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Around the world in 8 prints

Print is constantly being challenged to push the boundaries of what’s possible to ensure that it maintains its key position in the marketing mix. As the following examples from the past 12 months show, printers worldwide are doing their bit to ensure the medium remains relevant.

Print buyers seek out their perfect partners

“It’s a lot like online dating,” said Kathy Sletten, print manager at Estée Lauder, at a recent ‘An Audience with the Print Buyers’ talk. She was referring, slightly bizarrely you might think, to the relationship between printer and print buyer.

Purchasing the best of both: a guide to M&As

Acquisitions have a murky reputation, as we have all seen too many pre-pack administrations to feel at ease with the subject. Do it well, though, and merging with another firm could be your best move yet

Make print buyers happy shoppers: printing for retail

The retail sector may be struggling during the recession, but print is helping many companies buck the trend with high-impact, highly effective in-store promotion and other marketing collateral. For any printer in the sector already - and for any eyeing the retail sector for expansion - being able to react to the demands of retailers is crucial to survival in this high-pressure area of print. So, for our retail special issue, we have spoken to three leading retailers to ascertain what exactly they need from their print supplier. Here's what they told us...

Ten ways to cut your business costs

Print firms are no strangers to the discipline of cost reduction. For years, the industry has been caught between the internet, print management firms and increasingly severe recessions. Budgets have fallen, company sales have been hit and, for many print firms, the only way to stay in business has been to cut costs.

Manufacturers get into the lending game

Before the economic meltdown, it was all too easy for printers to raise finance for investment in new equipment, recalls one print industry stalwart. "You simply filled out some forms, signed on the dotted line and the cash was there," he explains. "There was very little due diligence undertaken with no checking of accounts or order books and no real discussion around how the printer intended to use the new piece of kit."

Break the bank: convincing them to approve your loan

You've got to spend money to make money - or so the saying goes. And it certainly rings true in the print industry. If you don't put your money where the advancing technology is, you can expect to see your profits plummet. But with Bank of England statistics showing lending to SMEs is down 6% year-on-year, how can companies get their hands on the money they need to invest?

Beware 'Groupon groupies' taking off with your profits

Little Sally playing in the waves, a baby's first Christmas and Auntie Sheila getting married (again): all captured for prosperity in the glossy pages and perfect-bound gloss-finish hardcover of a photobook. And what's the price of preserving such cherished memories? A quick visit to the Groupon website, an hour or so of photo selection and online photobook creation and, crucially, just 6 of the customer's hard-earned cash.

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