biggest disappointment in 2015?
The start of 2015. The year seemed to take a while to kick start and a lot of people seemed to blame the election. The year in general has been very good but it took a while to get going. We’ve had a good year but we would’ve had an epic year if the first few months had been a bit more stable.
What was your highlight of 2015?
Winning the Fespa Awards, definitely.
What are your hopes for 2016?
I’d like to maintain a nice stable growth. It sounds boring but we’ve had so many years of instability. I’m still enjoying a bit of stability, that goes a long way if you’re in my shoes.
What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Get a good book keeper. It sounds ridiculous but a lot of people don’t do it.
What did you learn in 2015
I’ve learnt a lot this year but I think it has to be the importance of staff training. We forget that we are printers but there are all sorts of management and programming and organisational details that need to be covered. Not all of the guys in here have the benefit of university education, I don’t. We sometimes forget that we expect so much of our staff but we can’t expect them to do things if we don’t show them how.
What if anything will you do differently in 2016?
A big thing for us for next year is a proper independent staff training programme. We want to look at what people’s strengths and weaknesses are and offer tailored training according to the person’s needs. It makes the staff feel valued as well, they feel you are investing in them. It’s not all about plant.
If you’re thinking of going to Drupa next year, what are you keen to see?
Might do, I’m undecided. What am I going to see at Drupa that I haven’t already seen at Fespa? It’s just hall after hall after hall with kit with blokes in bad suits with hangovers trying to flog it to you. We’ll be going to Heimtextil in January to see what’s trending. I’ve never been to Drupa. If I do go I won’t be counting down the days.
Are you making any New Year's resolutions? If so, what?
Give up vaping, because I already gave up smoking.