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The Soap Box

Building partnerships and collaborations

Genevieve Lewis 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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Customers’ needs have to be placed at the heart of all decision-making

Speed of change

Tony Kenton,
BAPC consultant
and director of It Has To Be Brilliant

The speed of change, competition and customer demand for a broader range of services and products are transforming business and creating the need for those in it to work collaboratively together, simply in order to succeed.

For any forward-looking company focused on unlocking its full growth potential, it’s clear that in today’s increasingly competitive and fast-moving environment the end-customers’ needs have to be placed firmly at the heart of all strategic decision-making and developments. However, what modern companies want from suppliers, manufacturers and those they outsource to has fundamentally changed in recent years.

Traditional buying journeys and expectations are fast becoming obsolete. Customers now want to be far more proactive, choosing to self-educate on products and services rather than be spoon-fed information through marketing and sales reps.

Also, however hard they might try, the chances of any individual company being able to provide the full scope of customers’ needs is becoming ever more difficult.

There is a solution; and that’s to start building collaborative partnerships. This isn’t a process that happens by accident and any company who is serious about wanting to enter into successful collaboration with another company, needs to be prepared to commit to a great deal of research, planning and time.

Those companies who are achieving significant success with collaboration have done so because they have entered into the arrangement with open minds and a willingness to work together towards all parties doing well from the relationship. They realise too that a key part of overcoming current challenges is by working with others, often in unexpected ways. This is because they understand that to meet the needs of fast-paced marketplaces requires mutually beneficial partnerships that leverage the creativity, experience and resources that exist in their respective organisations so that together they can help arrive at a solution or a new idea in less time.

By looking for these types of partnerships, companies are discovering that they are able to innovate much more quickly and even create new business

By looking for these types of partnerships, companies are discovering that they are able to innovate much more quickly and even create new business by coming up with solutions to problems that may not be prevalent issues yet.

Relentless momentum

Mike Roberts,

So how is your 2019 so far? Against what would on the face of it appear to be great uncertainty that permeates our island, many people in our industry have seemed to enjoy one of the most buoyant periods in some time.

One thing is for sure though here at the IPIA, whether there is uncertainty in the country or not, the momentum has been relentless with Marian, together with the Council, working as hard as I have ever known it to deliver change and improvements for the benefit of the membership and improve our voice.

One of the main improvements I believe we have made is undertaking a full rebrand of the IPIA

One of the main improvements I believe we have made is undertaking a full rebrand of the IPIA and a strengthening of its member benefits and events portfolio for 2019. We are now in a better place than ever to communicate our purpose and value to the industry.

We have delivered what I believe is a much more appropriate brand identity together with the ‘Connect Inspire Amaze’ mission statement, which fits perfectly with our core focus and the aims of the EPIC initiative.

The essence of that mission is that the IPIA works hard to connect like-minded people across the print industry to strengthen the long-term health of the sector and create new business opportunities; inspire through thought provoking conferences and events so that our members’ businesses can adapt and thrive and amaze by showcasing innovation in products and services to support our members and the wider industry I believe 2019 will be an epic year for us and I am confident that the IPIA is the only print industry organisation that is expanding and seeing membership numbers growing, and at a fair rate too.

Speaking of EPIC, this is the ‘new’ name for our EPIP initiative and for a fourth year the campaigns conference will be held again at the Congress Centre in London on July 3rd. At EPIC 2019 you will see the lifecycle of a product marketing campaign from inception, execution through to results. EPIC 2019 will showcase how, when properly used and understood, conducting a well-rounded integrated communications strategy can add value to your client or brand’s business.  Delegates will also be invited to put their brand marketing challenges to the innovators in our learning zone called The Exchange. 

Members’ Day

Charles Jarrold,
chief executive,

As the pinnacle event in the BPIF calendar, I’m looking forward to BPIF Members’ Day on July 9th. For me, it’s a day that represents so much that’s good about the printing industry. From the conference, AGM and awards presentations to the All Party Parliamentary Print Group Reception, it’s a day that provides the chance to reflect, to celebrate, to look forward and to inspire positive change in our industry.

The BPIF Members’ Day is taking place on July 9th 2019

I’m really looking forward to hearing from Kevin Green, former chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and HR director at Royal Mail, at our morning conference. He’s a direct, down-to earth and entertaining speaker, challenging companies to really grasp the opportunities of change – which in our fast evolving business environment, is more apt than ever.

And at this Members’ Day, it’s more important than ever for BPIF members to have the opportunity to talk with parliamentarians on the House of Lords terraces. Last year, MP Kevin Hollinrake, vice-chair of the All Party Group, explained how “Government responds to a common voice”, meaning that trade bodies and All Party Groups are well placed to lobby for change. This was encouraging to hear, as it’s much of what we’re about as a federation. But there is no substitute for bringing policy-makers face-to-face with the people who live the print business every day, who face the big and small challenges and often have creative and sensible ideas for how to fix them.

Many BPIF constituents have now met their MPs several times at Members’ Day, and more and more discussions are being followed up by MPs going out to meet members in their local constituencies – it’s really important for MPs to see first hand what’s great, and what the challenges are in our sector. Coming into the premises and meeting the managerial teams, staff and apprentices gives them a unique perspective into the day-to-day running of a print business. This means MPs go away well informed about the world of print and how they can support the industry, and members are encouraged by the time MPs give them and the interest they show.

We all know that it’s the personal relationships we build up that have the biggest impact on our decision-making

We all know that it’s the personal relationships we build up that have the biggest impact on our decision-making, so connecting members with MPs on Members’ Day is one way in which we hope to pave the way towards positive change in our industry. This, alongside our awards presentations that celebrate hard work, talent and commitment to UK print, as well as what I know will be an inspiring conference and worthwhile AGM – is what makes Members’ Day special, and I’m looking forward to the impact it will have on the wider industry in the months to come.

The All Party Parliamentary Print Group Reception takes place on July 9th  in the House of Lords, as part of the BPIF’s Members’ Day.

Public Notice:

  • Begin to build collaborative partnerships
  • Connect with like-minded people
  • Creating relationships enhances decision-making

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

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