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The Soap Box

Key Industry Challenges

Brendan Perring listens to print’s most influential trade associations and bodies as they consider key industry challenges and the steps print companies can take to secure a successful future

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“While the additional work we undertake to get to these shows can be hard, we know they are very important to our members and sponsors and we want them to be successful,” says Marian Stefani, chief executive, IPIA

Championing print to the next generation

Everything’s Possible in Print
Marian Stefani,
chief executive,

After a rush of exhibitions at the end of last year, we have started back with more of the same and Christmas just seems like a distant memory.

As part of our Everything’s Possible in Print (EPIP) initiative, we are exhibiting at lots of non-industry events this year, showcasing all the great stuff print does and trying to encourage buyers to engage and learn more about the latest innovation and inspiration. 

At these shows we meet all sorts of people from all sorts of different industries, and it is fascinating to talk to them about their challenges and the ups and downs they face.

While the additional work we undertake to get to these shows can be hard, we know they are very important to our members and sponsors and we want them to be successful.

I would urge as many of you as possible to attend these non-industry shows and get involved with what we are doing to promote print. We usually get a great reaction when we show samples and talk to people about what print can do for them—especially from the ‘digital first’ age group, who often never consider print at all but are fascinated when we start coming up with solutions to their marketing challenges.

I would urge as many of you as possible to attend these non-industry shows and get involved with what we are doing to promote print

If we want to grow print volume and grow the value of the pages from press we must champion print out to market. We need to inspire, educate and excite—showing what’s possible and the return on investment that can be achieved when print is used properly.

With OEMs delivering ever more capacity and prices being squeezed again and again we all have to do our bit to make sure we get the message out there.

So join us as we grow EPIP this year and be part of our drive to engage buyers to use more print.

Regularly review your progress
Sidney Bobb,

It may be early in the year, but it is never too late to prioritise activities to ensure that we are on track.

Meeting deadlines is certainly most important, not just production and delivery commitments, but other matters including sales and marketing targets, brand establishment, and promotions. These are all the things we promised, probably to ourselves, we would do during the year.

It is important to remember that good time management and organisation are critical if real success is to be achieved. Progress needs to be regularly reviewed, so that if we find that we are beginning to fall short, we can do something to rectify matters and get us back in line before it is too late.

Certainly, outside factors have a bearing. However, in the majority of cases, it is the owners and managers of a business who bear the brunt of responsibility when matters stray from the original concept. We can all make excuses and provide what appears to be good reasons when things fall short, but the earlier the issues are addressed the more chance there is for success.

This is the perfect time to look at our plans, see how they are developing and take early action to maximise the possibility of success and, of course, a review frequently reveals new opportunities.

If it is discovered that matters are not developing as envisaged it is time to consider bringing in outside help. For example, if you are feeling unwell, it may be that self-diagnosis and treatment will bring you back to health. If that does not work, then you would make contact with a doctor and make use of his expertise.

There are many organisations and consultancies willing and able to help and provide

By the same token, if you know that you are about to fall short of your business targets, discuss the matter with a specialist. There are many organisations and consultancies willing and able to help and provide support. The BAPC and other trade bodies are always on hand to provide guidance.

Prepare for change: GDPR
Charles Jarrold,
chief executive,

Take a walk through any business in the country—print-related or not—and there are panicked whispers reverberating down the corridors about the dreaded ‘GDPR’.

Take a walk through any business in the country – print-related or not – and there are panicked whispers reverberating down the corridors

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are looming on the horizon and will be enforced in only a few short months (May 25th 2018), replacing the current Data Protection Act. How you handle data will change forever, and if you process personal data of any data subjects who live in the EU, you need to ensure you comply with these new regulations. Notably, there are some direct obligations on data controllers and processors that you will need to understand and build into your policies, procedures and contracts.

This legislation affects businesses of all sizes—SMEs are not immune, so I urge you to be prepared and get compliant. If you have not already got to grips with the changes and set out an action plan, the clock is most definitely ticking.

I would like to think that here at the BPIF we’re in a good position—we’ve engaged with a GDPR Specialist and have put together an internal steering group made up of stakeholders from each department to ensure no stone is unturned. You may have considered doing something similar, or you may not have, there are plenty of options out there. The most important thing is to do your research and do what works for you in order to comply with the new regulations.

Now, I would not be doing a very good job if I did not bring your attention to the wealth of top-class resources available from the BPIF. BPIF Specialist Services is working with a wide range of companies in the industry to help them become compliant. The following resources are available:

1.    GDPR Gap Analysis: An onsite gap analysis session will identify roles and responsibilities throughout the whole business. Conducted by a qualified GDPR practitioner, the session will cover the twelve steps of GDPR readiness, including: GDPR overview, risk management, data mapping, roles and responsibilities, policies and procedures, privacy impact assessments, IT
security. A detailed progress report will then highlight the issues to be addressed.

2.    Open House GDPR Workshops: Open house regional workshops are taking place across the country to provide the industry with an insight into ?What is GDPR??

3.    Bespoke GDPR Workshops: A
bespoke one-day onsite workshop can provide your team with an insight into GDPR and can be catered to your data needs.

4.    Bespoke GDPR Support: Support and guidance with data processes and requirements.

5.    Cyber Essentials Scheme— IASME Gold Certification: For those that wish to hang a certificate on the wall, the BPIF can support businesses to implement the cyber security certification scheme that sets out a good baseline of cyber security suitable for all businesses. The scheme addresses five key controls:

  • Firewalls - Use a firewall to secure your internet connection
  • Configuration - Choose the most secure settings for your devices and software
  • User Accounts - Control who has access to your data and services
  • Malware - Protect yourself from viruses and other malware
  • Patches -Keep your devies and software up to date

When implemented correctly, you can prevent around 80 percent of cyber-attacks. Cyber Essentials helps you to guard against the most common cyber threats and demonstrate your commitment to cyber security. It is also worth noting that the Government wants every company in the UK to be certified by 2020. Companies can also attain IASME Gold Certification through the BPIF Cyber Essentials Scheme, demonstrating that you are taking good steps to properly protect information security. It is an internationally recognised alternative to the ISO 27001 standard for smaller businesses, and GDPR readiness has now been included.

If you have not already done so, now is the time to prepare for change; review and adapt your data to meet the new requirements.

For more information and to prepare yourself for the GDPR, contact BPIF Specialist Services on 01924 203335 or email specialistservices@bpif.org.uk

Attracting new talent 
Neil Lovell,
chief executive,
The Printing Charity

Faced with competition from other sectors in attracting new talent, the printing industry has to make a
compelling case for young people to see the industry as an attractive career choice with a great range of opportunities.

Just as importantly, the new generation must be able to access training that provides both pathways into employment and career progression if the industry is to continue to innovate and remain relevant.

The printing industry has to make a compelling case for young people to see the industry as an attractive career choice,” says Neil Lovell, chief executive, The Printing Charity. Pictured: Print Futures Award Winners
One of the ways The Printing Charity is championing the sector to the new generation is through our flagship Print Futures Awards. Set up in 2003, these annual Awards are grants of up to £1,500 to help UK residents aged 18 to 30 pay for relevant UK qualifications for a career in the industry or to develop their workplace skills.

One of the ways The Printing Charity is championing the sector to the new generation is through our flagship Print Futures Awards

Entry to the Awards is open to people who intend or are studying for a UK qualification in printing, paper, publishing, packaging or graphic arts; are already working in the sector and want to develop their workplace skills; are apprentices or studying for NVQs in UK print-related organisations.

We believe in the sector’s future and one of the most rewarding aspects for us is hearing from past winners about how winning an Award has helped them in their careers. An apprentice project manager is now on his way to achieving a recognised qualification, while a papermaking apprentice found it opened up new opportunities to progress his career, and an assistant copy editor has been able to undertake further editorial training.

Last year’s Awards attracted entries from across a diverse range of regions and sectors, something we’re keen to build on this year. We would particularly like to hear from people already working in the industry, including apprentices and those studying for NVQs, so if you are an employer, especially in an SME, please encourage your eligible staff to apply. 

Entries open on February 1st, and the closing date for applications is midnight on April 29th.

Public Notice:

  • Review your progress regularly to ensure you are on track to hit targets
  • Consider attending non-industry shows to promote print to a wider audience
  • Entries for the Print Futures Awards open on February 1st and close on April 29th
  • Colour control has become a make or break technology to master

To find out more about the issues discussed in this article please contact the relevant organisation via their
website: www.bapc.co.uk, www.theprintingcharity.org.uk, www.britishprint.com, www.ipia.org.uk

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