Better Business

Top tips for working from home by Natalie Sweis, regional manager marketing MEITA region, OKI Europe Ltd

As workers around the world navigate these challenging times, many of us are having to acclimatise to new working environments. Except these environments are also quite familiar, because they are our homes. 
While some may have preferred to keep their home and work lives separate, working from home is one of those benefits many other people love. Many businesses already have work from home policies in place that employees can use where required, yet the idea of working remotely from your lounge, study or kitchen for the foreseeable future can feel quite daunting.
The reality is, working from home can actually be difficult to get used to. However, it’s comforting to remember that we’re all in this together, and in that spirit, we’ve

Copyright or wrong?

Ideas are the stuff of life for any business worth its salt. But of all the legal means of protecting ideas – trademark, patent and copyright – it’s the last which is so easy to breach, either deliberately or accidentally, by Adam Bernstein.

And the print sector is directly in the firing line for the act of printing makes it impossible to hide the evidence of a breach.

The law

Nick Rose, a partner specialising in intellectual property disputes at Fieldfisher, starts the discussion by noting

Past and present of SGI Dubai

The rise of SGI Dubai

In the mid 90s, when we conceptualised the SGI show, we never thought that we will grow to this size with so many local, regional and international brands. It’s been over two decades and each year we have learnt something new in terms of the show and also in regard to the industry.
SGI Dubai started right from the old Dubai World Trade Centre days and has been an integral part of DWTC for over two decades now.
Those days people were getting used to emails and internet was

Paper tigers

These are changing times for pulp and paper makers. While mill and machinery closures across Europe and the UK have resulted in shrinking capacity, particularly for graphical paper grades, this has been offset by a shift in manufacturing focus, by Maxine Perella.

Increasingly, producers are seeing opportunities to take advantage of wider trends in the printing industry such as growing demand for fibre-based packaging materials.

Martyn Eustace, chairman of Two Sides, says public appetite for

Open up sociable channels for better reach and impact

You don’t need me to tell you how big a deal social media has become. You’ve probably already read that somewhere... like Facebook. Or maybe LinkedIn or Twitter. Or possibly on some other platform, sandwiched between puppy GIFs, selfies and random shots of a stranger’s dinner, by Rob Gray.

But here are some facts that may prove helpful. According to the Digital in 2018 report from ‘We Are Social and Hootsuite’, there are now 3.2 billion social media users across the world, a 13% rise over the

Calling in the cavalry

Woody Allen wrote in his screenplay for the film Annie Hall, that “those who can’t do, teach. And those who can’t teach, teach gym.” While there may be an element of truth in his thinking, there has to be a compromise.

And there is: the world of consultancy, where industry experts become critical friends to firms in need. Employed correctly they can revitalize a print organization and give it an edge over its competitors.

Major decisions

John Charnock, owner and director of Print Research

Digital signages with ‘augmented reality’ feature could propel retail sales

Ecommerce is the next big thing, however, physical retail outlets in the UAE, with augmented reality enabled digital signages could pull in the customers to their stores. The retail sector in the Emirates needs to up their game by adopting the latest technology and strategies that will help them become competitive in this cut-throat industry.

According to Euromonitor the value of UAE's retail sector stood at $56.6 billion in 2016 and predicted retail sales turnover in the UAE will exceed $71

Three ways channel partners can empower the digital workplace, by Lisa Graham, Xerox

On the surface, creating a digital workplace appears simple. After all, it’s a matter of providing the right technologies and tools to empower work groups. But in reality, it is much more complex. It’s about capitalizing on the relationship between happy, productive employees and customer satisfaction, and implementing technology-driven strategies to nurture both.

While the concept of digital workplaces is not new, it’s finally reached a tipping point and is fast becoming the marketplace

Build sustainable growth with a tighter focus

The direct mail sector, like much of the printing industry, can’t claim to have had the easiest of times in recent years.

It remains, however, a profitable market for operators with the right approach, and it is one that David Wright is optimistic about. This January his employer, Taylor Bloxham, launched a new division dedicated to direct mail, Mailbox, and Wright’s job is to make a success of it. From outside print, that might look like a big ask. This is a digital age after all and marketing

Konica Milnolta seeks to ensure business growth for clients through Prokom

Konica Minolta Business Solutions Middle East is trying to add more value and offerings to its customers through Prokom, which is an exclusive community of Konica Minolta production print and industrial print users. 

Konica Minolta’s is encouraging its customers in the Middle East to join Prokom, in order to share ideas through joint discussions, develop and grow efficient digital communication services, as well as become a platform for members to express their voice and cross-pollinate with

New leadership sets out targets for growth

Signs Express rates itself the largest sign company in the UK and Ireland, with more centres than any other business in the industry.

So when Jonathan Bean contemplated taking it over through a management buyout (MBO), the potential risks were as numerous as the rewards – the bigger they are, the bigger they can fall.
For Bean it offered the perfect opportunity to go for more growth and truly connect with a franchise business he’d been involved with for well over a decade. MBOs, however, are

Why Buy Original: The Millennial Lesson for Businesses - by Ivana Laskodyova, Consumables Product Manager, OKI Europe Ltd

Millennials are renowned for their savviness when it comes to parting with money. Businesses can learn a lot by following this generation’s lead when it comes to getting the best return on investment, whether ordering essential office supplies or contemplating more significant purchases.

Millennials are known to be the most brand-loyal generation, favouring trusted brands and willing to spend more on a product from a renowned brand that is known to deliver quality. According to statistics from

Build bridges to inspire the next generation

It started badly, and with Idi Amin. In early August 1972 the president of Uganda ordered the expulsion of his country’s Asian minority, giving them 90 days to leave, Jez Abbott

Tens of thousands of people were driven out, and one of them was the boy Shahid Sheikh with his prosperous father and siblings, all of whom were forced to quit the east African country. They lost everything.
And they settled in Britain; the start of a “rags-to-riches story” that helped define Sheikh’s character and

Why the big fish you’ve just landed may bite back

Think big, they say. After all, why would anyone turn up their nose at a huge slice of business? Consider the revenue, the prestige! Maybe even take a moment to bask in the envy of your competitors.

But there are potential drawbacks to weigh up as well. Big client contracts can be risky, especially if they cause an imbalance to your business – including the classic danger of too many eggs in one basket.

In recent years, a number of print businesses have plunged into serious financial problems

Snatch success from the jaws of failure

His first response was stark: “Oh my god, what are we going to do?” Claremon managing director John Conroy had just been told his neighbouring print company, Wheelden Print, had gone out of business.

This could have spelled disaster. Both print companies were separate businesses, but late last year had agreed to share a 500m² premises to split costs such as rent and rates.
Conroy had even sold his one and only printing press, a Heidelberg Speedmaster, so both firms were sharing Wheelden Print’s

Pay heed to employees’ rights and aspirations

Whatever the Bible may say about the love of money being a “root of all kinds of evil”, as Paul wrote in his first letter to Timothy, there aren’t many of us who wouldn’t be happier with a little bit more. 

In living memory, and immortalised by the film Made in Dagenham, the Equal Pay Act 1970 was first mooted in the 1964 General Election by the Labour Party in its manifesto when proposing a charter of rights that included “right to equal pay for equal work”.
We’ve come a long way since then and

Making the case for setting up apprenticeships

Many in the sector believe that print’s reputation for being characterised by oily rags and deafening machinery is turning off potential new talent, starving the industry of the fresh blood it needs. Apprenticeships, meanwhile have their own cliches to contend with that they offer nothing better than poor pay and minimal training.

Keenan Phillips had something to prove at his interview for an apprenticeship post. So did the man interviewing him for the job at Saxon Packaging.
Phillips was up

Xerox: How to find and sell document technology where it is growing

The VP of channels document technology  of  Xerox, Jim Morrissey, discusses how channel partners market their products, what characteristics to look for when seeking opportunities in the document technology segment and the fallacy of vertical marketing and the importance of precision marketing.

The time-worn observation that you cannot and should not try to be all things to all people still holds true, but the good news is that as a channel partner, you don’t have to be the one producing a

Learning how to swim with the big fish

Mercian Labels is moving upwards and outwards. Two months ago, the business upped sticks at its Derby operation and shifted it 40 miles to its headquarters in Burntwood, Staffordshire. This was a bold statement of expansion; one of many in recent years.

And with all production now under one roof, even more expansion is on the agenda. Staying the pace with such fast evolution can be a tough call, however, without the capacity, tools or processes in place, trying to keep up with growth can line

Your network is only as secure as your weakest linkpost

Earlier this month, Hydro, one of the world’s largest producers of aluminium, was forced to switch to manual operations at some of its 40 sites dotted around the world due to a severe ransomware attack.

The sheer scale and severity of the attack crippled the company and attracted media attention globally. Sadly it was not an isolated example. Government figures published earlier this year show that more than 40% of UK businesses experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12

Make printing easy for your customers

No clutter. No pop-ups. No up-sells. No cross-sells. No information overload. Back in December, web-to-print business Printed Easy went live with a new-look customer-focused website that said ‘no’ to all those things, and many more of those annoying web ticks.

It formed a major part of a larger company restructure and rebrand that cost half a million pounds. “Modernising or rebranding the image of any business begins with a website,” says Printed Easy’s online director Paul Duffy. You can see

Ramping up social media in pursuit of the perfect

For a sector that is frequently geared around promoting the services of other businesses, the print trade often struggles with selling itself.
And with an increasingly diverse mix of potential marketing channels – online, offline, natural search, pay-per-click and beyond – it can sometimes be tricky knowing which areas to focus on.
For Sam Neal, chief executive at Feltham-based Geoff Neal Group printers, marketing hasn’t really been an issue until very recently. “We’re a people-based business

Make finishing touches the first priority of your company

It started with finishing. Commercial printer PCL Digital was looking to win customers by offering more services. Print was well balanced on supply and demand, so managing director Nick Westley-Smith took a post-press tilt.

But this was to be no minor tinkering on the fringes of finishing. Westley-Smith embarked on a comprehensive refresh involving tens of thousands of pounds covering several new pieces of kit.

The challenge

The company, established as an HP Indigo printer 12 years ago, is based

Picking the right route to success

Printers are facing a perfect storm with rising job numbers, shrinking average order values, a less clear-cut distinction between the most appropriate production methods and the ever-present spectre of downward price pressure, Barney Cox

In the face of such challenges you could be forgiven for running for the hills, but there are some businesses out there who have rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in.
Understandably, some of these leading lights don’t want to reveal their secrets. In

Business Inspection: A local solution to the problem

Finding the right premises close to home has enabled a labels expert to plan a big expansion in a major industrial area.

It is only half a mile away, but it has taken Print-Leeds more than two years to get there. Managing a move from one part of a major industrial city undergoing large-scale regeneration can throw up problems – especially for a company keen to expand. One of the biggest is finding the right space in a place that is on the up and where property of all types is hard to come by.

‘Selling on price is not selling, it’s order taking’

All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy,” quipped the offbeat, hilarious Spike Milligan

Money is one of the great themes of comedy and there’s no end of witty one-liners about how much things cost. But of course, in the world of business, pricing is a serious matter.
Set your prices too high and you’re uncompetitive, too low and you’ll be unprofitable. Like Goldilocks, it’s all about getting it just right.
As pricing strategy is such a commercially sensitive aspect of any