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People Technology Business October 2020

Trade winds of change

Family ties that bind

Allain Pool’s zest for life

COVID-19 has hit many hard but trade printers see bright horizons

Brother and sister duo use 20-20 vision to fill a void for NSW printers

Press Print director on why family, food & wine are what matters most

YEP, WE’RE READY WHEN YOU ARE We’re doing alright. In fact we’re pretty pleased with ourselves. Our latest survey shows our performance is still improving. That’s great news if you’re a printer who would like to put your excess capacity in our capable hands. We don’t mind if you get all the credit.


Congratulations on being nominated for the 10th anniversary Power 50. Judging and auditing is underway and an awards function will be held in Sydney in mid November. Contact for more info. Aldo Burcheri Courtney Colour

Ben Testa Multi-Color Victoria

Darryl Meyer IVE Group

Ian Delbridge Hunter Bros. Printers

Aleks Lajovic Impact International

Brad Wruck Colorcorp

Dayne Nankervis CMYKhub

Ian Smith Advance Press

Alex Coulson Heroprint

Charles Batt MBE Parramatta

Jamie & Jason Xuereb Mediapoint

Allain Pool Press Print Digital

Charlton Hemingway Work Works

Debbie Burgess & John Bright Bright Print Group

Andrew Macaulay PVCA

Clayton Treloar Mail Boxes Etc. Australia

Andrew Price Rawson Print Co.

Cliff Brigstocke IVE Group

Andrew Siwicki QLM Label Makers

Corey London Special T Print

Anthony Karam TMA Group

Dan Mantel AFI Branding

Atish Shah & Manish Shah Quality Press

Darren Delaney Allkotes

Ben Browning 1800 for Promo Ben Newberry TK Print


Darren Wade CMYKhub Darryl Hynes Accurate Group

Emmanuel Buhagiar Imagination Graphics Ewen Donaldson Vivad Flora Zhao Skyline Print & Design Frank Mezo Mezographic

Jenny Berry Ai Group John Georgantzakos Spotpress John O’Brien CCL Label Australia

Thursday May 14

John Schreenan Revolution Print

Gavin Allen Crystal Media

Justin Melbourne BannerSHOP International

Geoff Selig IVE Group

Keith Ferrel Cactus Imaging

Greg Hourigan AAB Holdings

Kellie Northwood The Real Media Collective

Hank Rothfield Rothfield

Ken Williams Excel Australasia

Sponsor WhoGold are the key Bronze Sponsor innovators and influencers of 2016?

Audited by

Kenneth Beck & Peter Musarra Carbon8 Kevin Pidgeon Lithocraft Kevin Slaven Ovato Kirsten Taylor Taylor’d Press

Peter Zapris Ellikon Fine Printers

Steve Scott Industrial Printing Co.

Matthew Whitton Fast Proof Press

Ray Ormsby Visualcom

Steven Gamble Man Anchor

Mel Ireland Lithographic Institute of Australia

Richard Celarc Opus Group

Steven Matas BMS Group

Robert Soutar Adams Print

Stuart Gittus Active Display Group

Rod Dawson Southern Impact

Tate Hone Avon Graphics

Roger Kirwan Foxcil

Theo Pettaras PVCA

Romeo Sanuri Next Printing

Tim Michaelides Complete Colour

Russell Fray Chapel Press

Tom Eckersley Eckersley Print Group

Russell Kavnat Dashing Group

Trent Nankervis CMYKhub

Nigel Spicer Cactus Imaging

Sandra Duarte Centrum Printing

Trevor Hone Avon Graphics

Paul O’Sullivan Labelmakers

Scott Siganto IBS Cards

Vin Kerai Allkotes

Peter Harper Visual Connections

Shane Britten IVE Group

Walter Kuhn PVCA

Peter Orel Finsbury Green

Shane Strohhecker Morningside Printers

Wayne Eastaugh Marvel Bookbinding

Peter Wright Central Commercial Printers

Simon Carmody Spot Productions

Wayne Finkelde AAB Holdings

Michael Richards Openbook Howden Print & Design

Lachlan Finch Rawson Print Co.

Michael Schulz SOS Print+Media Group

Leo Moio Print Media Group

Mitchell Mulligan Visual Connections

Leon Wilson Revolution Print Linda Sultmann Signwave Marc Selby Selby’s Marcus Hooke News Corp Australia Mark Shergill Focus Print Group Mark Terrill Printgraphics Printgreen Martin Guilliamse Mark Media Matt Aitken IVE Group

Matthew Murcott Matte Gold

Neil Mackay Clark & Mackay Nigel Quirk Printgraphics Printgreen

Simon Pugh QLM Label Makers


Emerging 50 2019 members gather in Sydney last year

The Emerging 50, now in its second year, recognises the industry’s rising stars and this year one lucky winner has the chance to be mentored for 12 months by industry association, The Real Media Collective. By Sheree Young


ominations for the 2020 Emerging 50 are now open and we encourage you to nominate anyone you know who has been working in any part of the industry for under five years who you believe deserves to be recognised. Emerging 50 nominees come from all parts of the print sector whether it be graphic design, prepress, production, estimating, account management, sales or despatch. There is also no limit in terms of age, the only requirement being they have worked in the industry for less than five years. All Emerging 50 nominees will have their photo and a brief biography published in alphabetical order in the December edition of ProPrint. Each nominee also can enter a competition to win a 12-month mentorship with The Real 6 ProPrint October 2020

Media Collective. The mentorship is designed to shine a light on parts of the industry Emerging 50 nominees might not normally get to see. It also provides an opportunity to consider career quandaries and make a plan for the future. To enter each nominee needs to submit the following questions: 1. What are the biggest issues facing the printing industry right now? 2. What is leadership and how do you define a good leader? 3. What are you most passionate about with regards to the industry? Each nominee should send these answers to along with a headshot photograph and a reference from a line supervisor or colleague. From there a panel of industry judges will choose which nominee would benefit most from the mentorship programme. The Emerging 50 would not be possible without ongoing industry support. Industry superannuation fund, Media Super, is again supporting the event as our Foundation Partner. Media Super Acting CEO Tony Griffin says, “We are delighted to continue our support of the ProPrint Emerging 50 as the Foundation Partner of the awards. “Media Super is the industry super fund for print, media, entertainment and the arts, and is whole-heartedly committed to the recognition of professional excellence for our emerging industry leaders. “We applaud the ProPrint team’s continuous improvement of the awards, this

year incorporating a mentorship program with the objective of driving personal growth, building skills, knowledge and understanding. “Given the challenges the industry faces today, it is more important than ever to invest in the leaders of tomorrow.” We are also grateful for the support of Cactus Imaging and Visual Connections. The Real Media Collective is also backing this initiative as a mentorship partner with chief executive officer Kellie Northwood fully behind the concept and offering up her time as a mentor. “Mentoring our next generation is critical to a strong industry future and one the Collective members welcome,” Northwood said. “I have been privileged in my career to meet and learn from an amazing network, team and client base – offering the opportunity for a future leader to be introduced to the broader industry is one I look forward to supporting.” The Emerging 50 runs alongside the Power 50 which is now in its 10th year of recognising the printing industry’s leaders, advocates and innovators. Planning is underway for a COVID Safe event in mid November in Sydney to recognise and honour this year’s Power 50 and also the Emerging 50. For more information please contact either Sheree Young for editorial related inquiries at or Carmen Ciappara for advertising sponsorships on

Supporting the print industry since 1987

Helpline 1800 640 886


Superannuation. Insurance. Retirement. Financial Planning.

Issued July 2020 by Media Super Limited (ABN 30 059 502 948, AFSL 230254) as Trustee of Media Super (ABN 42 574 421 650).


Glimmer of hope as year from hell drags on

Editor Sheree Young (02) 8586 6131 National Sales Manager Carmen Ciappara 0410 582 450 Design and Production Manager Carrie Tong Managing Director James Wells Subscriptions (02) 9660 2113 Subscription rate (6 issues) Australia $69.95

The year that will go down in our history as among the worst is continuing to drag on. A vaccine for COVID-19 still feels a long way off and with Melbourne battling its way through a second lockdown, I have to say I found myself asking when will this end? I’m sure I am not alone. In my discussions with many of you I can hear a sense of fatigue but underlying that a confidence that everything will return to some kind of normal. What that will look like remains to be seen, but it’s fair to say it will be a while before we are all jetting off to foreign locations. We will all learn to live with COVID until a vaccine is found that the majority of us are happy to actually have. This will change the way we live but we will adapt as we always have to the situations we find ourselves in. Through all of this business will continue and printers will keep finding new ways of fulfilling customer needs. One of the more heart-warming stories I have heard in recent weeks was news of the employment of one of last year’s Emerging 50 nominees by MIS and workflow developer, printIQ. Herman Ng was nominated for his work as a graphic designer for Brisbane canvas printing specialist Willems Art last year. Earlier this 8 ProPrint October 2020

All smiles: printIQ’s Mick Rowan is thrilled with his new team member, Herman Ng, a member of the 2019 Emerging 50

year he discovered that in order to fulfil his residency requirements he needed to work in a regional area. He got in touch with Mick Rowan at printIQ and before he knew it he was working as a digital strategy and product specialist at printIQ’s Burleigh Heads bunker. This is what it is all about people. Connection, community and helping each other out. Nominations are now open for the 2020 Emerging 50, so please nominate someone you think deserves it. This year The Real Media Collective has offered to provide a 12-month mentorship programme to one lucky winner. It is open to anyone with five years or less experience in any part of the industry. It is not based on age, but years of experience. The Power 50 is also turning 10 and you will find the nominees for that inside this edition. Voting is set to start so keep your eyes out for that. This edition also features NSW printer Bright Print Group and examines the advent of Twenty 20 Bindery. There is also a feature by our very own Peter Kohn on trade printing and finishing in Australia. Allain Pool from Press Print Digital reflects on getting the balance right between work and family in our Q&A column for this edition. All major news is also wrapped up. Enjoy the read. Go well and stay safe.

Printed by Hero Print Alexandria, NSW, 2015 Mailed by D&D Mailing Services Wetherill Park, NSW, 2164

ProPrint is published bi-monthly by Printer Media Group, registered in Australia ABN 47 628 473 334. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this magazine, it is a condition of distribution that the publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in the publication.



34 40




Contents October POWER 50 & EMERGING 50

27 Comment: Romano


4-6 It’s that time of year again

Printing industry legend Frank Romano compares the current pandemic with the Spanish Flu from a print perspective

38-39 The family ties that bind

The tenth anniversary of the Power 50 will be celebrated this year as the Emerging 50 turns two.

10-22 Update Keep updated on the latest big issues impacting the printing industry

24-25 Debrief Recap of all the major developments published on

26-27 Comment: Northwood The Real Media Collective CEO Kellie Northwood shares her thoughts on associations and industry custodianship

28 Comment: Cryer Recruitment guru James Cryer reviews the main printing associations in Australia

30-31 Q&A with Allain Pool Press Print Digital director Allain Pool on why family, friends, food (and wine) and of course travel matter most

PRINT DIARY 32 What is ahead in print 2020 has been a year of change, don't miss the diary to stay informed

COVER STORY 34-36 Heroprint’s everyday heroes Heroprint prides itself on delivering the best possible service and over the years the strategy has paid off as it finds new products and processes to help customers

Bright Print Group has been around for generations and its latest venture has filled a void for NSW printers

TRADE PRINT FOCUS 40-43 The trade winds of change Peter Kohn checks in with various trade printers and finishers to get the lowdown on how this sector has fared during COVID19

Feeling social? Follow us on: @SprinterNews @SprinterNewsAust @news_sprinter

October 2o2o ProPrint 9


Coles slammed for playing environment card on catalogue decision by Sheree Young

The environmental grounds on which Coles partially based its decision to end high volume catalogue printing and distribution has been slammed by The Real Media Collective. Coles is now no longer printing and distributing its catalogue each week to over seven million letterboxes with the sudden move sending shockwaves through the printing community. Other key supermarket players remain committed to print with Woolworths confirming it would continue to use the channel and Aldi remaining a longtime fan of the catalogue. The Coles move was also a substantial hit for IVE Group with executive chairman Geoff Selig saying it would strip between $35 million and $40 million from company revenue. Coles said it had made the decision to move to a more enhanced digital strategy as online customer engagement levels increased during the COVID-19 lockdowns. But the retailer also said the digital shift would save up to 80,000 trees a year making it a win for the environment. The Real Media Collective chief executive officer, Kellie Northwood, quickly leapt on this claim: “The claim that Coles is stopping production of its supermarket catalogues due to e n v i r o n m e nt a l c o n c e r n s i s s i m p l y disingenuous. “For every Coles customer spending 60 seconds browsing a digital catalogue they will

Coles’ environmental claim for going digital slammed

emit 12g of CO 2 compared to looking at a printed catalogue for a day and only emitting 0.5g of CO2. “All of Coles catalogues are made from a renewable resource, using bio-diverse and planted forestry principles, and the paper making process is powered by hydro-electricity. Paper carries the highest environmental credentials over e-waste and CO2 powered digital streaming.” Northwood’s message gained cut through in the mainstream media, in a win for the printing industry which is constantly told it is bad for the environment. The Australian and the Australian Financial Review both quoted Northwood on the issue. Northwood said at a time of record unemployment, a retailer like Coles, which has benefited from the pandemic, should consider the

effect its decision will have on jobs. “In an era where Australia is in recession and double-digit unemployment is looming, the impact of Australian job losses should be met with concern, especially when supermarkets have made record profits from the COVID pandemic,” Northwood said. “Digital media channels reduce local employment and contribution to local economies, and regional economies will suffer the most with major employment for paper manufacture being within Maryvale, Victoria and Boyer, Tasmania. “Whilst at times seen as a ‘quick cost out’ or ‘customer data collection’ the long-term ramifications are severe, particularly in economic times of local rebuilding. Australia’s print media channels alone, excluding design and editorial, employ 258,000 Australians across metropolitan and regional locations, skilled and unskilled labour sources.” Northwood said many customers would be effected by no longer receiving a physical catalogue in the mail. “We know that a lot of Australians rely on catalogues to budget for their weekly shopping. There are many Australians who are being left behind by big brands and digital social exclusion is a growing divide. With this example, our most vulnerable, will not have access to the best offers from Coles supermarket catalogues once they go online,” she said.



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10 ProPrint October 2020

Frame it! Centrum Printing chief executive officer Sandra Duarte was so thrilled with her Q&A in the August 2020 edition of ProPrint that she has framed it along with her other mentions over over the years in Australian Printer and ProPrint magazines. We here at Printer Media Group are loving this enthusiasm within the industry. Great effort.


Victoria’s COVID business roadmap criticised by Sheree Young

With Melbourne continuing to wade through a second COVID lockdown, all eyes were on Victoria’s Premier Da niel Andrews when he announced his roadmap out of the crisis. The response from business groups was swift with the roadmap referred to as a “road to nowhere” and a “document of despair” that failed to give business owners guidance about how and when to reopen. Not much changed for printers, although the extension of the stage 4 lockdow n in Melbourne and the step-by-step process for re-opening is continuing to slug print demands. Andrews said providing case numbers a re low enough, Melbourne will soon be able to begin taking some steps towards a return to normal. This involves over 100,000

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews

employees getting back to work in the construction, manufacturing, landscaping and maintenance sectors where workers operate alone. “By moving from stages to steps, we’re giving Victorians a long-term plan for our path out of restrictions and into COVID Normal,” Andrews said. Restrictions in regiona l Victoria have now eased.

Ai Group CEO Innes Willox labelled the roadmap a “document of despair for industry and their employees” that failed to set clear steps for reopening. He also said industry consultation had been ignored. “There will be catastrophic economic, health and social damage caused by the continued lockdown and prospect of more months of sharply diminished activity,” he said. Victoria n Cha mber of Commerce Industry CEO Paul Guerra criticised the plan as a “road to nowhere”. “This does not deliver for the thousands of businesses that are trying to keep this state going and trying to keep their doors open,” Guerra said. “We can’t continue to let business and jobs be decimated on the way to controlling the spread.”

Business closure costs must be covered: Kate Carnell by Sheree Young

Kate Carnell, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, says the Victorian Government must cover closure costs of small businesses that have been decimated by Victoria’s second COVID-19 lockdown. C a r nel l s a id V ic t or i a n Premier Daniel Andrews’ roadmap out of the coronavirus crisis failed to give small, family owned businesses surety about the road ahead. “The enormity of this lockdown extension and the psychological distress inflicted on small business owners cannot be underestimated,” Carnell said. “Small business loans are often secured against the family home, so these hard-working small business owners are now faced with gut-wrenching decisions about their future.” Carnell said many businesses have been imperilled by the closures, w it h t he sit uat ion

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman: Kate Carnell

exacerbated by the knowledge that the state will only fully reopen when it has a five-case-a-day average. “For those struggling small businesses that know they cannot remain viable under these i mp o s e d c ond it ion s , t he Victorian Government needs to step up and help them make the sensible business decision to exit,” Carnell said. “This means the Victorian Government needs to pay for all break-lease termination fees

– not just on the premises but also equipment so small business owners can walk away without further penalties.” Her call comes as the federal government extended its temporary bankrupty and insolvency protection until the end of 2020. Insolvencies and the numbers of businesses entering administration while JobKeeper has been running, have been surprisingly low. “This is a situation no small business could have planned for. The lockdown extension has forced small businesses into this dire predicament and now the government needs to do the right thing to support them to exit if they cannot afford to hang on,” Carnell said. Business owners that need support should call The Partners in Wellbeing on 1300 375 330 and Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service at


58 The number of years Bright Print Group has been in operation p38

12 Number of trade printers and finishers in our technology feature p40

1996 The year Heroprint was formed as an offshoot of parent company, Printforce p34

40 The millions of dollars Coles’ decision to quit catalogues will cost IVE Group p10

4 The number of hours it takes to learn how to communicate with care with Man Anchor p20

100 The number of nominees for the 10th anniversary of the Power 50 p4

10 The number of tonnes that Imagination Graphics’ new KM-1 weighs p22 October 2o2o ProPrint 11


Macaulay knew nothing about Marcus Bastiaan’s alleged stacking by Sheree Young

Print & Visual Communications Association (PVCA) CEO Andrew Macaulay says he had no knowledge that former employee, Marcus Bastiaan, was allegedly also working as a Victorian Liberal Party hard-right branch stacking operative when he was on the associatoin’s payroll. Bastiaan resigned from the then Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA) in late 2018 in the wake of a racist text message scandal that he and another fellow PIAA employee, Paul Mitchell, were implicated in as part of their work for the Victorian Liberals. Bastiaan has popped up again, this time in another scandal which allegedly occurred at the same time the PIAA was paying his wages. The latest allegations are that from 2016 to 2018 – a period that coincided with his employment at the PIAA – he was also working as a branch stacking operative within an ultra-conservative hard-right faction of the Victorian Liberal Party. The allegations were broadcast in late August on the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes. In the days after the broadcast Bastiaan resigned completely from the Victorian Liberal Party. After the story aired, Macaulay told ProPrint that during Bastiaan’s nine months with the association in 2018, he was employed as a national business development manager and managed the PIAA’s property portfolio and leasing arrangements.

I know nothing: PVCA CEO Andrew Macaulay

Macaulay also confirmed that he personally had no knowledge of Bastiaan’s alleged branch stacking activities for the Victorian Liberal Party. “We know nothing about it. He was employed by us to run some aspects of our commercial operations which he did very well. I can’t speak to the allegations at all,” Macaulay told ProPrint. “I cannot comment about it really because I didn’t know anything about it at the time, nor do I know anything about it now other than what we are all reading in the newspapers. “It sounds like a squabble between a whole bunch of factions in Victoria’s Liberal Party to me. It’s got nothing to do with us.” Macaulay said Bastiaan got the job with the PIAA by responding to an advertisement, as any other person would. “He had performance metrics that he had to work to and the first we were aware of it (the

text message scandal) was when he left us,” Macaulay said. “It’s got nothing to do with the PIAA and these allegations have no relevance to what he did for us.” The 60 Minutes report alleged that Bastiaan told taxpayer-funded electorate officers in the office of MP Kevin Andrews to recruit party members to boost factional numbers. It was also alleged that Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar benefited from the plot, although it did not claim that he himself was actively involved in stacking Liberal branches. In resigning from the Victorian Liberal Party, Bastiaan made the following statement, as reported by the ABC: “I reject allegations of branch stacking. As the voluntary chair of the Party’s Membership and Training Committee between 2015 and 2018 my role was to recruit and train new members. “Two years ago, I stepped down from the Party’s Administrative Committee to focus on my family and business. These priorities have not changed. “Clearly, I have said foolish and stupid things in my twenties. I apologise without reservation to those I have offended, and hope I’ll be wiser and kinder in my thirties. “The ongoing leaking of years old historic material is an unnecessary distraction for the Liberal Party and it is with that in mind that I have resigned.”

Bastiaan drags print association through the mud, again By Sheree Young

Marcus Bastiaan, a former employee of the then Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA), has again cast shade over the organisation with revelations he was working as a hard-right Victorian Liberal Party branch stacker whilst on the payroll. Bastiaan, 30, worked for the PIAA as a national business development manager for nine months in 2018 – the same time he is alleged to have been quite busy stacking branches with fake Liberal Party members. He was also the Victorian vice-president of the Liberal Party but quit in September 2018, prior to the party’s crushing defeat in the November 2018 state election. Bastiaan joined the PIAA in early 2018 after another Victorian Liberal Party member, Paul Mitchell, started work as a workplace relations manager. Prior to joining the PIAA, Mitchell himself had already been caught out with a story in the Australian Financial Review in April 2016 which referred to him as “Michael Kroger’s milkman”. The story was in response to a Snapchat photo of Mitchell topless, squeezing his breast, captioned ‘Want milk?’. But it wasn’t long until a racist text scandal thrust Mitchell back into the spotlight, but this time Bastiaan also went along for the ride. In December 2018 allegations emerged that the pair had sent racist text messages in a 12 ProPrint October 2020

Former PIAA staffer Marcus Bastiaan

messaging group while they were working for the Victorian branch of the Liberal Party – and also paid staffers at the PIAA. The messages allegedly included references to Liberal Party members of Indian descent as “curries” and other members as “fag Catholics”. Both Bastiaan and Mitchell denied sending the messages, telling The Age newspaper at the time that the phones the messages were sent from were accessible by a large number of other people so anyone could have sent the offensive messages. But nonetheless, when the allegations emerged in the mainstream media, Mitchell promptly resigned with PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay saying at the time that his actions had been “admonished”. The departure of Bastiaan was not so clear cut.

At the time Australian Printer’s then editor, Paul Brescia, was told Bastiaan had left the PIAA six weeks before the racist text message allegations were aired. But emails sent by Bastiaan to Brian Moore, the then-publisher of Australian Printer, indicate he was employed at least until December 17, 2018. Macaulay quickly moved to distance himself from the latest saga, telling ProPrint he had no knowledge of Bastiaan’s alleged side-hustle. “We know nothing about it. He was employed by us to run some aspects of our commercial operations which he did very well. I can’t speak to the allegations at all,” Macaulay told ProPrint. “I cannot comment about it because I didn’t know anything about it at the time, nor do I know anything about it now other than what we are all reading in the newspapers.” In terms of how Bastiaan came to be employed by the PIAA, Macaulay said he got the job just like anyone else would by answering a job ad. Whether Macaulay or the PIAA knew what Bastiaan was up to or not, it is undeniable that having employees – past or present – in the ranks that are linked to potentially illegal behaviour and racist text messages is not good for the association or the industry’s reputation. Bastiaan has denied all wrongdoing but has now completely resigned from the Victorian branch of the Liberal Party.






Multi track

Dual roll

Multi roll

Continuous printing of up to 6 boards side by side

Integrated material transport system with independent dancers

Roll material changeover time minimized



Theo Pettaras leaves digitalpress for Transworld by Sheree Young

Theo Pettaras is well regarded in print circles. He is a regular member of the ProPrint Power 50, a current board member at the Print & Visual Communications Association (PVCA) and a keen advocate for print. Pettaras founded the hugely successful digitalpress 15 years ago but sold the business to a global consortium in February. That deal was brokered by Stephen Edwards, a co-partner in the North Sydney branch of global business advisory service, Transworld, and former global CEO of Snap. The process of selling digitalpress was indeed complicated for Pettaras, but the experience of dealing with Edwards and the team at Transworld, which also includes another printing industry identity Steven Stucci, was positive. So positive in fact that Pettaras has now decided to join Transworld as a Marketing Associate so that he may use his expertise to help other business owners, including printers, prepare their business for sale should that be a path they are considering. Edwards says having Pettaras at Transworld represents a joining together of three printing industry stalwarts, which will benefit the sector, especially in these times of COVID-19. Edwards and Pettaras met on the board of the GAASA (Graphic Arts Services Association of Australia) from 2010 to 2012. Edwards says himself, Stucci and Pettaras all know the industry thoroughly and have been involved in many different business sales. “When Theo went about selling his business, we were lucky enough to secure the right to do that for him. We took him through a process

Transworld North Sydney directors Steven Stucci (left) and Stephen Edwards (right) with new Marketing Associate Theo Pettaras (centre)

and got a great outcome for him and the industry really,” Edwards told ProPrint. “Through that process Theo really enjoyed it and added a lot of value and he decided that he wanted to come onboard and help other businesses as this is his passion. “Part of our business is to help the printing industry. We do other work with other business sectors but the line-up we have now of Steve,

Theo and myself is pretty powerful as a print pedigree.” Pettaras will devote his time consulting with printers if they are looking to sell. “Theo can help businesses that are looking to sell get into a bit better shape,” Edwards said. “He has got the credibility and profile so it’s a good match.” Pettaras started full-time in September.

Digitalpress hires Cameron Williams as GM By Hafizah Osman

Digitalpress parent company Bridgestone Investments (bsigroup) has appointed Cameron Williams as its new general manager following the departure of Theo Pettaras. Williams will be primarily focused on increasing Digitalpress’ customer portfolio, whilst extending the digital printing capabilities of the business, focusing on point-of-sale design and prototyping to enhance shopper marketing activation. This is expected to position Digitalpress as a valued addition to the overall services offered by Horizon and Reech, the other brands within the bsigroup portfolio and enable an integrated marketing execution service offering for multi-channel brands. Williams has over 25 years of experience in print production and print management having held senior sales positions at Hannan Print, Ovato (previously IPMG/PMP) and HH Global in China and Hong Kong. He has experience across all categories of print including high volume web offset, sheetfed offset, digital, large format, interactive 14 ProPrint October 2020

Digitalpress general manager Cameron Williams

components and packaging. Williams will report directly to bsigroup CEO Jahangir Khan. Khan said Williams’ appointment supports bsigroup’s direction for digitalpress, as it navigates its way through the final phase of integration. Since acquiring digitalpress in February, bsigroup has been implementing a series of

changes to improve the brand’s alignment to other bsigroup assets, enhance technology infrastructure, and widen service offerings. “In keeping with these improvements and as part of the final phase of integration, bsigroup ushers in a new era by introducing Cameron Williams,” he said. “Cameron is a welcomed addition to the bsigroup management team and will be instrumental in giving Digitalpress a much-needed strategy refresh. “We look forward to working with Cameron and assisting him in extending the Digitalpress customer portfolio as it moves into a new phase in its 15-year history, operating under the guidance of our group’s strategy and supporting us in becoming a leading marketing communications company in the Australasian region.” Welcoming the new challenge, Williams highlighted his broad experience in the retail, FMCG and CPG space and working with several well-known multinational brands as a major asset and a source of inspiration from which to chart the future success of Digitalpress.



Heiko Riecken LIA NSW Heidelberg Graduate of the Year by Sheree Young

Heiko Riecken has been named the LIA’s NSW Heidelberg Graduate of the Year for 2020 at a special ceremony at Lithgow’s Industrial Print. An apprentice, at the mature age of 58, Riecken began work at Industrial Printing in 1991 after marrying into the family and has worked for the business for 25 years. Riecken was nominated for the award by his TAFE teacher, Terry Nolan. “Heiko is a highly skilled operator, and everything he does is very precise and it is hard to match his accuracy and quality of what he does,” Industrial Printing general manager Steve Scott said. “We have one other apprentice who is in the second year of TAFE, and we value tradesmen so like to put apprentices on and train them up ourselves.” Riecken hopes he can set an example for other apprentices. “It is an amazing privilege; it is unplanned and unexpected to have this recognition. I hope other older and mature workers in the industry go for their trade certificate,” Riecken said. “I enrolled in TAFE for Certificate Three run printing as I wanted to have a Trade Certificate because I have never had any formal qualifications. “It was wonderful to go to TAFE and fill in the gaps that I still had in the theory, chemical conductivity, PH levels and also colour management and digital printing areas which I did not have a good grasp of. “To me, it was challenging and also very helpful for my practical execution of my printing tasks and gave me a broader spectrum of different types of printing I had not been involved in.” Heidelberg A/NZ managing director Savas

All practising social distancing: (LR) Peter Harper, Visual Connections; Savas Mystakidis, Heidelberg; Terry Nolan, NSW TAFE; Heiko Riecken, Industrial Printing; Steve Scott, Industrial Printing; Angus Scott, LIA NSW; Mitch Mulligan, LIA NSW.

Mystakidis congratulated Riecken. “Congratulations to Heiko. It is a pleasure to be associated with this award and something that is now 48 years old and will keep going,” Mystakidis said. “It is one of those awards that is truly important to the industry. I have always said we will keep supporting it as much as we can because this is the future and we have to embrace the apprentices coming through and printing businesses whether they are a $50 million business or a $100,000 business – whoever is there contributing to the industry, employing people and keeping our industry vibrant and alive is the most important thing. Heiko is one of the oldest apprentices I have met and it shows it is never

too late to learn and to keep learning in life and pick up new skills and to keep adapting.” Visual Connections president Mitch Mulligan said: “Industrial Print has sponsored an older apprentice to come through their business which is a great thing for us as an industry because we retain the skill sets in our industry. “We are always keen to support the LIA and every two years we have the scholarship prize of $10,000.” LIA NSW President Angus Scott recognised Heidelberg’s commitment to award. “The relationship with Heidelberg dates back to 1972, when the first LIA/Heidelberg Graduate of the Year Award began. This will be the 48th year of continuous support,” he said.

Cathy O’Connor replaces Cook at oOh!media By Sheree Young

Cathy O’Connor, a sales executive with over 35 years in Australian media organisations, has been appointed to replace oOh!media founder and CEO Brendon Cook, who had already announced his intention to leave the business after more than 30 years. O’Connor will take up the role in early 2021 with Cook to stay on as a consultant until at least the end of next year to provide access to his deep industry knowledge, insights and relationships. oOh!media owns wide format printing company, Cactus Imaging. O’Connor has spent the last 12 years as CEO of Nova Entertainment Group and five years prior to that as managing director of of DMG Radio. oOh!media board chairman, Tony Faure said: “The Board was pleased to be able to attract a high-quality field of candidates, and after significant consideration we felt Cathy was the ideal person to lead oOh! in its next 16 ProPrint October 2020

New leadership: oOh!media incoming CEO Cathy O’Connor

stage of growth. “We would also like to place on record our thanks to Brendon for his continued commitment and professionalism in navigating through the pandemic, and for agreeing to stay on until the end of this year. “Cathy, who is highly regarded by the industry, brings extensive experience as a leader of

successful media organisations, and in her most recent role at Nova, has created significant value. “She brings a range of qualities which we felt were suited to taking the business through its next stage of growth, in particular her proven success in steering a media sales organisation, leading the technology strategy and driving organic growth initiatives, even in the most challenging of environments.” O’Connor says she is looking forward to taking up the role. “Despite the challenges of 2020, the Out of Home sector is an exciting place to be in, with strong prospects and increasing prominence in a digital future,” she said. “oOh!media is a great business with an extensive national reach backed by both leading data smarts and a fantastic team of professionals that are the best in their field. “I am looking forward to joining the team and building on oOh!’s success and guiding the company’s next phase of growth.”

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Rob Mesaros joins Currie Group from HP By Hafizah Osman

Former HP executive Rob Mesaros has joined Currie Group in the newly created role of strategic executive advisor. Mesaros joins the business after 15 years with HP, many of which were spent abroad, in various senior executive roles. In this new role, Mesaros is responsible for reviewing Currie Group’s end-to-end business operation, with a focus on business planning and strategic improvement initiatives. Additionally, he will work closely with the business’ staff, key customers and partners to ensure future success. “I am excited to be joining Currie Group in a senior advisory role at such an important time for the company and industry’s evolution,” Mesaros said. “I have always respected Currie Group’s vision, and most importantly its attention to driving the right customer centric transformation. The digital transformation of industries is just heating up, and I’m confident that Currie Group, coupled with their vendors, will continue to play an important role in driving that transformation.” Most recently, Mesaros served as the vice president and head of 3D printing and digital manufacturing for Asia Pacific and Japan at HP, at the company’s Singapore operations.

18 ProPrint October 2020

Introducing Currie Group’s new strategic executive advisor, Rob Mesaros

Mesaros said he made the move as he wanted his family to be closer to home. “Personally, the time has come for my family to return home. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at HP, from meeting many wonderful people to experiencing diverse cultures and business environments. I want to thank all of

the HP teams I have been a part of, and the many HP channel partners, for providing me with a platform to learn and grow,” he said. According to HP Australia and New Zealand managing director Michael Boyle, Mesaros contributed greatly during his time working with HP. “During his 15-year tenure, Rob made very significant contributions to HP in a variety of roles across the region, including as managing director in Australia and New Zealand post HP separation in 2015 till May 2018,” he said. “We thank Rob for his leadership over many years both here in Australia and abroad and we look forward to working closely together at Currie Group.” Currie Group executive chairman David Currie welcomed Rob to the team saying, “Currie Group is a long-standing partner with HP and having Rob join the group in the capacity of strategic executive advisor makes sense on many levels. “Rob’s experience in running business operations in A/NZ and across the region, as well as his deep technical knowledge of the print industry, is complementary to our business model and our future direction. We look forward to working with Rob and all our partners to chart the course for growth and future success.”


Taylor bows out for sea and tree change by Sheree Young

After 25 years in the printing industry, Natalie Taylor has swapped the bright city lights for a tree and sea change on the NSW South Coast. Taylor has spent the last 13 years with IVE Group but says the time has come to fulfil a long-held dream to buy a business and move out of the city. Taylor got her start in print during a Year 10 work experience stint at Sydney publishing company, Torch Publishing. After school she took up a pre-press apprenticeship at Torch Publishing and from then on has held multiple roles in production planning, estimating and managing staff before moving into sales. She joined Blue Star initially as a business development manager and stayed on for the acquisition of AIW and Franklin Web with the business evolving into the IVE Group juggernaut it is today. Her most recent role has been National Sales Director Web Offset and Distribution at IVE. “I have been a long-standing employee with two amazing businesses and have had a wonderful career in this industry,” Taylor told ProPrint. “I have loved every minute of being here. IVE are like family, we are all passionate about our industry and delivering on our promises to each other and our customers. “I love my customers, I love the value proposition. It is such an awesome business. So it is not that I am unhappy here but this

Tree change: IVE Group’s Natalie Taylor moves on

opportunity came up and Katie and I had always said to ourselves that in 10 or 15 years we would pivot into something new and take control of our work and have a better life balance. This energetic lover of print, NSW Patron of Women in Print and ProPrint Power 50 finalist finished up with IVE Group in September. Taylor has now moved to Milton to run Milk Haus, a wholefoods paddock-to-plate cafe three hours south of Sydney. Having led the sales business at IVE across its

web divisions and more recently the distribution arm following the purchase of Salmat, Taylor is not afraid of hard work. But now she will have a different workload to contend with. Namely 28 chooks, a few ducks, a sprawling vegie garden, citrus trees and an apple orchard that is about to fruit. “The opportunity came up to buy Milk Haus and it just felt so right and we thought to ourselves ‘why wait 15 years to do something like this’,” she said. Taylor said she is sad to be leaving IVE Group but said everyone has accepted her decision and has been very supportive. “Both Darryl (Meyer) and Matt (Aitken) were really respectful of the decision and they know my partner, Katie. When I told them why we were thinking about this and what our plan was with the venue they were really supportive,” she said. Steve Maidens, general nanager of web offset, and Richard Clark, general manager of IVE’s Silverwater site, will each share her role. The Real Media Collective CEO Kellie Northwood said Taylor’s departure is a big loss for the industry. “Nat has been a passionate industry advocate, from her role in Women in Print as NSW Patron to a regular judge at the ACA and Real Media Awards and also sitting on TRMC Executive Committee,” Northwood said. “Her strategic mind is well revered and I’ve been very privileged to haved worked with her.”

Visual Connections members benefit from Man Anchor By Sheree Young

Printing industry mental health advocate and founder of Man Anchor, Steven Gamble, recently conducted a four-hour Communicating with Care program for Visual Connections. The course helps participants learn how to support and effectively communicate with family, friends and colleagues who may be experiencing stress, distress or be in a crisis. Gamble says delivering the program via Zoom to members of Visual Connections was his way of giving back to the association after he had the opportunity to talk about mental health and Man Anchor at a PrintEx breakfast session last year. Tickets to the breakfast raised over $3000 for Man Anchor, which Gamble runs alongside his role as Bottcher Australia’s national sales manager. Having effective communication skills is critically important and never more so than now as the pandemic continues to bite. “We had a fantastic response to the Visual Connections course. It was really well received, and it was a wonderful feeling to be able to give back to the printing industry,” Gamble told ProPrint. Man Anchor runs a number of different mental health first aid courses in companies 20 ProPrint October 2020

Man Anchor founder Steven Gamble

large and small in all sectors, including the printing industry. Gamble is a passionate advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. His top tips about how to communicate with care: • Leave judgement at the door; • Keep your unconscious bias in check; • Listen actively and give minimal responses; • Give the individual time to contemplate their own feelings; • Understand your tone of voice and body language; • Question your understanding of empathy. Gamble says it is often the case that a colleague, friend or family member may never have expressed how they are feeling before so

they need space and time to talk about it. “They need to be allowed space in silence so they can sit and contemplate what emotions they are feeling and then think about how they can articulate them,” Gamble said. “A lot of the time they may never have verbalised to anyone what they are feeling or if they are in a crisis they could be overwhelmed, so it is about taking time and letting the person feel and let them articulate how they feel. “As individuals we don’t have all the answers but as family members, friends and colleagues we can be there to support them and listen. For someone who is in a crisis or is stressed or distressed being able to unpack what is going on can be a great way to work out a solution or work out a way to better cope. “As humans we like to be able to fix people. “We never like to see anyone in pain but if we pulled the reins up a little bit and thought we are not here to fix, we are here to support and a really easy way to support someone is to be there to listen. This will really contribute to the person becoming well or finding a solution.” If you are interested in running or attending a mental health workshop with Man Anchor, please get in touch online at www.mananchor. or email Steven direct on steven@

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KM technicians beat COVID odds for KM-1 install By Sheree Young

Two interstate Konica Minolta product support specialists went over and above to install a replacement AccurioJet KM-1 at Sydney’s floodhit Imagination Graphics with both having to undertake a 14-day COVID-19 quarantine once they finally made it home. Biorn McGinley from Adelaide and Stephen Griffiths from Brisbane travelled to Sydney at the height of the coronavirus border shutdowns to dismantle Imagination Graphic’s original AccurioJet KM-1, which was destroyed by flood in February, and install a new machine. Griffiths drove to Sydney for the job and with Queensland’s border shut to NSW was facing great uncertainty about being able to cross the border by car at Tweed Heads/Coolangatta. Once across the border, he, like McGinley, then had to spend 14 days in a hotel, further stretching out his time away from family. The pair are specialists in Konica Minolta’s industrial print products – including the KM-1 and the MGI range – and when necessary visit Victoria and NSW to address high-level issues on site, including Ballarat’s Revolution Print and Melbourne’s Jossimo Print. Now the machine is running, Konica Minolta’s Sydney-based technicians will be able to address most concerns, with McGinley and Griffiths on hand if needed. The 10-tonne press required a crane to lift it into the premises at Marrickville. “We are quite experienced now so we used a rigging company and a crane to help bring the

Imagination Graphics’ new KM1 install (L-R) Stephen Griffiths (KM) Emmanual Buhagiar (Imagination) Biorn McGinley (KM)

machine in. It is 10 tonnes in weight, so it is not just something you slide around where you need it to go and has to be carefully lifted and positioned,” McGinley told ProPrint. “There are a few days of assembly as the machine comes in multiple pieces and then you move into the calibration phase where you are printing but you are calibrating, assessing and tweaking to get everything dialled in nicely.” Buhagiar said McGinley and Griffiths had done an outstanding job in installing the new machine and that he is thrilled to be back to full operation. He was also relieved to again be able to produce print on the KM-1. “We’ve got a bi-monthly magazine that we’ve been sending out to get printed but we can bring that back in now. We’ve been using the

toner machines, but it is more economical to put that work on the KM-1 so this is very good,” Buhagiar told ProPrint. “Once this is up and running properly, I will be out knocking on doors and letting the market know we have it running.” Since Imagination Graphics had been decimated by flooding, Buhagiar has been relying on printers in the area to help cover his work while he got back on his feet. The twin effects of this, combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, have made this year one of the toughest for the print veteran. Konica Minolta general manager of production and industrial print Sue Threlfo said both McGinley and Griffiths had gone above and beyond in their commitment to getting the installation done quickly and professionally for Imagination Graphics. “We are delighted to see our good customer Imagination Graphics with Emmanuel and Colleen up and running again,” Threlfo told ProPrint. “I am very proud of the work done by our team to ensure we could deliver and install the KM-1 in these challenging times. Our Industrial Print technical expertise is dispersed across the country, and the personal investment made by Steve and Biorn to be away from their families and the requirement for them to isolate before going home, is outstanding. “I think it is a great example of how our service team will go above and beyond to support our customers.”

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Debrief Recapping the major developments since your last issue. Stories are breaking every day at

August issue

18 august

6 august AUSSIE 3D CO PRINTS COVID-19 SWABS Sydney’s 3D Printing Studios has become the first Australian company to locally manufacture the nasal and throat swabs that are used in COVID-19 testing kits, bringing Australia’s heavy reliance on overseas supply chains one step closer to an end. The 3D printed swabs have been approved by South Australian Pathology and the company has now received an order for 10,000 swabs from the Northern Territory government. It is also in discussions with the Victorian and South Australian governments which could lead to orders of up to one million swabs. 3D Printing Studios co-founder Howard Wood said it took several weeks to develop the swab using Harvard Medical School designs. Wood said 3D Printing Studios is the only Australian supplier of these in demand swabs.

AFI WINS AUSTRALIAN MADE CERTIFICATION Victoria’s AFI Branding has won Australian Made certification for its ReFrame system. ReFrame is used in signage products including single-sided panels, illuminated panels, dynamic lightboxes and more recently since the outbreak of COVID-19 for hand sanitising stations. The aluminium extrusion system uses silicone-edged fabric to create affordable signage and display opportunities for the retail, exhibition and event industries. ReFrame was launched during the GFC, but despite this its versatility and affordability was well received in the market. AFI Branding managing director Glenn Watson says: “We’ve always been a proudly Australian owned company that prints and manufactures within our shores. “It’s something that both our team and our client’s value.”

13 august

News happens every day at

Sign up for our free daily news bulletin. 24 ProPrint October 2020

STARLEATON ADDS 3M DIGITAL GRAPHICS RANGE Starleaton is now distributing 3M’s digital print products which include a warranty for use on the Epson, Zünd, Roland and EFI printers and printing equipment that are distributed by this Australian familyowned business. The 3M Digital Graphics range includes films, laminate and wraps for multiple applications including signs, display, vehicles, floors, windows, walls and buildings. Starleaton CEO Ben Eaton says adding the 3M graphics products to Starleaton’s offer means many customers that print using Epson, Zünd, Roland and EFI technology will now be able to offer a warranty to help them win more business. “We were missing a supplier of materials that had warranty systems in place with the various hardware manufacturers that we represent in Australia,” Eaton said. “With us supplying software and hardware systems including Epson, Zünd, Roland and EFI, and now the complete range of 3M digital print graphics films we have the missing piece that completes the eco-system.

27 august JET TECHNOLOGIES TO DISTRIBUTE ESKO Jet Technologies has signed a distribution deal with Esko, a global provider of software and hardware printing and packaging solutions for the Australian and New Zealand markets. Jet Technologies director Jack Malki says this new partnership will enable Jet Technologies to strengthen its ecosystem and deliver innovative solutions that address specific pain points in the industry. “We are truly excited about the opportunities this new partnership presents,” Malki said.

19 august MARTYN BAKER LEAVES KM FOR IBS CARDS Former Konica Minolta Australia print production specialist Martyn Baker has joined Gold Coast trade printer IBS Cards as a business development manager. Baker was in the role at Konica Minolta Australia for a year before taking on the new role at IBS. Renowned in the industry for his in-depth pre-press and print production knowledge, Baker is a carton printer by trade, and owned his own pre-press company for 19 years in London before making the move to Australia. Known by most for his 11 years as the state manager for JL Lennards, Baker built a strong relationship with IBS over this time, providing pre-press consumables to the company for years. According to IBS, Baker’s commitment to always providing the very best for the customer no matter what, made him stand out. IBS owner Scott Siganto said: “We’re really excited to have Martyn on board. He’s proven to be one of the most reliable, supportive, and customer-focused reps we’ve dealt with. “We’ve got some big plans here at IBS including the launch of our new brand and a new portal, a W2P system and tradeonly marketing services.”

UPDATE 4 september

ICATCHERS BRIGHTENS TWO QLD LIBRARIES Signage and fit-out specialist, icatchers, has given the children’s areas of two Queensland libraries a bright and refreshing overhaul using Drytac media products and HP Latex printing technology. The libraries in Beenleigh and Holland Park recently received bold makeovers with the projects taking in design, manufacture and installation. “Usually these projects involve a six-to-eight week turnaround from concept to completion,” icatchers visual communications manager Kyle Lewis said. “There are strict health and safety guidelines as the spaces are used by children. We also have to use products that meet specific requirements to minimise damage and that can be replaced easily if damaged.” The Holland Park job required an easy-to-use solution that wrapped around columns and window openings. “We found that the Drytac ReTac 150 Smooth to be perfect. It’s a quality product with great printing results,” Lewis said.

HEIDELBERG TRAINING GOES ON COVID-19 has not stopped Heidelberg’s 2020 training year from starting with 99 men and women now undertaking courses at one of the company’s four sites in Wiesloch-Walldorf, Brandenburg, Amstetten or Ludwigsburg in Germany. The training focusses on production careers in mechanic training, mechatronics engineering and electrical engineering. It is designed to inculcate digital learning which is becoming increasingly important as digitisation spreads throughout the company. Heidelberg’s head of human resources Professor Rupert Felder said the company is investing in talent, and as a leader in sheet-fed offset, offers the best opportunities for quality training, which then leads to a permanent employment contract.

1 september STICKY LABELS MEETS DEMANDS Familyowned company, Sticky Labels, together with Jet Technologies and Screen, are helping FMCG customers keep up with COVID-19 demand spikes. Using a Screen GP L350UV+ digital label press from Jet Technologies, Sticky Labels, a manufacturer of environmentally friendly cleaning products, has been able to quickly respond to label change requirements and surging demand. Sticky Labels MD Justine McEwan said the press has allowed the company to deliver high quality labels faster for clients. “The L350UV+ has been a game changer for Sticky Labels,” McEwan said. “The digital label press has supported our focus on offering the best customer service and has allowed us to grow alongside our customers, like Natures Organics, who we’ve been working with for 13 years.” Jet Technologies director Jack Malki said: “We are pleased that the L350UV+ digital press we installed at Sticky Labels has positioned them to quickly and efficiently meet the increased demand their FMCG customers have been experiencing throughout COVID-19.”

17 september

2 september

3 september

EPSON’S HIGH VOLUME DYE-SUB Epson has launched the SureColor F10060, its first 76-inch large format dyesublimation printer for textile production. The press is aimed at high-volume producers needing to print soft signage, fashion, sportswear, home furnishings and décor in a fast, reliable and efficient way. Epson says customers in the dye-sublimation sector are increasingly demanding faster turnaround times, reliability, cost-effectiveness and high quality production. “The SC-F10060 offers the highest throughput of any Epson large format press released to date,” the company said. “It features four of Epson’s very latest 4.7-inch PrecisionCore Micro TFP print heads that each incorporate four print elements. Active nozzle status monitoring and advanced self-cleaning ensure consistent high-quality output at up to 255m2/hr.” The printer supports media rolls up to 76-inches wide and has an 80 litre bulk ink system, an extralarge 155GB buffer memory, high-speed networking and on-board Step & Repeat functionality. It also features precision feed management and a compact double-sided dryer and nine-inch colour touch panel.

SIGN INDUSTRY SURVEY Visual Connections is calling on signage companies to fill in a survey that will be used to lobby for the industry to ensure training, funding and supplies reflect the needs of the sector. The Great Australian Sign Survey is targeted at a broad range of businesses from traditional ‘signies’, to sign shops, fabricators, installers, wide-format and screen printers, expo and display businesses and textile printers. Visual Connections CEO Peter Harper (pictured) said the sign industry is constantly evolving. “This information will be vitally important. It will help set the basis for businesses and suppliers to ensure their future product offerings meet market trends,” Harper said, adding it will provide the data needed to back representations to government for grants, relief packages, training and incentives. It will also help inform ongoing discussions with TAFEs and other training organisations. Visit www. for the survey.

16 september KODAK EXTENDS AI INTEGRATION Kodak has signed a licensing agreement with PerfectPattern GmbH which will allow it to further develop the artificial intelligence already in use in its cloudbased Kodak Prinergy On Demand workflow software. The new agreement extends a previous deal for the sPrint One source code that was signed at drupa in 2016. Kodak says the new arrangement will allow it to integrate sPrint One’s AI-based functionality more closely with the innovative, cloudbased Prinergy On Demand Workflow for an even more streamlined print job preparation. “The tighter integration of sPrint One into Prinergy On Demand will really help printers achieve even more highly automated workflow processes, greater production efficiency, even lower production and material costs and hence improved profitability,” Kodak print division vice president of software Tom Bigger said.

October 2o2o ProPrint 25


Custodianship, responsiveness and relevancy — industry associations in the modern era The Real Media Collective CEO Kellie Northwood gets to the nub of why industry associations matter and what they must be continually doing to stay relevant in increasingly difficult times. KELLIE NORTHWOOD


ecently I was asked ‘what’s the point of an industry association?’. This was not the first time I have had this question put to me, however it was interesting to note that three of the people who have asked me this question in the past few years have also reached out to us for help during this terrible pandemic. That said, the question did get me pondering: are we only relevant during a crisis? Or, are we relevant on a variety of levels but perhaps go unnoticed in the good times? In this column I am reflecting on why I think industry associations are relevant and the role these organisations must play as industry custodians for future generations. In my mind, industry associations are more important now than ever before although I am not sure ‘association-land’ has evolved as quickly as it needed to. Industries have needed very specific support over the past decade. Members of industries, like ours, are constantly confronted with the challenges of Industry 4.0, consolidation, diversification strategies as jobs and manufacturing go offshore, government leader fluctuations, hung parliaments plus more and have demanded industry associations be nimble, active and commercial. These are the attributes that many legacy associations have never needed to have, and this is to their detriment. As industry and economies tighten, businesses question every dollar spent. If there is no value, then the member subscription is often the first thing to be dumped from the budget. Industry associations that aren’t evolving, delivering relevance or leadership by example, are those that will lose critical member engagement and potentially find themselves with year on year membership declines and being forced to eat into assets to stay afloat. The Real Media Collective prides itself on being responsive. It is, after all, how we began. Two Sides was brought to Australian shores because a group of industry leaders

26 ProPrint October 2020

sat together and wanted a responsive campaign to the misleading statements about paper’s environmental credentials. Despite requests to existing industry associations at the time, it was clear we needed to build this on our own. The campaign was launched, members joined and the industry developed a united message.

Fast forward thirteen years and every new initiative the Collective has developed and delivered have all been a response to an industry need. It is this critical ingredient that maintains our relevance. Nothing we do, or invest in, is unimportant to assisting our members be more profitable, more professional, more educated or more informed. Fast forward thirteen years and every new initiative the Collective has developed and delivered have all been a response to an industry need. It is this critical ingredient that maintains our relevance. Nothing we do, or invest in, is unimportant to assisting our members be more profitable, more professional, more educated and more informed. We help them achieve more in their businesses. We do this through deliverables and tangible outcomes – less words, more do. Threats and opportunities exist in every landscape and every industry. Despite the paper and print sectors facing challenges in recent years, there is still great opportunity to thrive. Building strong programs for members will always peak interest. Our Rebuild Together webinar series, launched

in the middle of COVID-19 when people were webinared out and busy trying to mitigate a pandemic, realised over 23,000 engagements. Staggering figures and all because the content was relevant and it assisted members in their business need. Our VoPP Mag, started as a 5,000 magazine print run, within three years it has tripled and is now circulated across New Zealand. Open Up to Mail started as a 1,000 people mailer and is now distributing to over 7,000. Our industry is in desperate need for tools, research, material and information to strengthen their businesses – build good content and you will find members become engaged and engaged quickly. Threats, in my mind, are from outlier associations. These are associations with big stables that offer a service, such as IR, to the print industry, yet do nothing to represent the specific needs of the industry. They don’t invest in industry initiatives, such as Women in Print, LIA or the trade shows. They don’t develop industry specific research or Industry Insights, they don’t host industry awards and more. They simply take member monies that fund other major industry representations. I firmly believe these outlier associations have filled an initial need, however will soon be rejected by an industry such as ours – a loyal and fierce industry that prides itself in being represented as a print industry not as a manufacturing or small business industry. We want specific projects to grow our apprentice and talent acquisition programs. We want to protect our print museums, conduct site tours with innovative printers – big and small – to learn and share knowledge. It is true, the pandemic has changed how we do business, however there will be a return to events, face to face meetings and handshakes. Our member events are filled rooms with suppliers, producers, competitors all parking their commercial differences at the door and coming together as one industry. Sharing ideas, jokes and stories. Every event we hold ends up with a room filled with our members. This provides me


Competitiveness parked at the door: The Real Media Collective members attend the 2019 AGM in Sydney

with a strong sense of inspiration that this is the future, together we’re a formidable industry and one which will have a strong future, with events, Zoom hook-ups and face to face meetings. Consolidation, partnership and mergers are the future. We simply can no longer afford to duplicate executive salaries, marketing and event personnel, finance teams and more. Over the past two years the Collective has merged three industry associations together, established partnerships with other likeminded associations (Visual Connections, PrintNZ and Fundraising Institute of Australia) and continue to embrace dialogue with many industry associations looking to remove operating costs from their balance sheets and increase deliverables for their members. It makes sense and is one we welcome. In the same way consolidation is critical to work smarter, not harder, and deliver more for less, so too must we embrace being inclusive. Producers, suppliers and customers all part of one Collective is our vision to bring a strong unified voice for all of industry. We want to build campaigns that promote print, supported by research that is quantifiable – we want customers to have access to that content, to celebrate awards together and feel part of a strong industry sector. We also want to work with our suppliers

and printers together to bring innovation and technology from suppliers to practice with print members. We want to learn from each other and share more across all the relevant agendas. We recognise there are specific needs to each member sector and for this we have individual committees that meet to work on specific projects. It is a strong solution that sees membership growth, better engagement and a united loyalty. We need to remember who we are, look to our Charters, stop trying to bring in outsiders or outlier associations, we need to bunker down. Build deliverables for our industry and our industry only. We need to march to parliament and demand grants, support and funding for the hundreds of thousands of Australians we employ. We need to move on from legacy thinking and focus on creating our strong and sustainable future. The Collective is committed to achieving all that and more. To unite and lead this incredible industry to an incredible future and if that isn’t relevant to our industry and our individual members or businesses then I don’t know what is. We build relevance in what we deliver to help you achieve more. If we’re not being relevant, please yell out loud and proud to keep us on our toes and delivering what you need. Every industry association is only here

because of you, your voice, your needs are what we need to do our job. Kellie Northwood is the Chief Executive Officer, The Real Media Collective. An industry association representing paper, print, mail, publishing and packaging sectors across Australia and New Zealand. Northwood is also the Executive Director of the Australasian Paper Industry Association. Contact:

What should I expect from my industry association? Relevancy: are their programs something my business needs or can use? And are these programs specific to my industry? Community: are their events something that connects my team and my business with the right people across my industry to assist my business to grow and achieve our strategic objectives? Advocacy: as an industry am I well represented across government, training and other bodies that allows me to gain access to information and opportunities my business can grow from? Frugal investment: is my industry association offering a future strategy and plan? Am I part of that plan? Do I have a voice in the future planning and sustainability of my industry? October 2o2o ProPrint 27


Print associations in a changing landscape The year 2020 has thrown up big questions for many print business owners. One of these is the important decision about which printing association to join.



he last few months have seen dramatic changes in the print landscape: the disappearance of many small firms, increased automation and the casualisation of the workforce, all of which contribute to a sense of alienation. Social attitudes are also drifting from bricks and mortar structures towards more informal networks. These forces can be destructive to traditional industry associations, particularly those created in a bygone era. But against these hostile headwinds there remains a natural force of human beings wanting to meet up and collaborate. I believe now is the time to ask some big questions for the betterment of our industry, especially as many businesses struggle through a pandemic. • Should there be an overarching printing industry group, made up of numerous smaller sector-specific associations? • Should a print association include converters and suppliers, as well as print buyers or print managers? • Should individuals and companies be able to join an association?

A brief history Historically, our industry has been dominated by one body which has rejoiced in various names over its 120-odd year history. This would be the Master Printers/ PATEFA/PIAA and now PVCA.

What is the printing industry? We are a difficult creature to define and bringing us under one roof would be like herding cats. Right now we have three key associations: Visual Connections, The Real Media Collective (RMC) and the Print and Visual Communications Association (PVCA). So, where do you draw the borders? Back in the day those with printing presses were aligned with the old PIAA, those who provided services were with GASAA and those who sold equipment were linked to the old GAMAA.

Now we have a choice Monopolies are rarely good, and the same goes for industry associations. The emergence of The RMC which was created via a merger of several groups (paper, catalogues and direct mail) has given 28 ProPrint October 2020

RMC recently set up an in-house service. It’s impossible to draw any cost-benefit comparison here as this would vary depending on the advice required. It may be a matter of which model you feel more comfortable with.

Governance many small to medium sized printers the luxury of choice. The Real Media Collective seems to have a point of difference. It reaches out to print users such as print buyers, agencies and designers – even Australia Post itself. Some people may see this as a bad thing – being too diversifed and not having a defined constituency, but at least the punters have a choice. And while The RMC refuses to be drawn into any suggestion of competing with the PVCA, it’s hard not to make comparisons between the two organisations, particularly as many firms struggle to afford to join both.

So what are the differences? The RMC and the PVCA are two very different creatures. The former reaches out to anyone who produces or uses print, while the PVCA tends to rely on its traditional base of commercial printers.

Environmental credentials The PVCA has its ‘Sustainable Green’ certification process which seems dated, with only about 30 firms having taken up the offer, according to the PVCA’s website. On the other hand, The RMC is aligned with the global Two Sides movement promoting the environmental credentials of print. It sends an e-newsletter to over 2,000 people each month, along with its Open Up to Mail campaign – plus its VOPP (Value of Print and Paper) magazine also promoting the effectiveness of print.

Member reporting The PVCA’s 2019 annual report (released in May 2019) covers the association’s financial position but doesn’t detail specific activities, although it indicates they have 773 members. By contrast, The RMC’s recent report to members includes a veritable avalanche of statistics, including a 40 per cent increase in membership to just over 700. The RMC scores highly on any accountability test as it goes into considerable detail about its various programs and campaigns including the Rebuild Together webinars, Buy Local, delaying the COAG Waste Export Ban, success in reducing business mailing costs, the Keep me Posted campaign, and various training partnership programs. The PVCA launched the ‘Proudly Printed in Australia’ campaign this year to help promote a return to local printing.

IR services Both organisations differ here. The PVCA outsources its IR advisory service, while The

The PVCA has a nine-member Board, based on having one director from each state. The RMC has different approach with a Board of about 13 directors, each from various sectors of our industry – including print, paper, postage and media.

Target audience The RMC embraces groups across paper, commercial print, magazines and catalogues, media, advertising and direct mail. Some could say its reach is too diverse and may not have the depth of connection with its various constituent groups that a more traditional organisation (like the PVCA) may have. The PVCA hasn’t really reached out to a wider audience, which makes one ask, why change the name to one that echoes the plastic industry?

Conclusion It’s difficult to pick ‘winners and losers’ – they both offer something different. The RMC still has the aura of being a large, diverse group that may not relate to the needs of a smaller printer (although their statistics point to 70 per cent of their members being small businesses). Maybe if they had a small business owner on their Board it would help reinforce that message? But they beat the PVCA hands down in terms of pumping out media releases, newsletters and other material, suggesting they have more resources with which to influence government. Certainly, The RMC Board contains some heavy-hitters with links to Australia Post, creating an impression of having a strong influence on government policy. On the other hand, the PVCA appears to have gone from having a dozen full-time employees to two, including the CEO. This is not to say there is not scope for both organisations. One solution would be for The RMC becoming the over-arching entity and the PVCA – plus other effective, sector-specific groups such as Visual Connections, the FPLMA and ASGA all promoting their respective segments. The changing print landscape has reduced the scale and impact of the PVCA, although ironically, it styles itself the “voice of our industry”. In my opinion that title rightly belongs to The RMC. The PVCA and The RMC were contacted for comment. The PVCA declined to respond. James Cryer owns JDA Print Recruitment. Contact him at: jamesc@jdaprintrecruit.


Back to the future of print Print thrived in the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1919, so what’s changed? Facebook, Instagram and don’t even get me started on TikTok.



n the course of researching a book I am writing about the history of the Ludlow Typograph, I came upon a tidbit from their 1919 annual report. In it, the company claimed an 800 per cent increase in sales. For those of you who are too young to remember, the Ludlow Typograph was a type caster for large metal type. It was used by newspapers and commercial printers around the world. It complemented the Linotype, Intertype and Monotype typesetters, which set text type primarily. Why did this piece of information draw my attention? 1919 was the heart of the Spanish Flu pandemic in the US and around the world. It began in 1918 and essentially ended in 1920. That pandemic killed an estimated 675,000 Americans, before it was all over. Millions of people died around the world. The situation was not unlike that of today. So why was this company in a niche market doing so well in the midst of a worldwide catastrophe, or rather, why were printers, their customers, doing so well? And printers were doing well. So well that workers rose up for higher wages and shorter working days. There were strikes and work stoppages. Printing plants were at

capacity and working overtime. Yet, today, printers are suffering as a result of the current pandemic. What was different? In 1918 to 1920 there were no regular radio broadcasts, no television and no internet. People who were self-isolating spent their time reading. Instead of binge watching, they were binge reading. Magazine publishing was booming. Book publishing was at capacity. Newspapers were expanding. The printed word dominated. A study I did years ago showed that the decline in newspaper readership began, not with the internet, but with television in the 1950s. The other day, The New York Times reported that they now make more money from electronic subscriptions than from print subscriptions. Fast forward to today, and we are all on our computers, Facebooking and Zooming or TicToking away. There’s broadcast TV and cable TV. There is music in any form you want. There are podcasts and online classes. In other words, alternatives to print permeate every nook and cranny of our lives. A few years ago, the editor of Business Week called me up and asked, “How many PDFs are on the web?” I gave him my standard answer: “How the hell do I know.” But I have a way of finding things out. I assembled a team of grad students and we

came up with a research approach. We estimated a few trillion PDF files on websites or attached to emails. And the point is? At one time, those PDF files would have been printed pages. Email replaced memos and letters. PDFs replaced reports and presentations. Remember all those black and white pages printed on offset duplicators or copying machines? They are now streams of binary digits floating in cyberspace. Today, some printers are doing well. They are in package printing or flatbed inkjet on a variety of substrates or they are into on-demand books. With so many people at home, folks are writing family histories and cookbooks and memoirs. Short-run book printing is doing very well. During the 1918-1920 pandemic F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife were holed up in France and he wrote The Great Gatsby. Who knows what great novel will come out of today’s nastiness. I think that someday, far in the future, the worldwide printing industry will band together and support the creation of a cyborg that will be sent back in time to kill the person who invented the internet and thus change history. I’m kidding. Or am I?

Those in self-isolation during the current pandemic, compared to those that endured the 1919 Spanish Flu, have a world of choices beyond the printed word for finding information and therein lies the problem

October 2o2o ProPrint 29


Allain Pool’s zest for life Press Print Digital director Allain Pool, a Seychellois at heart, has dedicated his life to print but his family says his true expression of love is shown through his cooking and most of all device-free dinner conversation. How did your print journey begin?

I have been around print for as long as I can remember. My father opened his first print business in The Seychelles – an archipelago of 115 islands in East Africa – in the early 1970s when the country opened its international airport. Having spent 15 years in Australia with the print division of the Royal Australian Air Force, he saw an opportunity to return home with the prospect of a tourism boom due to the airport’s opening. The general economy in Seychelles grew steadily until the late 1970s when political upheaval drove our family back to Australia. Upon his return he started Bambra Press, and after leaving school I joined the business, often taking time away to travel around Australia, and various six month duration trips backpacking around Europe, North Africa, Eastern Europe and little of the USA. I started on the shop floor and qualified as a Trade Compositor at the old Melbourne School of Printing and Graphic Arts. Being in a small business, I learnt to work a Heidelberg GTO

and other small offset machines, as well as the guillotine and most facets of the print floor. My father eventually returned to The Seychelles and I took over running the business with my then brother-in-law. We grew Bambra Press from a one and two colour forms business into an award-winning multicolour printing company. They were fantastic years and we had an amazing team of people producing wonderful work. An offer to purchase Bambra Press came from a private equity firm in 2006/7 and after much consideration I decided to sell my share, not to private equity, but to the current owner. My family and I then took an 18-month sabbatical and went travelling through Asia and onto The Seychelles. Golf and weekend barbeques were the main activities for the next 18 months, loads of swimming, trips at the beach and lots of family time. As the sabbatical came to an end, I joined up with Kevin Stevens who had just started Press Print Digital and together we got to work.

What do you love about the printed form?

I love the reaction you see when people receive a fantastic business card or a beautiful book. A printed piece is such a strong statement of personality and standard. I love that people want to make a strong statement with a beautiful, bespoke piece of print. The printed piece really sets people and companies apart.

What do you love most about Press Print Digital?

Press Print Digital came to life in 2010 and entered a busy, crowded industry with lots of companies offering a very similar product with little differentiation.

Pre-COVID: (L-R) Kevin Stevens (Press Print director); Robyn Frampton (Visual Connections); Allain Pool and Spencer Hast (Press Print director) attend the 2019 Print 2 Parliament in Canberra

We decided right at the start to develop a workplace, system and offering that would set us apart from as many competitors as possible. We decided to buy the absolute latest and best technology with our HP Indigo presses and marry them with ‘old school’ embellishing and finishing. We offer in house gilding, edge painting, foiling, embossing and all manner of high-quality finishing. We decided that we wanted to control every step of the production process. We went to market and never said no. We took on every challenge, often not knowing how to resolve the issues, but we always found a way to get the correct outcome. The journey may not have been exactly as it was imagined at the start, but with great dedication and problem solving we always arrived at a great result. We created the fairest, least hierarchical driven workplace so our staff could develop, explore and blossom. We have 100 per cent retention of our staff and I honestly believe they enjoy coming to work. We are a close-knit company and at least once a month, the directors cook lunch for all. We stop, eat, chat and spend the last few minutes going over the previous month, highlights and low lights, and keep our people informed on how the company is tracking. We all have difficult days, so the days and weeks are not always perfect, but we have a safe, fair and positive workplace for our people to come to. We are a truly multi-cultural organisation, with eight or nine different cultures represented. I love that we are able to make a positive difference to the lives of each of our staff members and their families. We have won many awards at the National Print Awards, testament to the skill and craft of our staff, and to the quality of work from our clients. We do our utmost to make great design come to life.

How do you unwind after a busy week?

I love cooking and cooking should be accompanied with a glass of red. My family believe that my strongest expression of love is through food. I love the peace in cooking, especially when one has some time. I have three boys and I love eating with them. It is the time of the day when we put away all devices, only family, a meal and conversation. I also love watching my beloved Pies, so a Friday night with an open fire, a few reds and a Collingwood game on TV is ideal. I also love catching up with friends and extended family for dinner and drinks, though the last few months have pretty much made all this impossible. We have managed quite a few Zoom dinners or drinks evenings with friends 30 ProPrint August October2020 2020

and family. Not quite the same as the real thing, but great to still be able to catch up and see how people are doing. I will get back to golf in the next few years. I love playing, but in the last few years it has taken a back seat to Saturday sport and other activities.

What have been your top career highlights so far?

The highlight of my career would be our company, what it stands for and how we behave. I am immensely proud of the company we have built. We produce an incredibly high standard of work, enjoy fantastic relationships with our staff, our suppliers and our clients. We have grown our company from three people 10 years ago to some 20 now, all built on hard work, dedication, word of mouth from clients, and wonderful support from our supplier partners.

Given the current challenges, what advice do you have for others in the industry? COVID-19 has presented huge challenges to most industries and has not spared the printing industry. It has also presented some fantastic opportunities to diversify and to look beyond your normal sphere of work. The pandemic has forced us to become leaner, to look at every aspect of our business and try to find small improvements and efficiencies. Saving every penny is key in these times. Once the JobKeeper assistance finishes, companies need to have enough savings to stand independently in what will be a slow rise out of recession.

What are the biggest issues impacting the industry beyond COVID-19?

COVID-19 has and will further shrink the pool of print work. Some printers will not survive this crisis, and some will close for other reasons. Companies that do survive will need to gain a full understanding of their cost base and the cost of goods. A shrinking pool of work will force some companies to undercut the market, and this will further damage weak companies. Strong companies will also suffer as they are competing on “below or close to cost of goods levels”. I believe that we need to focus on our individual company strengths, maintain any edges one has and hold on pricing. The temptation is always to reduce pricing to survive but that philosophy almost certainly leads to company closures as there isn’t any financial buffer being built into each job. Any errors can be devastating.

Press Print Digital director Allain Pool shows the strength of the binding used for the company’s National Print Awards gold medal winning book, Tram Windows, at Print 2 Parliament in 2019

How much has the printing industry changed in the last two decades? When I started in the industry, letterpress was fading away, and offset was the process. Digital came to the workplace 15 or so years ago, but the last 10 years has seen incredible improvements in quality. The speed with which work is expected to be delivered is unbelievable, and very high standards of quality are expected. Craft has returned. Digital print has made short run, super high quality possible at a reasonable price point.

Favourite films?

I have a few films that are high on my list of favourites: The Green Mile, Raging Bull, Lost in Translation, and some old favourites. I remember seeing Lawrence of Arabia at The Astor Theatre in St Kilda with the air conditioning not working. It literally felt like we were on the actual film set! I also love the Indiana Jones & Star Wars films, and will happily have a family movie night, popcorn in hand, watching any of these.

First band you ever saw live?

The first concert I went to was at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and Australian Crawl were the headline act. I saw Queen in concert years ago and they were simply awesome.

and my family live in The Seychelles Islands so we try to do the same in alternating years. I love Vienna and Salzburg, beautiful architecture, incredible history and wonderful people. On top of that is my wife’s family who are gorgeous people. The Seychelles destination is rather different, much more based around the sea. I think Seychelles is one of the most beautiful places on earth and my parents live there. I was brought up there so have a strong bond with the sea, the food, the Seychellois people and island life. I think I am most at peace when I am there. We love to travel, a lot from the need to see family, but also a lot for the love of exploring, seeing and gaining a tiny understanding of other cultures and places. We have dived in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Croatia and The Seychelles. Floating over a reef is serenely beautiful. When I finish the working phase of life, I would love to spend half the year travelling. I don’t think we will ever tire of moving. The Seychelles will have always be a special place for Allain Pool. Who could blame him?

Favourite all time holiday destination?

Over the last few years our holidays have been very family driven. My wife is Austrian, so we try to get over to Austria and see her family every year or two, October 2o2o ProPrint 31





Print 2 Parliament


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Everyday heroes Clients are at the centre of everything Heroprint does and looking at their recent survey results it seems this ethos is really paying off.


n 2015, trade printer Heroprint sent a survey to every one of its clients to ask them what the company was doing well, what they weren’t doing so well and what they needed to work on. Fast forward six years and the company has sent out the same survey with the same questions to see just how far they had come. While the results of the 2015 survey were good, Heroprint felt there was still room for improvement. The average scores for the 2015 survey was 8.79 out of 10. The questions ranged from quality of product, packaging, turnaround and customer service. The survey was sent to every one of Heroprint’s contacts via Survey Monkey with the data then analysed using the same service. In mid-September this year, Heroprint conducted the same survey again using the same questions. A week later the results came back and they were outstanding.

Heroprint had managed to increase its rating in every single category that had been asked about in the survey. The new average scores ranged from 9.05 to 9.42 out of 10, with a total average of 9.21. “The results of the survey were truly humbling,” Heroprint general manager Alex Coulson said. “We take a lot of pride in what we do here, while always looking to improve where we can. “It’s really gratifying to have these efforts validated by our clients and know that we are on the right track.” Coulson said sending out a survey like this is a nerve-wracking experience. “While you’re always giving it your best as a company, sometimes you don’t know if your best is hitting the mark, so we’re really proud of these results,” Coulson said. The company’s message of continued improvement is evident when visiting their sprawling Sydney factory in the inner west suburb of Alexandria.

Client is king While Heroprint keeps its eye on upgrading technology to offer new products to customers, it has never forgotten the golden rule that client is always king. And so, the client remains at the heart of everything Heroprint does. From day one, Heroprint has made it their

SURVEY RESULTS Turnaround Times Packaging Quality Account Managers Sales Reps Product Quality Offset Product Quality Digital Outstanding results from Heroprint’s most recent customer survey 34 ProPrint October 2020



8.69 8.84 8.96 8.61 8.90 8.74

9.05 9.25 9.42 9.10 9.26 9.17

(+.36) (+.41) (+.46) (+.49) (+.36) (+.43)

Heroprint general manager Alex Coulson says the MGI technology has really lifted the company’s offer to customers

These days it is especially important to stand out from the crowd and once our clients understand what is possible with the MGI, they love it Alex Coulson

mission to provide top quality customer service. This commitment is largely built around a promise that whenever a new customer signs up with Heroprint they will always be able to speak to the same account manager – no matter what the reason for the call. It seems simple but in days of high staff turnover and business consolidation, this promise becomes harder to achieve. “I think this is the data point from the survey of which I am most proud” said Coulson referring to the score of 9.42 out of 10 for how the Hero account managers are rated by their clients. “As a company, we are all pulling in the same direction and while there was really not a lot of room to improve on their scores from 2015, everyone has managed to squeeze those last few drops from the lemon and get their scores higher again”. While you may think that comparing today’s account managers with the account managers from 2015 might be a bit odd, Hero have only had one account manager change from that original survey. “Our account managers have been at Heroprint on average over 10 years, so they know the ins and outs of the business and are experienced with everything print related,” Coulson said.

COVER STORY Adding value Not only does Heroprint offer digital embellishments, it can also match 90 per cent of standard Pantone colours thanks to the Indichrome colour matching function of the HP Indigo 7800 Digital Press it purchased four years ago. Coulson says opting for the Indigo provides customers with a low code cost alternative to standard PMS printing and is a perfect fit for customers with fussy requirements when it comes to colour. The Indigo can print on coated and uncoated stocks and produces a broad range of bright colours that are just not achievable with standard CMYK printing. “Our Indigo uses seven colours to be able to match a majority of the standard Pantone range,” Coulson said.

Processes made simple

Coulson says having this stability within the company and between account managers and respective trade partners has paved the way for Heroprint to build real and enduring relationships with clients and within the industry. “We believe that consistency is key at Hero,” Coulson said. “One statement that really resonated with me from the last few weeks came from a conversation I had with one of our reps on the road – he told me that a consistent theme coming back from our clients during an incredibly turbulent year, is that we are the one thing that remained constant – that meant a lot to hear.” The level of face-to-face customer support is high. It includes important efficiency components such as providing colour match samples, similar reference samples and proofs direct to the client’s door. This level of personal client service shows the customer that, at Heroprint, clients are not just an account number, but a valued trade business partner.

The art of embellishment The company can now add UV digital embellishment to that list with the successful installation of a Japanese-built B2-sized MGI JetVarnish 3D Evo UV. Having the MGI up and running has added new dimensions to the existing print work the company handles as it can easily embellish and personalise a range of products from business cards to brochures and wedding invitations. It has also opened up new avenues of possibilities in print. With the coronavirus crisis hitting just about every industry in one way or another, digital foiling and UV has seen a lot of clients thinking outside the box… or on the box anyway. Digitally printed packaging with high end finishing has been a product that Hero has seen grow substantially over the last few months. With

many awards nights and events going online to digitally transmitted formats, Hero have been creating boxes for congratulatory bottles of champagne, plaques, trophies and gifts. Many retailers moving to delivery only has also seen this market boom. After experimenting with a variety of foil types, Coulson said the MGI is now running beautifully and every day adds a tactile, touchy-feely quality to a range of products from wedding invitations to business cards to high-class brochures and booklets. Coulson says getting the message across to printers and designers about the wonders of the MGI has, at times, been one of the hardest parts of bringing in the machine. “These days it is especially important to stand out from the crowd and once our clients understand what is possible with the MGI, they love it,” Coulson said. “It can be a hard product for our clients to sell – you just need to have a fair bit of imagination to be able to see what is possible. “It really can produce anything and your imagination is really the limit with what it can do.”

Heroprint employs a range of processes designed to make life easier for customers. While it does not offer a specific artwork service, it can when needed make small artwork changes when a job is on deadline. The company also has an easy-to-use website and online ordering system which is constantly being updated so customers can access as many products as possible online. “In a few easy steps an online price can be sent through to us as an order in no time,” Coulson said. “Over 80 per cent of our clients are from referrals, which we really get a kick out of. “We really appreciate any and all business that comes our way through this avenue, and I think really shows we are on the right track with the way we deal with clients.” Continued on page 36

The customer is always king at Heroprint

Cost benefits The price advantage of embellishing with the MGI, compared to traditional embellishing processing, are also hard to argue with. “Perhaps the greatest advantage is there are no blocks, screens, or dies required, meaning small run digital work can also make use of these finishes without blowing the budget,” Coulson said, adding foil colours include gold, silver, copper, rose gold, red, green and blue. “We have done a lot of experimentation in finding the best foils to use on the MGI and the ones that adhere the best and are most scratch resistant.” Coulson said. “It has taken quite a bit of trial and error, but we are really pleased with it now and the machine is running extremely well and getting lots of work.” October 2o2o ProPrint 35

Heroprint is now aligned with an independent courier company which has eliminated delivery issues

Continued from page 35

Coulson believes it is this commitment to account management which sets Heroprint apart from other trade print providers in Australia.

Client reporting Every day Heroprint works closely with internal job progress reports which also form the basis of a daily progress report that is set to clients to update them on where their job is up to. This type of close reporting allows all staff at Heroprint to know the progress of each and every job, not just the urgent ones. “These reports give us in depth information about how long each job is at different processes within the company, how long we have had the job, and make sure all departments are working together to get the jobs through as quick as possible,” Coulson said. “We also send through daily progress reports to our clients.” Each client receives an update on where their jobs are, as this helps ensure they are on top of any proof approvals that are outstanding and the details of their current job. “These email progress reports link to live time tracking in our job tracker system on our website so clients can always stay up to date,” Coulson said. “We have had great feedback on this system, a daily report with all jobs so they do not have to manually chase up each job.”

Where is the courier? Another key measure the company has instituted to better serve customers is to align itself in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth with a dedicated and independent courier service. Hero has worked with the courier company 36 ProPrint October 2020

to develop software and practices that are catered to the needs of Hero clients. As Coulson puts it, every printer’s nightmare is chasing couriers and the introduction of a trackable courier system that provides up to the minute despatch and delivery estimation is designed to remove all this hassle. “The headaches that go with chasing couriers in this industry are just horrendous,” Coulson said. “Like it or not the printer is responsible for couriers. If your job is going to be late, you can’t just pass it off as the courier’s fault. “That is really the first way you can lose a client.” To put a lid on this problem, Heroprint decided to take control and work with a dedicated service. In Sydney alone, the same four drivers do deliveries for Heroprint and since the system has been changed, the courier problems which were once quite an issue have just gone away. “We have taken so much responsibility for this now into our own hands,” Coulson said. “We know where the drivers are all dayeveryday. We can predict roughly 10 minutes either side of when a delivery will be made. If you call a traditional courier company and say ‘when is this going to be delivered’, they would say by 5pm and they give you nothing more than that. “The only way that you know it is not going to be there by 5pm is because it didn’t get there but by then it is too late and you can’t do anything about it. You then have to tell your disappointed client that it won’t get there until tomorrow.” Coulson says working with the courier service has removed delays, confusion and frustration around deliveries. “This allows us total control over deliveries which has reduced any issues you would get

using traditional courier companies,” he said. “The specific drivers drive only for us, so they are experienced at handling print. Standard courier companies may mishandle print work, not knowing how to look after, and not deliver it correctly. “The courier system has real time tracking information which we have integrated with, so the client can see a predicted delivery time any time of the day, which is constantly updated, getting more and more accurate as more deliveries are made.” Coulson said this up to the minute tracking has been even more useful during the pandemic, with many clients needing to plan their day and needing to be back in the office or at home to accept the delivery. “In response to the Covid pandemic, we introduced contactless delivery, which includes a photo automatically sent to the client where the job was left / handed to,” he said.

Packaged right The team at Heroprint also take great pride in the way their work print work is packaged and protected in transit. “We have spent years fine tuning how jobs are bundled, shrink wrapped, and presented to clients,” Coulson said. “Every job that leaves our factory is shrink wrapped, whether individual cartons are wrapped or multiple cartons wrapped onto a skid or pallet, to ensure our clients can pass the print job directly onto their clients without the need for re packaging. “We make sure our boxes can withstand the travel interstate, especially on business cards, which can be subject to damage when travelling interstate if not provided in suitable boxes. Our boxes present so well we consistently have clients asking if they can buy them for their own use. PP


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The ties that bind Brother and sister duo Debbie Burgess and John Bright made their seventh acquisition this year and again used their customary pragmatic approach to keep a crucial bindery operating in NSW.


By Sheree Young

ike many of the acquisitions that Bright Print Group has made in the past 10 years, the purchase of Sydney Binding was completed in what could be called lightning speed. But as Bright Print Group co-managing director John Bright says when a good opportunity comes along, you would be crazy not to jump on it. Opportunities come and opportunities go, but the trick is picking the good ones. For Bright Print Group’s co-managing

factfile Age: 58 years Staff: 115 Owner: John Bright & Debbie Burgess Strategy: Honest, hardworking approach built on generations of print heritage to continue to deliver top quality products to customers and the industry 38 ProPrint October 2020

directors the thought of not having a PUR binding facility in NSW with the capabilities of John McPherson’s long-running Sydney Binding was not worth thinking about. “Sending work to Victoria is both time consuming and expensive. It would cost you two or three days and then the money on the freight and we all know how freight companies operate these days, there’s always the chance the pallet will be lost or end up somewhere else,” Bright told ProPrint. So, in the space of one week in late April this year, an opportunity presented itself, conversations were had, numbers were crunched, a decision was made and Twenty 20 Bindery Pty Ltd was born. So, was this the fastest acquisition ever made by Bright Print Group? “No, not at all – we bought a company in two days once and that was in the week before Christmas,” Bright says, reflecting on his and Burgess’ decision to buy Rhodes-based printer Bloxham and Chambers in 2001. “You’ve got to be brave enough to make the bold decisions, don’t you?” But it seems some acquisitions are easier than others. Burgess recalls the Bloxham and Chambers purchase being far less fraught than the Sydney Binding acquisition, despite the pitiful timing and that all customers and 30 to 40 staff had been told the business would not exist in the New Year. “We didn’t have to relocate it though,” Burgess says. “We asked ourselves how can Bloxham and Chambers just shut down? “They had 30 to 40 staff, a reasonable turnover, and a good business. “But the owner got to that age and didn’t care anymore. “So, in the week before Christmas we are buying a company.”

No, not at all — we bought a company in two days once and that was in the week before Christmas John Bright on whether the purchase set a new record

Now the work begins Deciding to buy Sydney Binding was the easy part, in fact for Bright and Burgess it was pretty much a no-brainer. “PUR bound books represent a decent chunk of work produced by Bright Print Group, with the finished product providing jobs in all areas of both production teams at Wetherill Park and Newcastle,” Burgess said. “It was very important to us to maintain as many of these jobs as possible.” Sydney Binding owned an Acoro A5, a Swissbuilt Müller Martini bindery unit. While the machine is nearing 20 years in age, it is notably the last trade binding machine of its kind in the entire state of NSW and was relied upon heavily by many printers, including Bright Print Group. The next trick was finding a factory in the Wetherill Park and Smithfield area of Sydney that was long enough to house the 30-plus metre long behemoth and with a strong enough power supply to run it. Initially, the plan was to have Twenty 20 operate out of the Bright Print Group factory at Wetherill Park once it moved across from Rockdale later this year, but that ended up not working out. In May, Bright and Burgess were given two days notice from Sydney Binding’s administrator to move all equipment out as the

STAR BUSINESS PROFILE lease was not being renewed, this meant a new home was urgently needed sooner than expected. Luckily, a 35-metre long site was available only a short drive away at Smithfield and after a series of checks to assure it was compatible, a lease was signed, a good clean-up was undertaken, and it was ready to move into. This left the final hurdle – dismantling the Acoro A5 from where it had sat for 15-plus years. Müller Martini’s Roman Beeler handled all of this, arriving on site on the Sunday directly following the notice to vacate to decommission the Acoro’s electrics. “It took five semi-trailers to get it here and then we had to reconfigure the conveyor system to fit the space so we can collate, bind and deliver the books to the trimmer in the most efficient manner,” Bright said. “I was a bit nervous when we first fired it up to make sure all the hoppers and conveyors worked. Being 20 years old and given the changes we made there was obviously quite a few things that could’ve gone wrong. But we are really happy with it now. “I think it is better than it was before. It fits the new factory space well, we’ve got all the operators in one area, the work flows nicely from the feeders to the trimmer and is now packed pretty much at the receiving dock for pickup.”

Acquiring in a pandemic Some may think that acquiring a business amid a global pandemic may not be worth the stress, but COVID-19 made it possible. “It actually helped doing all of this in the middle of COVID,” Bright said. “People were available, and our workload was lower than normal so we could commit to something like this. “I spent half of my days working on this through April to June, I couldn’t have done that if things were normal, we are just too busy for that so for us, the timing was good.” Decommissioning the machine, moving it across and rebuilding and rewiring it had some teething problems but again this was another benefit of the pandemic downturn. “We shut a machine down which is the only one in the state for four weeks and it didn’t cause an avalanche of complaints because everyone else was relatively quiet as well.” Bright Print Group’s longest standing employee Brad Sattler with Debbie Burgess at the Wetherill Park factory

Time travel: Bright Print Group has grown since it was first established in 1962 to now employ 115 people across two sites producing all manner of printed goods

Industry support Both Bright and Burgess say they have been pleased by the support from the industry. During ProPrint’s visit, 21 jobs were on the go but only five were from Bright Print Group. “The industry seems to be very supportive of what we are doing,” Burgess said. “They all knew they were in a hole without Sydney Binding and they understand the cost implications of working with someone outside of NSW, especially now during the pandemic when it is becoming harder to get things across the border.” It has also opened discussion lines for working with other printers to build synergies. This is not something that Bright Print Group has traditionally done and has instead opted for sales teams to look after its multiple print sectors, including a growing packaging division. “It is probably not a bad thing for printers to talk to printers, I think both Debbie and I will be interested to see where this acquisition takes us,” Bright said. “There are probably some printers we are happy not to talk to, but for the most part we are all good people just trying to make an honest living.”

A fine print pedigree Bright Print Group has a strong history in printing with Bright and Burgess’ great grandfather setting the wheels in motion by purchasing local community paper, The Biz, back in 1926. The Biz was eventually sold to media mogul Rupert Murdoch but by then the foray into print was well underway. W R Bright & Sons was started by their

grandfather from his home on Kenyon Street at Fairfield in 1962. The business now operates across two sites, one at Wetherill Park and another in Newcastle, and employs 115 staff. Burgess was a budding law student back in 1989 when her father called her up and asked if she would give him a year to help him sort out the front-end of the business as his brother was keen to retire. So, she changed direction, studied accounting at night and now holds an MBA which has helped her bring calm, pragmatic and astute business decisions to the business. Bright is someone who just gets how things work, a quality that comes in handy for his other love – motorsports. He’s never afraid to jump into any challenge, feet first, leading from the front whilst happily getting dirty delivering an outcome. The pair ended up buying their father out in the early 2000s and now between the two of them they run the show very much as a team. “We just make it work, we have always backed ourselves,” Burgess said. “Neither of us has one focus on a particular part of the business, but together we get it done. “Business isn’t hard. I think people complicate it to be honest.”

Future acquisitions The company is known as an acquirer of businesses so only time will tell when the next purchase will take place. It’s clear sitting still has never been an option for either Burgess or Bright. Through many years, Bright and Burgess, and their family before them, have forged positive reputations in the industry. “Debbie and I have worked really hard to achieve a good name in this industry,” Bright said. “Bright’s has a good name. Our suppliers will support us, we never muck them around and we always pay on time. We don’t play games and we’ll always treat people fairly. “It is our good name that has allowed us to pull Twenty 20 Bindery off. People already know of us. They know we have been around for a while, they think from what they have heard that they can trust us, which they can. “We will make this work. “Staffing will be a challenge as we move out of COVID, getting the numbers right as our work demands change daily will test us but we will keep working at it until we’re doing things as best we can.” PP October 2o2o ProPrint 39


Trade winds of change The COVID pandemic has turned the business-to-business printing and finishing sector on its head, but visionaries in this sector see a dynamic future in Australia. By Peter Kohn


rinting for printers is the ultimate peer-to-peer challenge. After all, you are printing to the technological and marketing requirements of others who understand the game and will quickly call out any shortcomings. While print provision nowadays is tightly benchmarked and keenly leveraged against competing communications forces, the professionalism required of printing to the trade sits at the apex. But how do you shine in a shrinking market? And to make it even more interesting – how do you survive when a pandemic not seen in over a century bulldozes the Australian economy? ProPrint spoke to a number of trade printers and finishers to gauge their views of printing business-to-business in 2020-21.

Trade printers CMYKhub This trade printer offers a complete range of services from its five sites around Australia, from commercial offset to specialised embellishment, to HP Indigo digital, roll-toroll and flatbed wide format. But as pointed out by Dayne Nankervis, chief operating officer, Paul Norton, national sales director and Glen Francis, national communications manager, CMYKhub’s services go beyond ink on stock. “From an operational standpoint, COVID has certainly been a challenge,” Nankervis told ProPrint, adding staying ahead of the curve involved daily reviews and changes to supply chains and staff responsibilities. “Meeting COVID-Safe protocols has been a unique complication but managing reduced volumes as a gang printer and freight delays made things even more difficult. “We do appreciate the patience of our partners, who continue to support us. We have had to look closely at who we are and what we want to look like on the other side of this pandemic.” For Norton, there is no doubt the B2B 40 ProPrint October 2020

We have had to look closely at who we are and what we want to look like on the other side of this pandemic. Dayne Nankervis, chief operating officer, CMYKhub

space is competitive. “Every year gets more challenging and we think the current COVID situation will only heighten that. Print capacity is the issue. Printers invest in new technology, thinking that the work will just arrive and clients expect more from a partner than just ink on paper,” Norton said. “Finding a new B2B printer is not hard and never will be. The challenge is often met by heavily discounting the work without truly understanding the cost to manufacture. It encourages a race to the bottom. To make the cut as a B2B printer, especially in the trade space, you need to offer your customers a holistic approach to adding value.” Francis says incursions from B2C printers is something CMYKhub has always contended with and will continue to do so while there is capacity and under-utilisation of equipment across the industry. “We embrace this as a challenge to keep us innovating and investing in our industry for businesses to sell more, more often, whilst making it as seamless as possible. An example of this is the recent launch of our Design Desk platform, which provides an online subscription prepress and design.” Dataflow Business Systems Perth’s Dataflow Business Systems offers a diverse range of products, notes company director Alan Bamford. These include short and long-run NCR work in books and continuous forms, barcoding and numbering on the run for consignment notebooks used in the transport industry and long-run laser forms.

CMYKhub sample cards show just how bright and tactile print can be

We have had print companies talk to us about the prospect of closing their factories and utilising our diverse print equipment once JobKeeper ceases to exist, which really does make a lot of sense. Alan Bamford, director, Dataflow Business Systems

It also produces parking permits, integrated membership cards and integrated labels for pathology A4 laser forms. Bamford believes that once the federal government’s JobKeeper scheme ends, many small print shops will struggle to stay open, or retain their own printing equipment. “In effect, these smaller print shops will become buyers and sellers of print, not so much manufacturing it,” Bamford said. “We have had print companies talk to us about the prospect of closing their factories and utilising our diverse print equipment once JobKeeper ceases to exist, which really does make a lot of sense.” Bamford says the B2B print market has been overcrowded for many years and he believes mergers and acquisitions will gather pace as the pandemic ends.

30 per cent reduction in business in the first three months of the pandemic. But since then a slow and steady incline has returned and by late August a steady and consistent workflow was in place, he said. “Not the same numbers by all means but enough to keep the staff full-time and some regularity,” Mezz said. Asked about incursions from finishing companies whose prime base is B2C, he says: “I haven’t seen much action with the business-to-consumer finishers getting amongst our space. “We deal only with business-to-business. B2C is not in our lane directly, but having said that, I have noticed my trade customers adapting to the current conditions of shopping from home now and online purchasing is expanding tenfold.” Mezz says from his perspective as a print provider, the case for trade finishing is airtight. “Horizon Graphics know our channel and we have perfected our craft over the last 30 years,” he said. Noting Horizon Graphics is a fully independent, fixed-cost supplier that quotes the same pricing to all clients, he says bringing a complex postpress process inhouse “would leave our customers open to hidden costs, a steep learning curve, high capital investment and requiring more skilled labour”. Heroprint Heroprint has factories in New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland and offers the full range of print work from small-run digital work, to business cards with premium finishes, brochures, flyers, stationery, up to short or long run stitched, PUR, or wiro-bound booklets. Heroprint partners with local couriers in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth with live tracking and experienced regular couriers. This system has made it possible to provide clear delivery times to customers which has reduced delivery issues significantly. Senior account manager Wade Brown says Heroprint keeps as much finishing as it can inhouse, including folding, stitching, PUR binding and wiro binding. “We laminate, UV, and foil inhouse, along with scoring, and die cutting,” he said. “We have longstanding relationships with outside finishers for any custom work that comes up that we can’t complete inhouse.” Asked about the impact of the COVID pandemic, Brown said: “Other than the initial downturn in work, we’ve managed to keep schedules mainly unaffected, and clients’ jobs on deadline. “We’ve implemented all the necessary safety and health precautions required.” Brown says there has not been much evidence of B2C printers expanding into B2B. “Competition is healthy,” he said. “We don’t believe it’s overcrowded, there are a few major players who we focus on, but again, we very much focus on what we can bring to the party.”

Horizon Graphics Horizon Graphics in Sydney’s Chatswood has offered screenprinting for over 30 years and specialises in all types of screenprinted coatings for the trade. The company recently added a spot digital UV machine to its finishing services, reports Horizon Graphics owner Adam Mezz. “Spot digital UV is becoming part of postpress and it has its place, that’s why we have one,” Mezz said. The impacts of COVID were certainly initially felt at Horizon with Mezz reporting a

Horizon Graphics knows its channel and has perfected the craft of screenprinting over the last 30 years

IBS Cards This Queensland trade printer offers print and stationery products, traditional signage and displays, fabric signage and displays, signage and display hardware, promotional products, and a trade-only graphic design overflow service from its factory at Nerang. “We have over 900 product lines and counting,” says IBS Cards chief marketing officer Natalie McCauley, adding the company expanded into wide format printing over 18 months ago. IBS Cards produces over 90 per cent of its work onsite, she notes. “Where we cannot provide the best prices by manufacturing internally, such as PVC cards, we’ve teamed up with speciality printers and we’ve used the collective buying power of our customers to negotiate better pricing than our clients could if they went to these suppliers directly.” Like most businesses, IBS has seen a decline in sales since COVID hit. “However, we have been fortunate in that for the most part, we own our own factories and equipment. With an agile business structure in place, we’ve been well positioned to not only ride out the storm, but use the opportunity to reset, refocus and continue to innovate and improve,” she said. McCauley identifies a trend of B2C expanding into B2B, but working with customers to expand and support their businesses has given IBS the edge. This includes a trade-only graphic design overflow service for when customers are too busy to take on additional work but don’t Continued on page 42 October 2o2o ProPrint 41

up on the subtle difference – sadly.” Cheque-Mates moved into wide format about three years ago without overcapitalising. “The challenge is that there is simply too much equipment in the market for the amount of work that there is. Digital and general printers have moved in to the space with a low cost to entry,” Frost said.

Lamson Paragon founder Arthur Frost (l) with son and now CEO Rodney Frost

Continued from page 41

want to say no or if they have staff off sick or on annual leave. “We’re just about to launch a range of trade-only marketing services to help our customers put together and execute a sales and marketing plan. We’ve also modified our site with the ability for our customers to connect theirs with an open API integration, or if they’re looking for something robust to support their business, a state-of-the-art W2P site and management system.” The Lamson Paragon Group A vast range of trade-only services is what The Lamson Paragon Group offers its B2B clientele through its brands: Lamson Paragon, Paper Rolls Australia and ChequeMates, says group CEO Rodney Frost. These include barcoded documents, books, continuous forms and cheques, CTP certificates, laser forms and cheques, MICR encoding, and security printing in UV, thermochromic ink and micro, to name just a sample. The group has six operating entities, 130 team members and over 50 pieces of equipment. Frost sees the COVID pandemic affecting Lamson Paragon “with varying degrees across the group”. But he adds: “The diversity in our services has seen some areas grow and some contract. “Our view is that the printing space in general has been overcrowded for some time. We’ve all seen this with the horror stories lately in ProPrint. I just hope that people make the decision early to merge, sell or close and keep their integrity intact,” he said. On whether B2C printers are encroaching the once sovereign turf of trade printing, he says: “Any truly trade-only business could not answer that question. We are not close enough to the market to be able to tell. “Some trade-only printers are crossing over into B2C sectors and the market isn’t picking 42 ProPrint October 2020

Mediapoint Large format specialist Mediapoint, located at Derrimut in Melbourne’s west, offers its cohort of 600 trade partners an array of products in flatbed and roll-to-roll in UV and latex printing. Sales director Jamie Xuereb says Mediapoint’s finishing equipment includes a Zünd cutting table, guillotines and other postpress kit. Most finishing is conducted inhouse for the sake of productivity and meeting tight deadlines. “We’ve invested in finishing because that’s where we believe the magic is in large format,” Xuereb said. Mediapoint tackled the pandemic head-on, with an attitude encapsulated by Xuereb, “Change brings opportunity. Obviously in the first six weeks of COVID we saw a massive collapse and a lot of our customers saw that, but then it felt as if business was coming back to a degree. In fact, some segments surged, while others dropped off. Customers in the events and retail segments really felt it.” The company used the downturn to introduce new equipment and develop new products to market-ready stage. Xuereb has noticed that during the pandemic a lot of B2C print outfits have not been expanding their capital investments. “I think the change is going to be in business models. Mediapoint itself was in retail some ten years ago,” he says. “We used to do quoting, design, printing and installation, but what we found was that as a business this was very hard to systemise and make money. We saw that really early and we identified that our top customers were trade customers, so we got out of the retail space and became a trade house.”

Trade postpress Allkotes Since adding gluing, die cutting and doubleside tape services to its range, trade finishing specialist Allkotes has over 50 products on offer, says general manager Darren Delaney. The addition of the gluing and die cutting services has allowed its customers the flexibility of sending their printed work to Allkotes and receiving a finished product. “The COVID slowdown began in April and it’s been a challenge for all of us to remain positive and plan for the rest of 2020 and 2021,” notes Delaney. “Thankfully we have a great team here at Allkotes and we have all pulled together to get through. Sure, there have been some quiet days but then there are some really busy days and that’s when you see your staff get back into the groove.

“We still have a long way to go and deep down I do feel that what we used to see as a norm will never be normal again. But we are committed. Allkotes is a company that has been supplying the print industry for close to 40 years and have no plans to stop,” he says. Delaney sees advantages in printers outsourcing postpress work to a trade finishing specialist, but it depends on what is needed. “It comes down to the level of experience, quality and service the trade printer’s customer wants or needs. Some trade printers offer embellishments, however they are limited with the coatings and laminations available to them.” He argues that trade printers are competing in the same environment offering similar products, and the difference in the end will be quality and price. “We know who wins that battle – a company like Allkotes has always been driven by quality, service and speed.” Is the trade finishing sector overcrowded? “The balance in the Sydney market is about right,” assesses Delaney. “Another player would only be price-driven for market share. “The Sydney market has already seen companies with that type of philosophy prove unsustainable in the long run. All it does, is destabilise the market. Entering into the market based on the current climate would need to come with deep pockets.” Avon Graphics Avon Graphics offers foil stamping, embossing, die making, thermal laminating wet glue laminating, flexo UV coating, screen UV coating, forme cutting, glitter application, verko printing, greeting card folding, greeting card packing, large format printing, large format cutting and finishing, canvas and photo product printing. Its Brisbane plant now offers lock, burst, perfect and PUR binding. “We offer most of these services in each of our Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane plants,” says managing director Tate Hone. “With the recent addition of Auscote in Brisbane, we now have laminating, UV coating, foil stamping, embossing, forme

Most printing companies don’t have enough specialty finishing work to justify the large investment and ongoing costs. We are set up to cover all the high-end finishes under one roof at a price that could never be realised without volume. Tate Hone, managing director, Avon Graphics

TRADE PRINTING FOCUS cutting, strutting, large format printing/ finishing and book binding all under one roof in our Geebung site.” The COVID crisis has adjusted the way Avon regards its business. “We went into the start of the pandemic working overtime to place the business into limp mode nationally. We have seen tough times before, but nothing like the slowdown we endured at the start of this. After stripping all manageable costs out of the business, we then were able to turn them back on as the work returned. We have now found efficiencies that will help the company stand the test of time.” Hone states the case for specialised trade finishing. “Our company invests heavily in the right equipment, staff and materials to be able to produce the best result on any style of work. Most printing companies don’t have enough specialty finishing work to justify the large investment and ongoing costs. “We are set up to cover all the high-end finishes under one roof at a price that could never be realised without volume,” he said. Is Australia’s trade finishing sector overcrowded? “Yes, there are a lot of under-utilised machines in the market. There is too much capacity with not enough specialty work to support all companies. This will play out as government support slows.” The Laminating Company Melbourne trade finisher The Laminating Company (TLC) has provided postpress services for decades, including laminating for commercial and packaging printers, spot UV varnishing, foiling and embossing, forme cutting, encapsulating, patch and overall magnet application, advises Barry Webster, TLC’s director. “We’ve been reasonably sheltered during COVID, but we have definitely seen a slowdown of retail printed work coming through, and with the new lockdown in Melbourne [from August], I see that type of work continually decreasing until we open up and confidence grows again,” Webster said. So, what are the upsides of trade printers outsourcing to a specialist post-press service?

Looking back on the printing companies that have closed their doors recently, most had a lot of print finishing equipment within their print company, with much of it being under-utilised. Barry Webster, director, The Laminating Company

“Trade finishers specialise in the services they offer, are liable for spoilt work, hold the materials/products on the floor and have dedicated operators to complete the work. It often doesn’t make sense for a printer to purchase finishing equipment when workloads are inconsistent and quality equipment is expensive, with skilled operators very difficult to find,” Webster said. “Looking back on the printing companies that have closed their doors recently, most had a lot of print finishing equipment within their print company, with much of it being under-utilised, which put pressure on their cash flow. “If they had properly costed the finishing equipment, correctly costed floor space and purchasing and holding the materials, lease payments, training and staffing, maintenance, spoilt work, and so on, there is no way it is paying its way unless it’s running at least eight hours every day. “The successful printers are the ones who are concentrating on printing and aligning themselves with quality finishing suppliers.” Twenty-20 Bindery Sydney’s Twenty-20 Bindery, part of Bright Print Group, offers PUR/perfect binding on a 16-station Acora A5 perfect binding machine, stitching on an eight-station collator/stitcher/ trimmer, brochure and section folding, guillotining and collating. It was set up to fill a void when Sydney Binding collapsed in early April. Avon Graphics handles all manner of finishing needs from foil stamping, die cutting to glitter application

As a result of the lockdowns, co-directors John Bright and Debbie Burgess say Twenty-20 has taken a considered approach to employment and investment. “We are running multiple shifts when needed and utilising our resources efficiently, they said, adding the company has sufficient work to keep five ex-Sydney Binding staff fully employed with casuals engaged when necessary. Burgess and Bright say there are numerous benefits for trade printers to outsource to a specialist postpress service. “It is not financially viable for many trade printers to invest in equipment and human resources which would enable them to perform the full range of post-print services required by their market,” they say. “Long-run PUR binding as performed by Twenty-20 Bindery is required to be done on a suitable PUR machine. “Our Acora runs at 4,000-5,000 copies an hour and can bind books to a maximum size of 380x280mm. Compare this to the average Horizon BQ480 PUR Binder, favoured by mid-sized printers which runs between 200 and 700 books per hour and has a maximum book size of not much greater than A4. If printers did not utilise the bindery power and versatility of Twenty-20, they simply would not be able to quote for the larger-run, largerfinished-size work.” Twin Loop Binding Twin Loop Binding in Sydney’s Belmore offers a range of services from PUR and EVA perfect binding, through A2/A3 wire binding, to saddle and loop stitching. Recently introduced services such as drilling, shrinkwrapping and celloglazing, are part of the company’s evolution as a one-stop finishing house, says managing director Wayne Rubin. The company also offers binding supplies and consumables. Rubin says the pandemic has been challenging at Twin Loop, as everywhere. “We initially needed to put some of our staff on reduced hours, but fortunately our production hours are returning to regular levels. We continue to assist our customers wherever possible by absorbing some of our set-up charges and assisting them by passing on special pricing with our binding services and binding supplies,” he said. As Twin Loop increasingly sees printers offering other printers a finishing service, it reminds its customers of its reliable and proven record of quality, meeting deadlines and confidentiality, adds Rubin. “We recently conducted a survey amongst some of our customers and the overwhelming response was they would prefer to focus on what has traditionally been their core business printing, especially since this is where they have invested in equipment. “Perhaps now is not the best time for printers to be investing in finishing equipment if it’s not going to be fully utilised. “Another advantage of using a finishing house like Twin Loop Binding is that we have specialised and well maintained equipment to provide timely and well presented jobs.” PP October 2o2o ProPrint 43

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P A R T N E R ,






Supporting Printers, Print Management Companies, Mail Houses and Copy Shops. WE EXIST TO HELP YOU HELP YOUR CUSTOMER!

OUR SERVICES • Laser Forms and Cheques • Continuous Forms and Cheques • Security Printing • Printed or Plain Bond and Thermal Rolls • Integrated Cards • Variable Bar-Coded Documents • All Pads and Books • Integrated Digital Printing • Paper Rolls • Intelligent Mailing •

Your Trusted Trade Only Supplier

• Laser and Inkjet Personalisation • Plastic Wrapping • Multi-Channel Automation (PRINT POST, EMAIL, SMS, VOICE, FAX, ETC.)

• Scanning, Data Entry • Wide Format • Automation of Print/Digital • Web-To-Print (BRANDED AS YOUR BUSINESS AND INTEGRATION SPECIALISTS)

02 9743 8577

cheque-mates -mates



Optimise Your Business For Profit

Is your brand battered? Build brand strength and invest in advertising. Strong brands drive revenue and growth. Contact Carmen 0410 582 450 44 ProPrint October 2020


We manufacture & ship premium quality fridge magnets direct to your door.

Fast. Easy. Cheap.

1300 20 40 60


FREE $50


North Sydney NSW (02) 9191 9894 • Tullamarine VIC (03) 9344 1325 Lonsdale SA (08) 6365 4366 • Brisbane QLD (07) 3123 6141 Victoria Park WA (08) 6365 4366





(Auto Puncher & closer)


Large Format & mini Fold

SADDLE STITCHING Die-cut Shrinkwrap Fulfilment

YOUR PARTNER IN FINISHING Dock 6A, 10 Carrington Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204

0499 943 110 October 2o2o ProPrint 45



• Perfect Binding

• Stitching

• Saddle Stitching

• Crash Folding

• Folding

• Guillotining

• Three Knife Trimming


Since Graphic 1989 Brayman Engineers

Ron 0418540862

Fax 03 9533 4982 For any enquiries, call Jun on 0439 723 454 Same quality, same prompt service Cutting and Impressions now made and sold by Thexton Engineering

Cylinder Repairs Air Humidifiers GTO 46/52 Reverse Osmosis and other

Twenty-20 Bindery Pty Ltd

For Cutting and Impression Jackets for Heidelberg Offset and Letterpress Machines + Mob: 0414 844 766 Ryobi and other machines Ring Keith at Thextons

Offset m/cs

T & GT Platen Hard jackets + all Heidelberg cylinder Jackets

87 Market Street SMITHFIELD NSW 2164

Contact details


THEXTON PTY LTD Ph Keith 03 9555ENGINEERING 4753 Fax 03 9555 4753 Email:

Ron 0418540862 FaxAlso 03 9533 4982 a range of Ink duct and wash-up blades

Brayman Graphic Engineers Web site:

Supplying spare parts and services to the printing industry since 1970

Cutting and Impressions now made and sold by

Thexton Engineering

Same quality, same prompt service

Kompac parts and stitching wire now handled by Australian Graphic Servicing Ph 03 9545 1400

GTO 46/52 and other Offset m/cs

For Cutting and Impression Jackets for Heidelberg Offset and Letterpress Machines + Ryobi and other machines Ring Keith at Thextons

T & GT Platen Hard jackets + all Heidelberg cylinder Jackets

Log on todetails Contact

to check out what is left of our parts

erly Formman THEXTON ENGINEERING Pty Ltd Bray phic Ph Keith 03 9555 4753 Fax 03 9555 4753 Gra eers Email: n i g En Web site:

Also a range of Ink duct and wash-up blades

Kompac parts and stitching wire now handled by Australian Graphic Servicing Ph 03 9545 1400

Contact Keith Thexton Ph (03) 9555 4753 Fax (03) 9555 4753 Email: Website:

46 ProPrint October 2020

MT Envelopes Established 7 years. Serving a wide range of customers we pride ourselves on punctuality, reliability and customer satisfaction.

 Short to medium run

Providing a full rage of services including: 3 Machinery handling 3 General crane hire 3 Forklift hire and transport 3 Packing and unpacking of containers

Complete factory relocations:

Specialising in a wide range of machinery from Engineering, Metal Work, Printing & Packaging All aspects of printing machinery

E: 48 ProPrint October 2020

specialists  Banker, wallet, pocket & card envelopes  White & coloured  Square envelopes  Special business envelopes  Special window sizes & positions

Manufacturing from Pre-printed sheets available


Ph: (02) 9734 8100 E:

FRIDGE MAGNETS ary’s Buil ding M ai nt e St M nan ce We O er

Qual ity Work At Sen si sible b le Price Pric es s

Terry Dunn


0428 443 751

O ce: 4777 5528 Email: tdunn_s bm@hotmail .com



specialists in fully rebuilt quality printing equipment

Wanted – Polar 92 & 115 Guillotines Polar 58E Guillotine

Polar 56ECO Guillotine

Serviced and Test Run

Serviced and Tested


GTO52 N/P Varn Dampening 1994 GTO52-2 N/P Varn Dampening 1997 Polar 58E Guillotine Stahl 52 All Buckle Folder with Cross Fold Cylinder 54cm x 77cm Selection of Paper Drills and Small Guillotines

Contact: Barry Williams 0408 474 732

Magnetic Car Signs

Name Badges

• • • • • •

Heidelberg T Platten Horizon Vac100 Booklet Maker 2006 MBO T500 with Cross Fold Horizon APC-T61 Guillotine 2001 Polar 92ED Year 2000 Heidelberg SM52-2P-N&P 2001

Wire Bound Custom Made

Stickers Email for a great price “your competitors best kept secret”

CLE V E R Wholesale

> Free Samples > > 50 ProPrint October 2020

Each for Medium

Each for Big sized Mini order 50



$190/100 * Prices are ex GST & Delivery * Full Colour Printing

Operated by Print Focus Pty Ltd ABN 59 603 812 031






SERVICE -Our Material Poster Sticker B-Flute E-Flute Reboard

Foamboard Screenboard Corflute Board PVC Foam Board Outdoor Recycle Board

And More... We are proud to introduce our new Zund machine to strengthen our productivity and allow us to create a more precise and higher quality products. Whether you’re looking to produce small packages or prototypes, we offer a variety of templates ranging from different products and sizes or we could do customised items according to your needs. 1300 787 718

October 2o2o ProPrint 51



52 ProPrint October 2020

D&D Mailing Services Did you know that D&D Mailing Services is the largest plastic wrapping company in Australia and one of the largest mailing companies operating nationally? Why you should use D&D Mailing Services:  High speed laser printing and print supply services  Cost-effective parcel and postal distribution analysis  Expertise in Australia Post regulations and services  ‘Pick and Pack’ warehousing services  Overseas mail inbound and outbound  Specialised hand-finishing services Wrap your magazine in Biowrap – exclusive to D&D Mailing Services:  Invented and patented at D&D Mailing Services  Designed specifically for wrapping magazines  Strong waterproof and degradable when exposed to water and oxygen

D&D Mailing Melbourne

D&D Mailing Sydney

16 Elonera Road Noble Park VIC 3174

1064 Canley Vale Road Wetherill Park NSW 2164

03 9790 5844

02 9725 2114


We specialise in:

Calendar Magnets SALE

Any Size Any Shape Any Quantity




DL Calendar Fridge Magnets( Full Magnet)



Fridge Calendars(300gsm) with small patch on back



*Size: 210x99mm Premium Quality, Square Corners *Excl. GST & Freight *Use Promo Code:PPJ. offer ends 31/11/2020 * Subscribe to our mailing list and receive exclusive specials.



Magnet Express





4 Lewis Street, Coburg VIC 3058

Phone: (03) 9350 4266

Fax: (03) 9354 1104 Email: 54 ProPrint October 2020




EH Manufacturing and Alltab pick-ups and deliveries from 3 McDonald Street, Coburg




Volunteer or Sponsor help us grow! Come and see the extensive expansion and renovations.

Need a venue for a function? Talk to us we can help. Visit

IT’S DIFFICULT TO SURVIVE SELLING PRINT ALONE Nettl has been designed for graphic designers, printers, signwriters, web designers and marketing specialists wanting to grow or diversify their business. Nettl simplifies the world of web. It’s a toolkit of software, technical support, training, marketing, and back office systems to easily sell and design websites in a profitable way.

It’s just simply a smarter way of working.

For the first time the Nettl METHOD™ is now available with a free 30 day trial. Apply today and get instant access to design, build and deploy Brambl and WordPress websites using our step-by-step system. Cancel any time during your trial, without obligation to purchase. No credit card required.


RUNNING a job ad?

.COM.AU/JOBS POSTING IS EASY, FAST, INSTANT Contact Carmen 0410 582 450


DO YOU GET ATTACHED EASILY? WE DO. Patch Magnet Attachment Service

Fridge Magnet Attachment Service


Our state of the art attaching equipment completes your job at lightning speed! We can attach to your cards or ours.

We’ll attach fridge magnets to flyers using removable hot glue. We can attach to your cards or ours. Lowest prices guaranteed!

Ideal for promo cards, flyers, booklets, calendars or political campaigns.

1300 20 40 60

North Sydney NSW Tullamarine VIC Lonsdale SA Brisbane QLD Victoria Park WA

(02) 9191 9894 (03) 9344 1325 (08) 6365 4366 (07) 3123 6141 (08) 6365 4366


1996 Polar 92 ED

1998 Polar 66E

• Top of the range model • Chrome air table • Coloured digital programming screen • Side tables

• Digital programming through the screen • Safety lights • Paper cutter

STEWART Graphics ACN 088 963 240

Ph: Rob Stewart on 0410 463 885 Email: October 2o2o ProPrint 57


58 ProPrint October 2020


We just want to reach out and reassure all our valued customers, partners and colleagues that Dataflow Business Systems are fully operational and here to continue uninterupted production throughout this difficult time.




with all new orders



A.C.N. 134 989

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PICK-UP Date DRIVER ............... I.D. ............. / .............







WE ARE NOT GENERAL COMMON CARRIERS / Please read TIMESLOT DATE terms and Conditions . FTL endorsed and incorporated overleaf.

TYPE OF SERVICE Please / ............. cross (X) box required



of this consignment REQUIRED & 15 on reverse PALLET SERVICE to conditions 14 for pallets. Refer



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Party Or Charge Third SENDER’S REF.









Nett 7 Days

Subject to the terms and conditions of Rates and OF Services, if applicable, endorsed and incorporated A DIVISION overleaf and please accept the goods the described above carrier’s Proposal for delivery. 390 Consignor’s A.C.N. 007 544 (Sender’s) Signature ........................ printed on reverse of Carriage Date ........................ read Conditions ........................ Please ............. ............. / ............. / .............

Books & Sets

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Purchase Order No. x H (cms) x Qty




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989 343

160 Lakes Road, Hazelmere W.A. 6055 P.O. Box Tel: (08) 9376 78, Guildford W.A. 9600 6935 Email: mail@regal Fax: (08) 9376 9666 Sender
















Dangerous Goods If yes EPG & Shipping

Declaration required

submit for cartage I/We the Consignor hereon subject to the goods described and referred to the conditions endorsed this form and declare on the back of contains that if the consignment they have been dangerous goods by name and are in correctly declared for carriage. the proper condition



ERS ON CARRI NOT COMM printed on reverse WE ARE Condition s of Carriage Please read

Group.indd 326843 K&S






PM 25/02/16 3:25

ORIG - RED 179

CARBONLESS BOOKS long and short run

INTEGRATED Cards and Labels

and Variable Data Printing


NCR, Continuous Forms & Laser Forms (Large Runs are our Speciality) Numbered Products including Multi-position & Complex Numbering Continuous Cheques Stationery & Business Forms Security Printing Laser Cheques

T: (08) 9240 6244 E: W:

Profile for The Intermedia Group

ProPrint October 2020  

ProPrint is a leading bi-monthly Australian printing industry magazine that seeks to connect the sector with insightful features about print...

ProPrint October 2020  

ProPrint is a leading bi-monthly Australian printing industry magazine that seeks to connect the sector with insightful features about print...

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