Printers grappled with the challenges of the print industry in the next five years at the first of the Panel discussions held during PrintEx. On the panel were a range of industry figures including, Andrew Cester, managing director of Whirlwind print; Kellie Northwood, chief executive of Two Sides Australia; Debbie Burgess, finance marketing director of Bright Print; Geoff Hunt, general manager at Momento; and Luke Wooldridge, GAMAA executive member and Treasurer, all of whom discussed Perspectives on Print – The Challenges Ahead. The panel was hosted by PMG chairman Shankar Vishwanath.
After a short introduction the panel spoke about what they thought were the challenges of the print industry with Cester saying that businesses, to cope with the fast changes to the industry driven by digital, need to adopt new income streams to stay abreast of the challenges. Fourth generation printer Burgess says it is ‘quite easy to get attached to multi-million dollar equipment lying on the factory floor’ but business owners need to look to the future and ‘let go’. She says it will be to the detriment of a business owner to stay with their equipment and not change with the times as ‘we don’t have time on our side’ due to new inventions and fast changing technology. Federal president of Lithographic Institute of Australia, Wooldridge says the industry is facing another challenge, and that is attracting the next generation of people to print. Wooldridge says, “PIAA has been doing some great work with the Future Print initiative, which has seen a lot of apprentices take up print, but we need printers to open their doors and encourage young apprentices to ensure the future of the industry is strong.” Vishwanath says the packed room was indicative of the concern printers have about the future of their business and where it is going. “The topic we choose is an important subject as the uncertainty in the industry has many printers questioning where their business is going and what they need to do to stay on top. “We invited industry leaders to share their visions and thoughts on the future of the industry, which judging from the audience engagement showed was the right move. “We are hosting another panel discussion tomorrow at 10am and encourage printers and industry figures to join us as we discuss the future challenges.” The panel discussion tomorrow will be held at Business and Efficiency theatre at PrintEx, held in Sydney Olympic Park, with PIAA president David Leach, Kellie Northwood from Two Sides Australia, Naresh Gulati from OCA group, Michael Warshall, Nulab executive director, and Geoff Hunt, general manager at Momento, discussing the future of print.
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