When the going gets tough, the tough get going

This article was republished from the May issue of Australian Printer

Grand format specialists in every sense of the phrase, Mesh Direct is one of Australia’s leaders in grand format printing and out-of-home advertising, supplying printed signage nationwide. Delivering on the longevity of its banners and outstanding print quality, the company had to evolve in recent times to keep ahead of customer demands. AP spoke to its director Andrew Doenicke about the company’s recent movements.

Q: Mesh Direct is going from strength to strength, having done several huge projects recently in Sydney. Can you tell us more about these? 

Andrew Doenicke (AD): The business certainly is experiencing rapid growth, something I and the team are very excited about. We have focused heavily on building strong relationships with key construction and event companies all around the country, honing in on businesses who are looking to lessen their carbon footprint while still effectively promoting their business, development or project.

Mesh Direct has a deep connection with many construction and event companies in Australia, offering targeted signage solutions, excellence in customer service and a comprehensive understanding of how signage can take businesses to the next level.

We have recently also expanded our offering to deliver other solutions like the painting of the HYMIX silos. While we could go on for days about the scope of our recent projects, some examples include many jump forms, government infrastructure projects and building wraps across the nation. These include iconic works like the Sydney Town Hall building wrap and the Woolworths building wrap, two projects we were thrilled to be a part of.

Q: What is fuelling Mesh Direct’s upward momentum? 

AD: It’s true that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Like many businesses during the pandemic, we knew that we had to stop and take a closer look at our business, values and the people we wanted to partner with. We hoped that with our excellent products, suppliers and customer service, businesses would see us as a trusted brand. And this is exactly what happened.

Moreover, we try and have an open and ethical workplace that people want to work at. Our team are at the core of what we do, and they’re the reason so many of our clients have been clients for years. At Mesh Direct we truly believe that if you look after your staff, they will look after your customers. 

Q: What have you done to steer change, especially during the ongoing pandemic? 

AD: As was the case with many businesses, the pandemic was an interesting time. The word ‘unprecedented’ was thrown around a lot, but this is honestly a word that accurately describes how Mesh Direct was impacted. Our business had never experienced the tribulations brought on by COVID-19, so we had to think quickly, act quicker and attempt to weather the storm. Mesh Direct did see a decline in some revenue as many of our partners in business pulled back on their advertising and print spending.

One of the most important things, however, is that we were able to retain all staff members which we are eternally grateful for. The business is now stronger than ever and in fact, we are looking to grow our footprint in Victoria and New Zealand, offering businesses a way out of the pandemic with strong, effective print solutions. 

Q: What are some of the biggest growth areas for the business? 

AD: Sustainability is key for Mesh Direct now and will continue to be a key driver in our carbon neutral stance in the market. Soon, we will be looking to develop our messaging, expand our product offering further and importantly, assist other businesses in their mission to becoming carbon neutral. If we did it, so can they! Customer experience is also very important at Mesh Direct and thus, we are looking to nurture relationships with our customers and dive deep into what they want, what they need and what they’d like to see from us. Fortunately, our team understand the need to be partners more than sellers, which makes this easy. 

Q: Mesh Direct has also introduced a Responsible Signage range and a recycling program to give signage a second life. What does this entail?

AD: After becoming the first 100 per cent carbon neutral signage company in Australia, the launch of our very own recycling program brings us one step closer to creating a more sustainable future. The recycling program ensures any old signage doesn’t end up in landfill.

Thanks to TerraCycle’s recycling program, signage gets to live on. It’s a pretty simple process – rather than adding old signage to landfill, customers can send it back to us where we recycle it thanks to TerraCycle. TerraCycle then sorts, processes, and transforms the signage into something new, and something just as functional. As simple as the above sounds, it hasn’t been easy producing recyclable signage. The signage must last in the harsh Australian climate and provide a high-quality print, no matter the substrate. We are continuously developing our recyclable range, to ensure it meets the high standard of signage our customers know us for. 

Q: What is your short- to medium-term vision for Mesh Direct’s future? 

AD: The goal at Mesh Direct is to be the company of choice for businesses looking for sustainable yet high-quality print products. We are also working to ensure our level of expertise is available to customers who need it, whether they’re looking for guidance on the right product to use or assistance with their sustainability goals. As the business continues to digitalise, the team at Mesh Direct are also working to implement helpful, digital tools that enhance the customer experience from start to finish. It’s not an easy feat, but one we’re willing to commit to.

Q: What is your assessment of business requirements in signage in 2022? 

AD: While I can’t look into a crystal ball, I predict some of the most challenging things that face the print industry are freight and stock. It’s never been harder to be part of a global economy, relying on so many external factors to deliver our product to the standard we are known and loved for. However, as the pandemic comes to an end, we hope our interconnectedness with the world becomes easier. Managing expectations will also continue to be a challenge we love to be presented, as it gives the team an opportunity to completely tailor solutions for every business. This is particularly applicable in the grand format space. 

Q: What are the priorities for Mesh Direct moving forward?

AD: Transparency has always been one of the best ways to manage client expectations. Our solutions are tailored to fit a problem, and we work closely with customers to really understand what they’re trying to achieve. Our team is also always upfront and clear, which means customers are never disappointed or underwhelmed with what they receive. I’m confident to say, that we have an excellent satisfaction rating, with many of our clients going on to recommend Mesh Direct to other businesses. Having contingencies is also important, so we can ensure customers are always happy with the outcome. 

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