2024 Print Leaders Forum: Sonia Shwabsky, CEO, Kwik Kopy Australia

In 2023, the commercial printing industry witnessed continued growth in the wide format category due to the demand from online brands. With the help of AI integration in content development and design, creation of marketing collaterals was streamlined, emphasising efficiency for smaller and more frequent jobs. Kwik Kopy experienced a remarkable 45 per cent increase in the wide format category, achieving unprecedented growth. The return to traditional demand patterns, especially during December and January, marked a shift towards pre-COVID conditions in the B2B purchasing sector.

Our focus in 2024 is on enhancing productivity, people development, and implementing growth systems.  Modernising AI technology is a priority, aiming for sustainable growth. We aspire to increase our average revenue per centre by 30 per cent. Building on our signage category, Kwik Kopy is set to launch an industry-leading system in print and signage this year. Our extensive product range, including merchandise and digital products, reflects our commitment to bringing ideas to life and meeting customer desires. Our goal this year is that Kwik Kopy will be viewed as a major influencer, reshaping the perception of the print industry. Our diligent growth plans will lead the business and industry sector onward and upward.

I believe one of the biggest opportunities for the industry this year lies in tapping into everyone’s increased ability to design beautiful things. Platforms like Canva have democratised design, making it easy and accessible to everyone. Levelling up in design makes you look versatile and professional. To improve over the next 12 months, the industry must become more appealing to younger people. Marketing efforts should highlight the print industry’s dynamic, creative, and fulfilling aspects to attract new talent.

In the realm of sustainability for 2024, our vision extends beyond trends; it’s a collective dream. We aspire to witness ongoing innovation from material suppliers, particularly in areas like stickers, labels, and the wide format domain. We earnestly hope these creative minds develop sustainable alternatives, propelling us closer to the 100 per cent sustainability goal.

As we look ahead, sustainability will permeate every facet of our operations, reinforcing our commitment to elevate environmental consciousness in all our endeavours. In fact, there are several key sustainability commitments that we have made as a business for 2024. Currently, 70 per cent of our centres voluntarily engage with SGP level 1. Our goal for 2024 is to highly encourage the remaining 30 per cent to support this initiative without being forced.

For me, leadership is about fostering my team’s growth and flourishing. Success hinges on individuals thriving within the organisation. I strive to create conducive work conditions that nurture an environment where individuals can grow, learn, and collaborate seamlessly. My role is that of a guide, cultivating an atmosphere where our team collectively reaches new heights. My commitment as a leader is to coach each member toward their untapped potential and provide a guiding light into the future. With that in mind, my advice for emerging leaders in the industry is to find what makes you feel great about your day. Seek out the aspects that fulfil your being and align with that feeling to drive your success in n the commercial printing industry.

Finally, my message to the industry is this: Let’s take pride in the creativity and vast opportunities our industry unfurls. We are the architects of fulfilling and stimulating experiences, providing daily opportunities for personal and professional growth. It’s time to stand tall, be proud, and shout about the wonders our industry brings to people’s lives. As we continue to reach for the stars, let our collective efforts propel us to new heights of innovation and inspiration.

This first appeared in Australian Printer magazine. Read the original article here.

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