The Winning the War on Waste conference provided an assembled audience of more than 140 print and packaging business representatives with some sound advice if they are to tackle the tough climate conditions the industry is currently facing.
The Vision in Print’s 7th Annual conference adopted 3 key themes;
- New Technology – How the latest technology offers great productivity improvements
- Green Issues – Getting the real benefits from Environmental Management
- Lean Activities – How cutting waste offers rapid savings and aids the environment.
In opening the conference, former PIRA Managing Director Mike Hancock warned, “In terms of volume, from 2008-2020 the forecasts are that total demand will decline by almost a third. We have to prepare for this sort of decline in our industry.”
He also felt that there would be a real impact on demand for paper and print felt by printers as environmental concerns lead to reduced consumption.
He stressed that printers will need to be flexible enough to react to industry changes and also have a lean high efficiency production cost base.
During the course of the day delegates had heard a range of case study best practice examples provided by 10 guest industry speakers.
These included Vincent Gildey, Managing Director of Howitt; Stuart Kellock and Joe Bennaton of Label Apeel and Mike Owens, General Manager of Benson Box, who tackled the three main key theme areas.
Vincent gave an insight into how a lean approach can help improve a company’s workflows and practices. Mike explained how Benson Box had become the first print and packaging company to achieve certification to the new ISO-12647/2 certification process, whilst Stuart and Joe revealed how the successful implementation of a waste reduction programme had helped achieve significant cost savings and improve business efficiencies.
Other case study insights were provided by A1 Print, ESP Colour, Kingfisher Print & Design, GI Solutions, Dobson & Crowther, Liberty services, and Newsprinters, Boxbourne.
In closing the event, the Vision in Print conference delegates also heard from guest keynote speaker Lord Heseltine, owner of global publishing company Haymarket and an active supporter of the current coalition Government.
Lord Heseltine revealed how initially when establishing Haymarket as a publishing business he had steered clear of both Fleet Street and the print unions of the 1950’s and 60’s.
Although admitting he was not a printer, he indicated he was a print customer, and therefore had an appreciation of some of the impacts the print community and its respective business are facing today.
He warned delegates that, “The recession has done quite a lot of damage to the scale of the industry, coupled with it also facing low margins and not helped by over-capacity.”
“However, the big debate of the day is what will happen in the next few years to the British economy,” he warned. Some forecasters, he said, were predicting heavy job losses but there are some green lights on the horizon, with Lord Heseltine stressing the print industry was in a fabulous position to respond to recent announcements and forthcoming events such as the Royal Wedding next year and Olympics in 2012.
Reviewing the day, Richard Gray, Commercial Director at the BPIF, commented that, “Once again the large and active conference audience demonstrated that Vision in Print has established a successful track record of prompting necessary change into the UK Print industry. A major body of printers now accept that they must constantly strive to achieve continuous improvement in order to remain competitive and that the tools and techniques the ViP offers is a major contribution to that challenging task.”
The Winning the War on Waste conference was held on 22 November at the Lancaster London Hotel.