As managing director of a multi-award winning online print business, it’s safe to say that Gary White has a competitive streak. So, it’s no surprise that he thinks the biggest opportunity for print next year will be coopetition.
What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?
A good rest to get the batteries recharged so as I can try and replicate 2017!
What trend (business or technology) do you think 2017 will be remembered for?
AI. Obviously artificial intelligence is still in its infancy but I do feel 2017 was a pivotal point in the perception of AI becoming more mainstream than mere Sci-Fi. Especially in terms of general awareness and acceptance that it is going to be a big part of all of our futures.
What do you think will represent the single biggest opportunity for printers in 2018 and why?
Coopetition; so many of us try to be all things to all men and I think specialisation is one key to success. There is rarely a reason not to sell your expertise to a competitor and make a profit as long as there is mutual respect and trust (which is vital).
What’s the one thing that the industry should do more of, or do better, in 2018?
Promote and market our industry as a whole to young people as a viable career choice. The talent gap is widening every year and the perception of our industry among young people is far from a positive one. We are generally viewed as an old, dirty industry, filled with older people using out of date technology and one that is completely out of step with the digital revolution. This of course is rarely the case. I know plenty of companies in our industry that are at the forefront of technology and innovation. The problem is, of course, that it's no good me knowing that, the next generation of potential print professionals need to know it! Marketing and promoting our industry to under 25's is absolutely essential for our future.
What was your highlight of 2017?
Winning 'SME of the Year' at the PrintWeek Awards 2017. It was the first time we had entered the awards in any category and the whole team was delighted with the recognition for their hard work.
What are your hopes for 2018?
My main hope is to continue our profitable growth whilst maintaining a healthy work - life balance, this balance has always proved difficult for me to achieve.
What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Be passionate, be inquisitive, be honest and always be yourself.
What’s your favourite Christmas cracker joke?
What’s round and bad tempered? A vicious circle
Are you making any New Year's resolutions? If so, what?
Yes. During 2017 I stopped going swimming as I was 'too busy', no excuses in 2018.