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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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The BPIF says its new Colour Quality Management Scheme is ‘the scheme of choice’ for all colour critical organisations. Pictured: the launch at the St Bride Foundation, London

On the bill: Colour control and sustainability
The sustainable choice
Tandy Wakeford,
events and membership manager,
Two Sides

2018 sees an exciting opportunity for paper and cardboard packaging, with a surge of retailers avowing their commitment to abolish single use plastics after the government announced their intention to eradicate all of the UK’s avoidable waste by 2042. Iceland led the way with a hugely successful PR campaign saying it will eliminate or drastically reduce plastic packaging for its own-label products by 2023.

Correspondingly, a snap poll by Two Sides and international research agency Toluna, revealed a strong preference for paper and cardboard packaging amongst UK consumers.

Respondents were asked which packaging material (glass, metal, paper and cardboard, or plastic) they preferred based on a number of factors. Paper and cardboard received the highest score for being better for the environment, easier to recycle and, in terms of practicality, easier to open and close, easier to store, lighter weight, more practical, and safer to use.

Consumers also appreciate paper and cardboard packaging’s unique environmental qualities:

  • 78 percent like paper and cardboard packaging because it is biodegradable
  • 73 percent believe paper and cardboard packaging makes good use of recycled materials
  • 64 percent like paper and cardboard packaging because it is made from renewable wood fibre

As our managing director, Martyn Eustace, explains: “In the current packaging climate, it is great to see paper and cardboard packaging recognised by consumers for its excellent environmental attributes. Not only does paper and cardboard packaging have an exceptionally high utilisation rate of recycled fibres, it is also the most recycled packaging material in Europe, at 83 percent.

It is great to see paper and cardboard packaging recognised by consumers for its excellent environmental attributes

“Consumers can also be confident knowing that European forests, which provide much of the virgin fibre used for making paper and cardboard packaging, have grown by an area the size of Switzerland in just ten years—that is equivalent to over 1,500 football pitches every day.”

The survey also revealed notable consumer concerns about packaging in general. 85 percent believe packaging is a significant source of litter, 84 percent believe over-packaging is a problem, and 71 percent believe packaging is bad for the environment. Coffee cups, plastic bottles, chocolate bar wrappers, crisp packets, and takeaway packaging were all perceived to be the most significant causes of litter.

Paper and cardboard packaging scored highly in popularity in a recent poll by Two Sides and Toluna. Pictured: Cardboard packaging produced by PCL Digital with foiling effects

Paper and cardboard packaging is durable, renewable, and recyclable and will be an essential material as we move towards a regenerative, circular economy, as outlined in the UK Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. Two Sides intends to work with brands and manufacturers to adopt more paper and cardboard packaging.

Opportunity knocks 
Marian Stefani,
chief executive officer,
Independent Print Industries Association (IPIA)

With so much interest in GDPR and what it might mean for businesses in our industry, I have spent a while doing my own research and working out how best we can support our members. We are a practical bunch here at the IPIA so we decided to take a proactive approach and are partnering with a software provider which has an online tool to help companies become compliant and a trusted consultant who can give guidance and support through setup.

However, the thing that occurs to me is just what a great opportunity we have to offer solutions that help marketeers and the end users of print. There are two parts to GDPR: how you acquire, store, and manage your data is one thing, but then what you do with it and how you process and use it is quite another.

The thing that occurs to me is just what a great opportunity we have to offer solutions that help marketeers and the end users of print

I have heard lots of misinformation about what you can and cannot do with marketing data over the last few months and I think we really need to get a grip and start to push back; we are well placed to assist our customers as the restrictions for electronic marketing are far more stringent than for printed communications.

And therein lies the potential business opportunity—encouraging marketeers to think again about using print as the first contact and to plan their integrated marketing accordingly.

Sadly though, I fear that most in our industry will miss out—either through lack of engagement or through lack of the sales and marketing skills needed to take this message out to their customers.

So instead of waiting for the phone to ring with the next price driven quote opportunity, let us promote print as a viable and valuable tool in the journey to GDPR compliance.

Round pegs in round holes
Sidney Bobb,
British Association for Print and Communication (BAPC)

Members of the BAPC team have invested much time and effort in helping businesses resolve issues and achieve their goals. This has provided a unique opportunity to work with hundreds of people doing different jobs in a wide variety of companies. This exposure has highlighted that there is no better form of education than first-hand experience.

One thing that has been clear is the majority of companies that are successful are so because they have people who are successful at what they do. This is not an accident, as the more effort a company puts into finding and keeping the right people, the more the organisation achieves.

The leading businesses realise that taking on the appropriate person for the right job is not the hard part. The difficult task is ensuring that the right job was given to the appropriate person. This is achieved by asking the probing questions before they employ any new team members. Although there are hundreds of questions possible, these six seem to cover the main points:

Do they know what is expected from them?

This is by far the biggest reason why an employee?s productivity may not be at the level envisaged. Frequently, employees end up with only a vague idea of what is really expected from them. A good method of ensuring people do know what is anticipated from them is to ask them to summarise their understanding in writing.

Do they have the right materials and equipment required to do the job?

Once the team and its members have good clarity on what is expected, ensuring that they have the right tools for the job is next. There is little that a woodcutter can do without his tools, however well-defined his goal is. Make sure that all the necessary tools to make them effective are available.

Are they doing what they are best at, every day?

Allowing an employee to work on their interest and passion is the easiest way to improve productivity. Equally, it is important to get them doing what they are good at. If the two can be combined, you have yourself a winner.

Allowing an employee to work on their interest and passion is the easiest way to improve productivity

Within the last seven days, have you recognised or praised them for their good work?

Irrespective of seniority, it is always a good idea to find a genuine reason for frequently showing appreciation. It is easy to focus on areas for improvement but if you can balance it with appreciation for good work, it can work like a charm. It might be a simple statement during a discussion such as ‘I liked the way you presented our services’, or ‘you are really great at handling that account’.

Do you show them that you care about them as a person?

Showing people that you care is a strength. Ask about their family. Show interest in their hobbies, sports, and outside activities. In return, you will receive loyalty and effort. It is never out-of-fashion to show concern and appreciation for people and their family.

The benefit of having the answers to these six questions has been proved time and again. Why not give them a try—you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

BPIF launches colour control
Charles Jarrold,
chief executive,
British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF)

Colour is key to much of what we do in today’s world. We judge and buy with our eyes, therefore brand owners and print buyers are exacting in their requirement for consistency in colour reproduction, regardless of the colour process or substrate, to ensure their products stand out in a crowded marketplace. Many printers have therefore implemented colour controls into their production processes in such a way that measurement is a big part of the process, and increasingly, others are going further and implementing a scheme to ensure colour control runs throughout the business as an extension of their ISO 9001 system.

Colour is key to much of what we do in today’s world

This makes the launch of version three of the BPIF Colour Quality Management Scheme a really exciting and important resource for our industry. The scheme is the only one that is regulated and independently audited in exactly the same way as ISO 9001 is by UKAS accredited certifying auditors.

The independence of the BPIF scheme and the UKAS accreditation of certification are the key factors in why the scheme is ‘the scheme of choice’ for all colour critical organisations. The changes to the scheme have come about as a result of feedback from all interested parties.

The scheme now takes ISO 9001 and adds requirements specific to pre-press and printing processes, as well as the colour values and tolerances defined in the ISO 12647 series of standards, or any other accepted standards. As a result, the certified scheme can now be applied to any printing production method and process, including outsourced printing, pre-press, and proofing.

There are now two levels to the scheme: ‘professional’, which is only open to printers, and is designed to demonstrate the capability of the printer to comply with a defined standard, and ‘elite’, which is open to any organisation providing print services, including printers, print managers, design agencies, repro houses etc. and is designed to demonstrate the capability of the organisation to comply with a defined standard, to achieve consistent quality in production, and to achieve continual improvement.

A full support package has been put in place to help organisations better manage their colour, including a simple Colour Gap Analysis, which defines the current standing of an organisation with regards to their colour management. To find out more contact Chris.Selby@bpif.org.uk.

Public Notice:
  • Colour is key to much of what we do in today’s world
  • It is a good idea to frequently show appreciation
  • 78 percent like paper and cardboard because it is biodegradable
  • We should be encouraging marketeers to use print as the first contact

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

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