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20 lessons learned during lockdown for prospering amid the new normal

While some print firms were shuttered during lockdown, others have kept going throughout. Dr Adrian Steele, managing director at Staffordshire-based Mercian Labels shares some of the changed workplace practices the business has adopted and that have become its ‘new normal’, as the label specialist continued to operate 24/5.

The early bird can secure the first-mover advantage

With Drupa now just three months away from opening its doors – assuming it’s not subject to coronavirus-related postponement or cancellation – it’s safe to assume that many of the major manufacturers are gearing up to premiere new machines and technology imminently.

Shout louder

Earlier this month the BPIF organised its annual Apprentice Conference, which this year was hosted at the Antalis Academy at the merchanting group’s head office near Leicester.

Christmas comes early for bookworms

Christmas is coming – regardless of any protests that autumn has barely begun. The retail sector is revving up for the festive season already. For print, this means production will step up on all sorts of physical media.

The printer’s view of Brexit: two years on, six months out

In the small hours of 24 June 2016, seemingly almost a lifetime ago, David Dimbleby made an announcement to a stunned nation: “At 20 minutes to five, we can now say, the decision taken in 1975 by this country to join the Common Market has been reversed by this referendum to leave the EU.”

Overcapacity woes can be overcome with forward planning

Sheetfed magazine specialist Pensord told PrintWeek last month that, as part of a future-proofing strategic investment, it was set to reduce its capacity by replacing two existing Heidelberg Speedmasters with a new ‘Push to Stop’ specified eight-colour XL 106.

So long, St Ives

What was at one time without doubt the UK printing industry’s most-admired business is now not a printer at all.

Are we doing enough for the future of the industry?

National Apprenticeship Week begins as this issue hits readers’ desks, but its focus probably says more about our aspirations than the situation on the ground. The government has pledged to create 3 million new positions by 2020, but its efforts don’t seem to be having much of an impact.

Could more gov’t spending aid print?

In his speech at the Conservative conference last week, chancellor Philip Hammond said he plans to treat investment spending differently to day-to-day spending. He is aiming to plough more into infrastructure, technology and innovation and said it was “common sense” to invest in supporting growth and jobs.

UK businesses are under attack from high-tech scammers

When it targeted Speedscreen, Prime Group and Rapidity within the past few months, it was something none of the companies had heard of, yet the scam dubbed ‘CEO fraud’ now tops the list of fraud perpetrated against businesses, according to The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

Marriages of convenience: mergers and acquisitions in print

There is a scene in the film version of Bret Easton Ellis’ gothic horror American Psycho where deranged executioner Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale) spouts to a club patron: “I’m into murders and executions mostly.” The patron mishears and her response is: “Do you like it? Most guys I know who are in mergers and acquisitions really don’t like it.”

Print reigns during royal revelries

Newspapers and magazines can’t resist a royal special and the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II on 21 April was the perfect opportunity to go large, sometimes very large, on the subject of our longest reigning monarch.

Rival bidders weigh up Tangent’s value

Events at Tangent Communications were continuing to unfold as PrintWeek went to press, but despite the fluid situation one thing seems certain – one way or another there will be a new ownership structure at the embattled print and marketing services group before too long.

Can SMEs take on W2P’s big three?

For web-to-print giants Photobox, Truprint and Vistaprint, personalised print is their lifeblood, but it is a market that most commercial printers have either struggled to compete in or not entered at all.

Smith & Ouzman sets out to rebuild reputation

It was the call every company director, involved in exports, hopes never to get – in 2010 Smith & Ouzman (S&O) was informed it was under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) – an investigation which turned into a prosecution and, ultimately, a series of convictions.

Learning from Paperlinx’s toxic legacy

The collapse of the majority of Paperlinx’s UK operations has left a trail of destruction in its wake. But one of those whose business went under hopes lessons learned from the experience will ensure the success of his next business.

To the victors (and also to the runners up) go the spoils

Each year, the select few printers that win – and indeed even those who are shortlisted for – a PrintWeek Award have a similar story to tell: that any effort or expense that goes into entering the Awards is significantly outweighed by the rewards.

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