Print is far from dead

Anyone who believes print has had its day couldn’t be more wrong. A quick look around our thriving business community is proof enough that print is enjoying a resurgence as businesses create increased demand for business cards, brochures, signage, corporate gifts and publications like this.

In fact, the managing director of one of our city’s leading print companies, Steve Wagstaff of Pure Print, is the first to agree that there is real growth across all print services thanks in part to our local economy but also due to the significant changes that have taken place over the past 10 years making the print industry more innovative, efficient and effective.

“We’re a vibrant community with a lot of new businesses moving here – it’s quite a busy place to be,” agrees Steve. “People still like having some information in hard copy rather than just on their computer so there is still very much a place for printing and demand is growing.”

Having started his career in print over 30 years ago, Steve has experienced the highs and lows of his chosen industry but has always stood by his belief that customer service must come first. It is largely due to this philosophy that has seen his business survive the huge changes in this market over the past 10 years.

“We purchased our first print company when we moved to Tauranga in 2002, at a time when there was a copy shop or print supplier virtually on every corner,” explains Steve.

As desktop printers became more affordable and people moved to using more online communications, the impact was felt throughout the industry with almost all our corner copy shops now no-longer operating. Printing companies merged to provide a stronger combined service and others simply sold up and moved on.

Taking the time to personally drop off jobs, putting customer service first and reinvesting into the business are key strategies which Steve believes has not only kept their business alive but seen them thrive in the vastly changed landscape of the printing services market in Tauranga.

“In 2004 we purchased one of our top machines which is still an import piece of equipment today,” says Steve. “We have managed to stay competitive not only through our attention to customer service but also by reinvesting in the business with new technology and equipment.”

Pure Print also joined forces with two other print companies in 2004 and 2015 respectively which significantly increased their expertise and machinery. Today their team of 17 full time employees is largely comprised of people who have also built their careers in print, bringing a wealth of knowledge to every print project their manage.

Thanks to his background in print machinery, in particular working for Heidelberg in Germany, England, Australia & New Zealand, Steve has a real passion for and interest in the new technology and equipment which, he believes, will see the industry thrive well into the next generation.

“In terms of technology, digital machines are continuing to improve in speed and quality,” says Steve. “The drive in this area is to meet growing customer demand for shorter print runs, delivered faster and to a much higher quality – even the same quality as off-set printing.”

After 15 years owning and managing Pure Print in Tauranga, Steve and his team are still very enthusiastic about the future of print and opportunities for growth in this region.

-As published by Bay of Plenty Business News, October 2017


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