Print in the Channel - issue #13


they’ve rescaled their businesses in terms of manpower, equipment and physical space to match the needs of the market. In doing so, that’s led to quite healthy demand for our products and services.” Now, Production Print Direct focus on the commercial print sector and providing the sales and ongoing support to customers. “What you tend to find is now that a lot of printers operate a hybrid model where they keep the instant print in house digitally, because we have moved to a next day and in some cases a same day print service, which is impossible to do with litho, but where that volume means it’s more cost effective for it to be done on litho that’s bought in from trade printers.” Digital growth But commercial print is a changing sector, and one of the major developments is the rapid growth of digital print, and this trend is set to continue in 2024 and beyond. This is being fuelled by customer demand, with on-demand increasingly being wanted, with order-today print-tomorrow quickly becoming the norm in the industry, Mike says. To this end, Production Print Direct has a range of new cut-sheet presses from Konica Minolta along with roll fed and flatbed inkjet devices from Mimaki, which provide professional printers with a huge range of industry leading technologies. These offer quality, reliability, ease of use and productivity. For those working on tighter budgets, Production Print Direct also has a range of fully refurbished colour and mono presses on offer, with competitive leasing and finance terms available to help customers to spread the cost. Different approach But it isn’t just about providing quality products. Production Print Direct tries to

stand out from the crowd with its approach to customers. Rather than going in with a sales- led approach, it is service-led, and built upon long-term relationships with customers and, importantly, honesty, Mike says. “Somebody from our service team would be involved in that buying process early on with customers, so we work with them to understand exactly what the requirement is, so that it gives us an opportunity to say, ‘I don’t think we’re a good fit for you’ if that is the case,” he says. “What can happen in the sales-led approach is that a solution is specified and provided, the service team is then involved from a setup, installation and training perspective. And then it dawns on everybody that it’s not going to be a good fit for the business. And unwinding legal agreements is extremely difficult to do and it’s something we don’t want to get involved in. “If we do it the other way round and we find that it’s just not going to work, we can shake hands with the customer and back away. We’re not just chasing sales for sales sake. We want long-standing relationships.” This approach also helps to build the reputation of the business with other customers. “We do very little vertical marketing,” says Mike. “But we do get a lot of inquiries from customers of our customers or friends of our customers who say, ‘these guys will look after you’. Our reputation has grown and grown over the last 10 years.” Growth of label Alongside the growth of digital is a need for better labelling products, which offer speed, efficiency and less waste – and therefore greater sustainability for a business. Digital technology means that smaller batches can be printed, and to different specifications as required. “You can say to a

We do get a lot of inquiries from customers of our customers or friends of our customers who say, ‘these guys will look after you’. “



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