New year predictions: Lance Hill, Eight Days A Week Print Solutions

Printweek team
Sunday, January 3, 2021

Eight Days A Week Print Solutions managing director Lance Hill welcomes the change in attitude around remote working that hast taken place in 2020, and thinks the importance of collaboration and team working will only increase in future.

Hill: return of businesses confidence will create more opportunities for our sector
Hill: return of businesses confidence will create more opportunities for our sector

If possible, what positives are you able to draw on from the experiences of 2020?
The use of technology such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams to have virtual meetings. Without this I think this whole period would have been much tougher and also this will change how some companies operate for the long term. Some meetings that were previously face-to-face can quite easily be done over Zoom and therefore reduce travel, carbon footprint and save time.

I also think collaboration and team bonding for the greater good has been a key feature. We’re all in this together, the way out and forward is to work together not against one another.

What trend do you think has been accelerated because of the pandemic?
Virtual meetings and events as mentioned above. We’ve got so used to not seeing people in person as everyone has embraced the technology to try and make business as normal as possible.

Plus, the working remote culture has had to change. Personally, I’ve been working from home on and off for years so have a good set up and discipline, but many companies were either not comfortable with staff not being in or didn’t have the right set up.

It’s about trust and giving staff the right support to make it work. What you actually find is that it can be a lot more productive and also gives people a good work life balance which is incredibly important right now.

What do you think will represent the single biggest opportunity for printers in 2021 and why?
Diversification. I take my hat off to the print businesses that have taken the bull by the horns and have innovated to take them into other avenues such as PPE. Without doing this I’m sure the printer casualty list would be bigger with such decline in demand and volume during the lockdowns.

The lessons learned will, I am sure, help those printers that diversified to have a broader look at what else can be achieved with their skillset and equipment.

What are your hopes for 2021?
Primarily that the vaccine works and gets the virus under control and reducing. In reality I do not see anything like normal returning until the summer, but assuming the vaccine does roll out in Q1 and Q2 of next year, it will give businesses confidence to invest again and create more opportunities for our sector.

We can't believe we're asking this question for the fourth year running: what is your one-word view on Brexit?

What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Assume nothing.

What, if anything, will you do differently in 2021?
Encourage more delegation within our business.

What’s your favourite Christmas cracker joke?
What did the drunk carrot say to the snowman?
Get out of my face!

Sprouts: yes or no?
Yes, just one for the token gesture while holding my breath!

Are you making any New Year's resolutions? If so, what?
Listen and learn from my children, their intelligence is greater than mine! (home schooling proved this).



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