Marstan Press sales and marketing director Martin Lett Jnr shares his views on how printers can stand out from the crowd and why good customer service is crucial.
What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?
Peace and quiet, but with three young children I have no hope. Going to be a busy one constructing Lego and Playmobil.
What trend (business or technology) do you think 2015 will be remembered for
Big/well known companies wobbling or failing – Paperlinx, Polestar and 1st Byte spring to mind.
What do you think will represent the single biggest opportunity for printers in 2016 and why?
We really believe that focusing on customer service makes a massive difference. Over the last few years we have looked at the finer details which buyers really appreciate.
What do you think will represent the single biggest threat for printers in 2016 and why?
Credit supply will remain a concern for some printers, especially non-asset based lending. However small things like the introduction of the ‘Living Wage’, a bounce back in fuel costs and a potential increase in interest rates will all start nibbling into the bottom line.
What’s the one thing that the industry should do more of, or do better, in 2016
With the assets at our disposal I think the industry could produce far more wonderful marketing items. With so many competitors it's important to stand out from the crowd and be remembered.
What was your biggest disappointment in 2015?
England’s performance at our home Rugby World Cup.
What was your highlight of 2015?
The most exciting thing has happened most recently which is the installation of our foiling machine. Not too many printers have foiling in-house and we have gained opportunities from this already.
Aside from that the other major highlight was having a profitable year and breaking the £5m turnover barrier for the first time.
What are your hopes for 2016?
2014 and 2015 saw large investments for us, with the Heidelberg XL 75, Heidelberg Suprasetter plate maker and Tharstern MIS in 2014, and the Xerox iGen 150 XXL, new Stahl folder and a foiling machine in 2015. In 2016 we really expect to continue reaping the benefits of all these investments.
What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Manage the credit you give people tightly, remembering it may be better to miss out on some work now, rather than take a bad debt a few months down the line.
What’s your favourite Christmas cracker joke?
I liked the one I read about Jeremy Clarkson online earlier in the month:
Q: Why were Jeremy Clarkson's colleagues excited to try his mulled wine?
A: Because they'd been floored by his punch.
Are you making any New Year's resolutions? If so, what?
Just the normal pledge to get fitter and eat less. I’m under no illusions that this will only last two weeks.