Sun, Apr

Quick question: when does a customer - or a supplier for that matter - become your ‘partner’? One assumes ‘partner’ means there’s more to the relationship than an exchange of money, but it seems to have become general marketing parlance for anyone in your supply chain. Being a ‘partner’ once meant something special. Has that lustre been worn away?

So Imageco’s Nathan Swinson-Bullough has joined the Fespa UK Association board. Hopefully he’ll make sector representative noises about how the association can best represent and support large-format PSPs - I know from a recent meeting with its president Nicole Spencer that she wants more print companies to be more vocal about the issues impacting business today. You’ll be able to read more about that in the Talking Point interview in the upcoming issue of Image Reports - about to land on desks any day now so keep your eye open.

Right, I’m looking for disruptors - those of you who consider your company to be changing things up to meet the demands of a new decade in post-Brexit Britain. Perhaps you’re doing something outside the box in regards to marketing, recruitment/training, the environment, your service offering etc… If you think you’re flying in the face of convention and would be happy for me to shine the spotlight on your strategising in this year’s Widthwise Report please get in touch. P.S. The 2020 Widthwise poll is still live at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VBZZCYS

So, has life as you know it changed much since we left the EU? If it has - or you think it’s about to - and you’re up for a conversation on the topic please get in touch. Much appreciated.

What do you think this week’s distribution announcements by OKI and Canon say about kit manufacturers’ changing strategic objectives, and how do you think their thinking is likely to impact the ‘established’ graphic arts sector here in the UK?

The story in this newsletter regarding DIS opening its doors to trade work on the back of enlarged capacity has my little grey cells working - how does trade work compare with work from ‘direct’ customers in terms of profitability? Is it merely about keeping the presses rolling?

The announcement that the Department for Transport and Office for Low Emission Vehicles is set to double funding to £10m for residential electric vehicle chargepoints has me wondering about the wider use of electric transport and its adoption within this sector. Have you switched yet?

… about conferences like the one being launched by Fespa UK/Vism? What’s not to like about the opportunity to have some thinking space on how to do better business, while networking at the same time. Yet so often conferences get sidelined. Why? What would make you attend a one day ‘business boost’ event?

Apparently today is National Nothing Day - an ‘un-event’ proposed in 1972 by columnist Harold Pullman Coffin and observed annually on January 16 (in the US anyway) since 1973 – the intention being that you take time out and just have a think. Thought I’d give you something to think about…

New decade, new leadership - that seems to be ‘the thing’ this January considering all the new appointments we’ve been witnessing. Is this new era prompting you to look afresh at your company’s strategic direction and leadership?

Brotherton House, the former Police HQ in Leeds, is being turned into student accommodation in a regeneration project between development and investment company J Pullan and Sons and student housing provider Study Inn Group. Just thought I’d give you the heads up - got to be some nice wide-format opportunities there. I expect regeneration projects are a shoe-in for many of you - so how do you keep abreast of what’s going on?

Happy new decade. So, what do you want to see happen in the next ten years? Don’t all shout ‘retirement’! As editor of Image Reports my aim is to cover the topics close to your heart, so I’d very much appreciate you getting in touch if there’s something in particular you’d like to shine a light on. Even better, go to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/N25DB5B and take part in the 2020 Widthwise Survey of UK/Ireland large-format print companies. Yes, the poll is live from today. Join your colleagues and competitors in helping me analyse this sector from a grassroots perspective - you’ll get the rundown free of charge later in the year.

Well people, this is me signing off until January 2020. It’s been a great year, and I must thank you all for your input – without it Image Reports would not be able to target your grassroots concerns and deliver appropriate content. Of course the annual Widthwise poll provides a great deal of insight, so just let me remind you that the 2020 survey will open on 6 January! Meanwhile, let me wish you a very happy Christmas, and a prosperous New Year.

Will the now officially released new Ghent Workgroup specification for the sign and display sector impact you? We’ve been championing the idea for some time so would be good to get your feedback on the matter. Thank you.

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