Blue Star cuts more staff as it completes Silverwater site merge

Whilst Blue Star managing director Chris Mitchell (pictured) would not be drawn on exactly how many staff members had been shed in the move, industry sources informed ProPrint that at least 21 production staff had been cut.


“We don’t talk about specific numbers,” Mitchell said.


“The only reason we don’t mention that is the amount of people we employ could be used as competitive intelligence, so we tend to keep that stuff fairly private.”


The cuts were part of a consolidation project which saw the former McMillan Print facility in Granville closed and its staff and equipment moved to Blue Star’s Silverwater site. Blue Star acquired McMillan in 2007.


“This really is just the culmination of the merging of two facilities,” Mitchell said.


“It’s a fairly significant project, probably one of the largest in the industry. It’s all centred on the growth strategy we outlined nine months ago.”


The move included the purchase of over $10 million in new kit, with a new HP Indigo 5500 digital press and Heidelberg XL 75 press now “on site, commissioned, and productive”, according to Mitchell. The project also saw a series of technology upgrades at the Silverwater site that Mitchell said were centred on “IT and process”.


Last month also saw the company unveil its new direct marketing facility in the Sydney suburb of Homebush, which included the purchase of a new Xerox iGen4 digital press.


In January this year, Mitchell told ProPrint that the McMillan merger was part of a long-term strategy to consolidate its web, sheetfed and digital print capabilities.


“We’ll be focusing the business around the ‘four legs of the chair’ – sheetfed and digital, direct mail, print management – and obviously carry on with the WebStar strategy,” he said.


“This is really about continuing that focus in the digital and sheetfed area to bring all that capability into a single site. We see a lot of benefits in having all web, sheet and digital in the one location in Silverwater.


“We’re very confident this will really set us up for a big growth platform for Sydney, with all that capability in one location.”


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