Printers told to embrace change at industry review night

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This was the stark message from Hagop Tchamkertenian, the Printing Industries Association of Australia’s national manager for policy and government affairs, at the annual industry review night of the Junior Printing Executives and Lithographic Institute of Australia.

He told the 40 guests that they had to seriously consider new ways of operating given how the industry was rapidly evolving.

The number of business in printing and services to printing fell from 7,900 in 2006 to 5,500 in 2011, said Tchamkertenian. There was also a 17% fall in revenue and 8% drop in employment in the same period.

He said printers could become commercially sustainable if they were prepared to consider such measures as introducing new services, forming business alliances, embracing rigorous planning and benchmarking and even changing name to reflect new commercial models.

He described small-town operator Print Storm as an example to follow because it was internet-savvy, good at marketing, willing to diversify and open to new technology.

BT Financial Group’s chief economist, Chris Caton, also spoke at the evening event.

He said there was no general advice he could pass on to business owners given the uneven, two-speed nature of the Australian economy.

“Business conditions in Australia on average have to be the envy of the world, but it’s a funny average,” he said.

Caton predicted a fall in the Australian dollar, a rise in the share market and that Australia would enjoy the most growth of any developed economy in the next decade.

He also said America and Europe were on the road to recovery, but that Chinese growth would eventually slow.

The event was held on 3 April at Club Five Dock in Sydney.

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