Put your weapons down, we're on the same side

Written on the 1 September 2012

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the Sydney leg of Snap's company awards. Now, I have been to my fair share of printing industry awards nights Im sure we all have. But this was different.

It was refreshing to see a room full of printers who are genuinely on the same team. Theres a feeling within the Snap camp that new CEO Stephen Edwards wants to build an even greater community ethos across the network.

Im told that equivalent awards nights at franchises such as Kwik Kopy and Worldwide Online are equally good examples of inter-company bonding. 

Attending the ceremony was timely, seeing as ProPrint is focusing on the franchise sector in this issue.

We in the journalistic fraternity are regularly entrusted with confidential information; a certain degree of caginess when speaking with commercial printers is par for the course. So it was surreal to sit at the Snap awards and listen to business owners talk openly about their financial performance.

I take my hat off to any companies that are prepared to share business secrets in this hyper-competitive climate, but I dont for a second imagine the openness of the franchise model would work for everyone. Benchmarking between centres, a concept native to franchises, would put the fear of God into the average commercial printer.

While I dont expect rival printers to open their books to one another, there are times when even the fiercest of competitors must put down their weapons and co-operate. Ive discussed the Two Sides initiative in previous letters, but I cant stress enough how important it is that ProPrint readers get behind the campaign. Printers are all about integration within their factories, and it is time the same kind of joined-up thinking is applied to this industry campaign, which seeks to redress the balance and promote the positives about print.

Speaking of joined-up thinking, last month also saw a major milestone passed in the increased cooperation between two of the leading trade associations. The impending merger of PIAA and GASAA is another signal that industry stake-holders are warming to the idea that a cooperative approach is the answer to many of our shared challenges.

Steven Kiernan is editor of ProPrint

This Feature appeared in the SEPTEMBER 2012 issue of ProPrint Magazine

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