Melbourne shop takes on print managers who are ‘only it for themselves’

PMS Lithography’s investment in a second-hand KBA Rapida 162a reflects its determination to counter unrealistic pricing with quality and speed-to-market, according to managing director Theo Prosenica.

“You’ve got to invest. If you let your gear get too old or don’t come up with new ideas or move with the clients, you’re not going to get work,” he told ProPrint.

“Unless we invest in equipment here so we can take on the overseas suppliers, namely China, we won’t stay in business,” he said.

“I believe in the print market in Australia. It’s still strong. The only problem is the print procurement companies and brokers that have no interest in seeing our industry remain strong. They’re only in it for a buck for themselves.”

Prosenica said the Rapida would give the 30-staff outfit “the ability to go to the market and let everybody know what we can do”.

“Clients can go directly to the source and pay 5-15% less than they pay the broker,” he said.

“Printers have to be a lot smarter in the way we look after our clients. If they need that total management solution, we have to offer that and not be lazy.

“[Print managers] take no risk, employ nobody, and if the client wants that sort of management, we’ve got to give it.”

PMS also has a five-colour Manroland 800, five-colour A1 Ryobi 925, two large-format Epson roll-fed printers and an Océ Arizona GT350 flatbed.

The Rapida arrived on 6 July along with engineers from Europe. It was installed over the next month, before beginning full-scale production on 9 August.

“It’s very user-friendly once you know the controls,” said Prosenica.

“The Manroland 800 is a great machine and will go another 25 years, but this machine will makeready in about a third of the time. We’ll get a lot more done…

“If [the Rapida] is half as reliable as the Manroland has been, I’ll be extremely happy,” he said.

Prosenica told ProPrint that he had considered buying another Manroland instead, but was concerned about the manufacturer’s future after it filed for insolvency in November.

Half of PMS’s work is large format, while the company also does commercial sheetfed printing (40%) and specialty packaging for Australia Post (10%), according to Prosenica.

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