Gary Benner, co-owner, SM Finishing
What trend do you think 2012 will remembered for?
I think definitely a continuing downturn in larger volume work. Everything is more targeted now and so you are more likely to get a 10,000 or a 20,000 run of leaflets or mailers, rather and a 1m-plus run. We are not getting bulk volumes as much as we did even two years ago.
What do you think will represent the single biggest threat for printers in 2013 and why?
I think cash flow will remain the biggest threat to the industry. People do not want to pay on time and you have to fight to get that. Fortunately a lot of our customers are very good. They want 90 days, we want 30 days and we generally settle on 60 days. That said, we have some customers whoa re paying us well within 30 days. But as a general trend, payment is a real issue – even the best companies will go under if they aren’t getting paid.
What was your highlight of 2012?
I think it was that we added inkjet capability to our services with a Videojet BX 6000 and that proved a real success in taking the company forwards. We are able now to better meet client needs and really become a one-stop shop, helping our clients reduce their costs.
What are your hopes for 2013?
I hope that we can continue the good work we have achieved in 2012. We want to continue are record of not ever missing a deadline, or producing the quality fo work expected of us.
What was the most important thing that you learnt in 2012?
I don’t think we particularly learnt any lesson. We are always trying to maintain the practices and skills that we know work and deliver for the business. We re-enforce those daily and we realise the importance of doing that.
What will you do differently in 2013?
We don’t intend to grow in size, but we intend to grow the client base. So it is not about doing anything differently but building on what we have.
What does the industry need to do differently in 2013?
I think consolidation is the word. That is key in all sectors. We are seeing mergers and acquisitions and that is about streamlining the businesses and we will need more of that.