23
Mon, May

A new IoT solution to track people and assets has been launched by Actility, Abeeway and Favendo. The partner solution - called The Evaluation Kit - provides you with the required hardware, software, support and assistance on its implementation. The promise is that it delivers almost real-time data on the location of employees working off-site. Thought I’d highlight it - and ask if you already use anything similar?

Are your employees entitled to be paid for the upcoming Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday? The answer to that can be quite involved. However, law firm Rowberry Morris has prepared a guide that you may find useful. To that end I’ve uploaded it to the Image Reports website - it can be found at: https://bit.ly/3wxFHPE

I have been asked to remind you that there are now no Covid-related entry requirements to Fespa Global (Berlin, 31 May - 3 June). Michael Ryan, head of the expo, has confirmed: "In line with the relaxation of Covid restrictive measures on the German event industry, there are no longer any testing requirements or checks to enter Messe Berlin. Participants do not need to show that they are vaccinated, recently recovered or have tested negative for Covid-19 to enter the exhibition."

The UK debut of the EFI Vutek FabriVU 340i+ at CMYUK’s open house later this month, and knowledge of other customer events here in the UK in recent/coming weeks, makes me wonder how much appetite there now is for the bigger trade show. I’m not questioning that there's value in attending the likes of the upcoming Fespa Global in Munich, but do you still think attendance is a must-do, or a nice thing to do all other pressures allowing?

New research by YourBusinessNumber has revealed that more than one in 10 people have sent a personal message to a client or colleague. The company no doubt released the info. as a means of marketing its own platform, which is one of a number that ensure no misguided meme ever reaches the wrong person again! But with so many of us now using our personal phones and computers for work purposes too, it might be worth looking into the availability of tech that might help safeguard your business rep. from easily made communications mistakes.

Given it’s World Password Day it seems timely to ask if your company is one of the unfortunate number that have suffered from cyber crime of late. We keep hearing that it's on the rise, and especially among SMEs, so here’s hoping you’re managing to protect your data and your business.

Are you closed this coming Bank Holiday Monday, or do you work through? If the latter, how do you compensate your staff? Do you still pay extra time for Bank Holiday and weekend working etc? Just wondering how the pay and conditions landscape is changing…

Can I take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all of you who took part in the Image Reports Widthwise Survey 2022, which closed on Friday. This is the 15th consecutive year we’ve polled UK/Ireland-based large-format PSPs so that we can provide a detailed analysis of the sector from a grassroots perspective. I’ll start the number crunching and will deliver you the Widthwise report - free of charge as always - in the summer. Thanks again for your valuable input.

Agfa’s acquisition of Inca Digital printers - or rather Screen’s sale of it - has set tongues wagging, and it’s not surprising given the forecasts for the growth in digitally printed packaging. Many a digital inkjet manufacturer is eying up its options and fathoming out how to get a piece of that pie, so we can expect plenty of jostling for position over the coming months. Is packaging an area where you’re also now vying for attention?

Here’s wishing everyone a very happy Easter - hope you manage to grab a bit of decent downtime. I’ll be back with the next newsletter next Thursday.

Everything is going up - perhaps even your profits? If you’re rolling around laughing at the mere idea, you won’t be alone. But how are you going to shell out more if you’re not making more? I’m sure Matic Media MD and Print Scotland vice president Richard McCombe isn’t the only one thinking print prices need to go up if PSPs are to remain sustainable businesses. He explains his thinking on p13.

Of course, there are always hidden costs as well as the blooming obvious ones, and the reclassification of the chemicals gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4-butanediol (BDO) - used in ink production - and impending legal changes on their use, could cost you dear. The trade associations coming under the GPMA umbrella are doing a fabulous job in getting the print industry’s concerns in front of Government and in trying to find a workable solution, but just in case the timeline stretches away as deadlines near you’d be wise to mug-up on the situation. Turn to p22 for the low-down.

Also worth mugging-up on is how the CarbonQuota/Tharstern collaboration could help your business. Together they’ve created a tool that allows you to provide instant carbon footprints on every quote and invoice - automatically - using your own in-house data. I think it’s a milestone development, so see what you think. The info is on p19.

Talking of eco considerations, as we’re all increasingly bound to do, have you got the POPAI ‘Impact22’ sustainability summit in your diary?  I talked to its chairman and sustainability director, Martin Kingdon for this issue’s Talking Point Q+A to find out where the organisation thinks large-format print service providers fit into the scheme of things. Read what he has to say on p16.  

All, this, plus a Fespa Global preview, a look at the growth in cardboard engineering…oh, and a bit of musing on the Metaverse. Hope it proves a profitable read.

P.S. The Image Reports Widthwise poll is still open at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VMKJZFX  If you’re still to take part I’d really appreciate you doing so. My thanks to those of you that already have!

I saw something on LinkedIn this week that made me want to punch the air. The post - by Lothian Building Supplies MD - read: “All staff to receive £120 per month cost of living allowance until further notice”. He went on to explain: “We are nothing without our staff. Fuel and energy bills are through the roof - it’s hard out there for everyone. That’s why we are now introducing a £120 per month extra payment for all staff, irrespective of role. It won’t fix everything wrong with the world, but hopefully it will ease the pressure on staff and their families just a little.” Bet he has a loyal staff. Are you doing anything similar?

OK, so I’m at the start of what I’m thinking is going to be a steep learning curve - and guessing you may be too. A number of press releases have drifted into my inbox highlighting the speedy rise of ‘no-code’ tools, with insights company Gartner saying that by 2025, 70% of new applications developed by businesses/organisations will use no-code or low-code tools. Needless to say, I’m looking into the issue. Is it something you’re already investigating, if not actively using in your own business? I’d love to have a chat and hear where you feel the key benefits are/will be.

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