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Thu, Aug

I recently heard about a new 100% recyclable, certified plastic-free, metalised paperboard for digital printing. EcoFoil Digital - stocked by Denmaur - is currently only available in small format, but the company says it’s looking into the feasibility of making it available for wide-format. Would it excite you as much as it did me? We’ve seen the introduction of some really impressive ‘eco substrates’ over the past couple of years – is there anything specific that you are still crying out for?

The BPIF and Fespa are introducing new eco schemes for large-format PSPs - and the SGP begins its pilot scheme over here soon. With environmental responsibility having climbed to the top of the agenda I’m just wondering if there’s any excuse - perhaps I should say ‘reason’ - for print companies not being able to prove that they are doing their bit? Our Widthwise Report 2021 is published alongside the August issue of Image Reports in the next few days - the ‘environment’ section data tells an interesting story. Let me know what you think.

Wondering how many of you are likely to connect with Future Factory (15-16 September) where research companies Ipsos and Nomisma will discuss consumer trends in relation to sustainability and corporate social responsibility - with an eye to changing habits and consumptions and how that impacts sectors such as packaging and retail print. Future Factory is organised by Acimga with the support of the Italian Trade Agency, as a main event on the road to Print4All next May. Are either rocking your boat? If not, would something similar looking more specifically at UK scenarios?

According to data from the new 2021 Workforce Trends Survey, message notifications are hitting staff productivity. Is that something you’ve even half considered? So many PSPs are looking at making their businesses more efficient, and the focus is often on technology, but to what extent do you think about what’s impacting your human resources? Just a Thursday thought…

So, today’s the day - in England anyway. How do you feel about the lifting of pandemic restrictions, and will today’s legal changes make much difference to your staff and your business?

Thought you might be interested to hear that the small business platform Xero has launched a tool called Analytics Plus, which via pattern-matching and predictive algorithms, can detect and predict short-term cashflow. Hoping you’re not in urgent need of such software, but just in case…

It’s done with. England lost. Let’s move on. The past can’t be changed - but the future can. I’m just proofing the annual Widthwise Report 2021, based on data from almost 200 UK/Ireland wide-format PSPs, and I’ll just say that there’s optimism in the air. Hopefully all your planning and prep will deliver you the results you’re hoping for over the next few months. I’ll let you know when the full report is ready to download - not long now…

I’m no footie fan, but even I’m excited by the England win last night. What’s just as exciting (well, for some of us!) is the opening up of major events and the thought of how much of a boost that will be for printers in this sector. Finger crossed for an England win, and for what will be less public, but just as welcome, wins for all of you too.

Service Graphics recently Tweeted that it’s “looking for talented business development managers” to work with leading brands, and it had me wondering how many PSPs are looking for business development managers now that so many are having to reinvent themselves - and whether this is just another name for salespeople or a broader role?

I don’t mean to be alarmist, but how much media stock do you have? I’ve had reports of PSPs having trouble getting supplies, and where they can, making the decision to invest in quantities that will keep them going should the situation worsen. I’d welcome your feedback on the issue.

OK, you’ve all been doing fab work over the last year, with print innovation a standout result of these strange times. So get yourself noticed  - the first UK Graphic Awards take place this October, and the deadline for entries is 3 July. Details are at: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ukgraphicawards

How closely do you follow consumer trends? Two Sides has recently flagged up a shift in packaging preferences, with the general public now opting for paper-based choices where available because of its sustainability credentials. There are plenty of other areas where consumer demand is affecting change. How do you keep abreast of those that are likely to impact your business somewhere down the line?

Well, I’m normally inundated with emails and press releases, but it seems everyone has gone into summer mode - apt given it’s the Summer Solstice I guess - because it’s very quiet out there. If you’re doing anything exciting - in terms of large-format print business that is - let me know. Our soon-to-be-published Widthwise survey findings suggest there’s still plenty of activity, so keep me abreast of your developments.

Well, the rain has started here - but I’m trying to keep upbeat by putting together a new gallery of the most interesting large-format work to have been produced so far this year. Make me smile by emailing me your best of the best, and I’ll do my utmost to get them in the mag and online!

 

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