New year predictions: Darren Coxon, Pensord, Cambrian Printers and BPIF

By PrintWeek Team , Friday 29 December 2017

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Pensord managing director Coxon must be one of the busiest men in print, not content with running one print business, this year he bought another, and then took on the presidency of the BPIF – it’s no wonder his golf handicap has suffered in 2017.

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Coxon: we should value the service and product it produces more

What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?
From a business perspective some visibility and certainty would be nice. When clients and suppliers are uncertain and look to economists who are uncertain who look to politicians who are uncertain it tends to create a bit of uncertainty! From a personal perspective just a few days rest – its been a busy year and I’m not getting any younger!

What do you think will represent the single biggest opportunity for printers in 2018 and why?
I don’t think many businesses will be investing in large items of capex on 2018 but I think many will look to train and develop people. And as the Apprenticeship levy becomes more widely understood this should encourage printers to use and not lose the money they’re spending.

What do you think will represent the single biggest threat for printers in 2018 and why?
In the magazine sector we’ll be faced with a scenario of some publishers potentially seeing declining ad revenue if the uncertainty continues and, as a result, looking for savings on print and distribution. While printers will be facing increasing paper and consumables costs and looking to pass them on. Combined, this could create many interesting conversations in 2018 and [my concern is it could] cause some printers to absorb the increases to retain work and further erode margin or increase their losses.

What’s the one thing that the industry should do more of, or do better, in 2018?
The whole industry should value the service and product it produces more. This is a highly skilled industry and most produce fantastic products and provide great service but we seem intent on undervaluing it and selling it as cheap as we can!

What was your highlight of 2017?
I have three: Successfully competing my Great Wall of China Trek and raising almost £15k for charity; Getting the acquisition of Cambrian across the line and making some solid progress and playing an integral role in the progression of the BPIF.

What are your hopes for 2018?
We’re currently undertaking a complete top to bottom review of our business with the sole aim of ensuring it is best positioned to be profitable in the coming years and I’d like to get to December 31 2018 knowing we’ve made solid strategic changes to make this happen.

Will the coming GDPR regulations turn out to be good news for our industry?
It’s early days for us but I have to say it looks slightly onerous for a business like ours but I understand why it's important to have better policies and regulation for data protection.

What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Two really – A choice of one is not a choice & People are your greatest asset.

What was the most important thing that you learnt in 2017?
Your golf handicap doesn’t improve in the office!

What if anything will you do differently in 2018?
Nothing.

What’s your favourite Christmas cracker joke?
Q: Why was six scared of seven?
A: Because seven eight nine!

What was the best Christmas present you ever received?
Last Christmas my wife had a photographer take a smashing photo of my three kids and it’s a beautiful bit of print hanging proudly in my lounge.

Are you making any New Year's resolutions? If so, what?
I don’t normally do New Years resolutions, but this year on Jan 1 I’m giving up coffee and bread, drinking more water, going to bed earlier and exercising regularly.

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