So long, 2019


Jo Francis ponders the special sauce that makes a successful print business, while hoping UK printers can capitalise on the current requirement for known provenance.

Apologies for the blogging hiatus. I resolve to do better next year.

Thinking about 2019, a year that seems to have passed at warp speed, it’s quite hard not to feel down about the adverse effects of the ongoing Brexit omnishambles, and the large number of printing companies that have fallen by the wayside over the past 12 months.

It seems to me that it’s been the most difficult year of the decade, and the worst since the financial crisis.

Yet. Amid rather too many tales of woe I have also been buoyed by the achievements of printing companies large and small, with two notable examples being our Company of the Year Rapidity, and the ever-acquisitive Paragon Group, which ascended to the number one spot in Printweek’s Top 500.

It seems to me that the “special sauce” that makes a successful printing business can have many flavour combinations – it might be about being a mega-printer, or it might be a hyper-local one.

It might be about being the cheapest, or indeed the most exclusive and expensive. It might be an absolute focus on customers, or processes, or both. The mix is always fascinating.

And, with the Tesco charity Christmas card scandal making the national news today, let’s hope that ethical sourcing and the known provenance of print suppliers becomes a more important agenda item for buyers next year.

I see UK printing businesses jumping through every hoop imaginable when it comes to quality and environmental standards. If 2020 brings with it a greater appreciation of why these efforts matter, and perhaps some tasty reshoring of work, it will be a good start for the coming decade.

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