Business owners seeing Future Print results

Owners of Adelaide printer Openbook Howden say the Future Print business transformation project has helped it grow at ‘little or no cost’.

Michael Richards and Sarah Leo took over the full-service outfit from founders Ashley Richards (Michael’s father) and Keith Kemp a year ago with ‘ambitious plans’ to take the company to the next level.

The pair are early Future Print participants, entering in an effort to broaden their revenue base and promote long term growth, and now say it offers valuable services.

“Refining our ideas, evaluating them, and then putting them into action in an operational sense, is always a challenge,” Richards says.

“Future Print has given us information, resources and assistance which is helping us do just that.”

[Related: More Future Print news]

Working with Future Print advisor Mark Ryan, they received counselling on how to increase efficiency and reduce costs, marketing and sales strategies, human resources, and strategic planning.

Leo says the coaching has helped to crystallise their ideas, and given them a kick to put their plans into action.

“We had good infrastructure and resources, and already had a good idea of the direction we wanted to head in but working with Mark has helped us refine our ideas and focus on the work we need to do to achieve those results,” she says.

“It is easy to get caught up in the day to day of running a business, so having a mentor with you, coaching, encouraging and giving you a bit of a push when you need it is valuable.

“It has helped us put the detail into our plans, provided a sounding board for ideas and given us the motivation to put plans into action without procrastinating.”

The company is now working on some complementary offerings which it hopes will add value for clients and broaden its revenue base.

It already offers graphic design, pre-press and print management support for the range of products it offers, which include corporate stationery, labels and packaging, school diaries, multi-part forms, short run digital with variable data and a specialist expertise in book publishing.

Openbook also intends to develop its own existing staff using the program, and bring in fresh talent to help it expand in new areas.

“Clients today expect much more from us. They expect advice and a wider range of services. They do not see us as just a printer, they are looking to us as an adviser and partner in their communications efforts,” Richards says.

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