All PSPs need to continually invest in new technology to remain competitive. But there are ways and means to getting the best from your spend as Cestrian explains.
1. Be an early adopter
A thoughtful balance of caution and boldness can bring great rewards, especially when it comes to technology. This is an industry that evolves fast - and clients continually demand bigger and more sophisticated results, which is why Cestrian has invested in robust digital printing equipment that allows us to exceed the expectations of our customers and remain truly competitive. This year, we’re proud to have become the first printer in the UK to install an EFI Reggiani Renoir Pro large-format fabric printer, which boasts a resolution of 2400dpi on materials up to 3.4m in width and uses 16 colours, including fluorescent ink.
2.Get the right technology for the job
At Cestrian we strive to produce powerful marketing through print - and to do that we need powerful machinery and systems. We also need to consider our full roster of services and make sure our standards are consistently high across all products. Currently, we use 18 printing presses for a diversity of materials including vinyl, mesh, canvas, card, rigid PVC and corrugated board, plus a variety of fabrics. Along with a wide range of sizes, this means plenty of choice and flexibility for our clients. In 2015 we added a Fuji Onset R50i to our stable, which has allowed us to increase our productivity, reduce project timescales and print larger products while maintaining ultra-crisp images - making it well worth the investment.
3. Identify the most important areas for investment
It’s fantastic to have a multifaceted business, but spreading yourself too thinly can mean losing opportunities to achieve greatness in specialist areas. We recognise that our chief strengths are in retail POS, special projects, events and exhibitions, and outdoor advertising, so we reflect this in our investment decisions to make sure we remain industry leaders. We have four world-class machines dedicated to retail and three to large-format printing, allowing us to produce shop window graphics, vinyl displays, fabric lightboxes, ambient systems, PVC banners, freestanding display units and banners, among many other high-quality products.
4. Keep an open mind
Since Cestrian launched in 1993, our success has mainly been based on organic growth thanks to good customer relationships and winning new business. But we haven’t dismissed the possibilities of more proactive strategies. Cestrian was one of the businesses named in a 2016 report entitled ‘1000 Companies To Inspire Britain’, commissioned by the London Stock Exchange and the Daily Telegraph, due to our fast-growing status and increasing portfolio of high-profile clients - and we’re keen to continue proving this as we move forward.
5. Don’t forget to invest in people too
We recognise the importance of supporting and maintaining our new capital investments with a strong team of skilled and experienced staff. Cestrian employs around 85 people in a number of departments including sales, marketing, client services, design, production, IT development and support services, all of whom play an important role in our continued success. While impressive, we understand that our technology is only as good as the people operating it, as that’s what truly transforms our clients’ visions into realities. We also remain dedicated to our traditional ethics of customer service, which include attentiveness, value, quality and speed – and we all work hard to make sure our clients’ needs are properly understood, considered and met.
6. Remember your business goals
When day-to-day work is busy, it’s easy to let long-term planning slip by and forget to set objectives. However, such targets are vital to both team motivation and business survival. Our focused sales and marketing plan has been devised with the intention of growing turnover over the next few years; and continued investment in technology and other resources is a big part of this. We’re also keen to start taking part in industry award schemes to gain formal recognition for our high standard of work.
7. Never underestimate the importance of industry standards
Corporate social responsibility has serious implications for both business operations and clients - so when making decisions about new investments, we consider potential impacts carefully. We’re silver-certified with the Carbon Smart scheme, which involves taking an intelligent and flexible approach to reducing our carbon footprint; and we’re also FSC-trademarked, which means we source our materials responsibly.
In 2015 we presented our second full environment statement for EMAS (the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme), a voluntary initiative that recognises organisations that go beyond the minimal legal compliance and seek to constantly improve environmental performance. For example, our newest printer, the EFI Reggiani, runs water-based inks with low power consumption and also has an ink-recovery system to avoid waste.