New year predictions: Zoe Deadman, KCS Print

Printweek team
Monday, December 27, 2021

KCS Print managing director Zoe Deadman hopes that more face-to-face interactions next year will enable printers and their customers to work more closely to create powerful print that achieves its purpose.

Deadman: Looking forward to the launch of KCS' product label division in 2022
Deadman: Looking forward to the launch of KCS' product label division in 2022

What positives are you able to draw on from the experiences of 2021?
2021 has been the year that has kept giving, challenges that is. Unprecedented demand patterns and spiralling raw material costs have definitely made it complicated but it has illustrated to me the importance of a highly skilled team that are willing and able to adapt and turn their hands to multiple processes. We are building on this by cross training more people on more machines. Spreading the knowledge is key. On top of that, our longstanding and really positive relationships with suppliers has kept us in a strong position in terms of ensuring we can get stocks when we need them. Treat your suppliers as well as your customers has never been truer than in these complicated times.

What trend do you think has been accelerated because of the impact of Covid?
In our sector, integrated labels, the movement away from physical print and pushing consumers to use apps for returns has definitely sped up. With Covid, people have been forced to accept this reduction in service from some e-commerce brands. Those brands that recognise the opportunity that print offers though as a way of cementing the feel of quality and service will corner the prestige markets.

What do you think will represent the single biggest opportunity for printers in 2022?
Customers will be open to face-to-face meetings again. The opportunity to build relationships is never greater than meeting ‘In Real Life’. We all know that we don’t want to be printing purely based on a rush to the bottom to produce the cheapest print. It is only when speaking with customers that we have the opportunity to work together to create print that achieves its purpose whilst becoming more than the sum of its raw parts. Print is powerful. We have that power in our hands.

What are your hopes for 2022?
We have exciting new projects on the go in 2022. We are launching a product label division. I am looking forward to reaching the launch date knowing that all the team have done an amazing job to pull everything together. It is going to be phenomenal to get customers into the factory again and to keep building on the huge efficiency strides that we have made in 2021.

Describe your ‘new normal’?
We have moved around the office space in the factory to give everyone more space. Some staff continue to have a blended role. Partly at home and partly in the factory. Apart from that everyone is back working largely as normal but with regular lateral flow tests.

What, if anything, will you do differently in 2022?
In 2022 I plan to keep in mind the balance between family and work life that we have all investigated more closely over Covid. As the mother to two boys it has been a pleasure to be able to work from home a couple of days a week and be able to make the time to collect them from school. The brilliant remote working technologies that we all have at our fingertips makes these balances 100% possible, whilst still running a thriving and growing manufacturing business.

What’s your favourite Christmas cracker joke?
How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizzas?
Deep pan, crisp and even.

Sorry…!

Sprouts: yes or no?
Yes. I love sprouts, especially cooked with a bit of garlic and pancetta.

Are you making any New Year's resolutions?
Seek the positives in the every day and make the most of the gorgeous surroundings I have in Cornwall.

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