Putting a new Spin on work reaps rewards

BIG PRINT: Dan Brook, director of Spin Print, stood in front of the new large format printing press.BIG PRINT: Dan Brook, director of Spin Print, stood in front of the new large format printing press.
BIG PRINT: Dan Brook, director of Spin Print, stood in front of the new large format printing press.
Fresh blood is needed in the print industry but a small firm in the region may have found the answer by offering more variety to employees.

Barnsley-based Spin Print said its workforce is much younger than that of many firms in the industry because of its engagement with employees.

Dan Brook, director at Spin Print, told The Yorkshire Post that being based in the region was an advantage when it came to recruitment but that the average age of people in the print industry was probably over 40.

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He said: “It’s quite hard getting younger people into it. It’s quite easy getting them into the studio side of it – doing the artworking, the design, online and web side of it. But actually getting them into working on presses is quite hard. I don’t think it’s classed as a sexy industry.”

Despite this Mr Brook, who himself trained as a graphic designer before moving into print, says Spin Print has a younger workforce.

“We’ve got a fairly young workforce. The majority of press minders are in their 30s. I don’t think there will be many other print companies with that kind of age group – a lot of them are over 40 into their 50s,” he said.

Instead of getting employees to work on just one printing press Spin Print allows its staff to change machines, even swap roles to keep them engaged.

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Staff retention rates are high at the firm as a result of the variety.

The group, which has just spent £125,000 installing a large format inkjet printing press, also consults with staff before purchasing new machinery. “They will be operating it, we want them to be happy with it,” said Mr Brook.

“Finances come into it to a certain extent as well but we keep them involved in the choices that we make as a company,” he added.

The new printing press will enable the trade printer to do more point of sale, an area which it says it was missing out on.

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Mr Brook said: “It will print up to a maximum size of two metres by three metres. It can print on paper or it can print on cupboard doors. It literally can print on anything – glass, wood, metal, with really good quality.”

Spin Print is also eyeing further investment with approximately £250,000 being spent on a new digital printing press in addition to the large format printer.

“As a business we’ve always invested in new technology. Even through the credit crash, we had in 2008-09, we kept investing in new equipment,” said Mr Brook.

“It means we can produce things cost effectively and quickly while giving a really good service and turnaround times,” he added.

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Digital has probably been the biggest development since Spin Print was established by Mr Brook and Glyn Johnson in 2005, with the business introducing digital printing seven years ago.

The company like many other print firms is now focusing on cross-selling opportunities and offering other marketing services.

Mr Brook said: “It’s not just about ink on paper, which we do, it’s also about the full marketing package. With the marketing mix now you can get a lot better return on investment if you can do your marketing over different aspects.”

A lot of the print is now personalised, more targeted and focused on individuals, says Mr Brook.

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“The customers are getting a proper personalised piece of literature that they are interested in. It’s not just going straight in the bin.”

Sprint Print currently employs 28 people and has a turnover of £2m.

The firm says it hopes to increase the headcount to 35 by the end of the year and increase turnover by £300,000 to £500,000 as a result of its latest investment.

Focus always on service

The print industry has gone through a tough time in recent years, with the crippling effects of the recession.

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But Spin Print says a focus on service and continual investment in equipment has helped it grow.

Dan Brook said: “It has been difficult but our focus has always been on service.

“And to provide that service we’re always investing in new equipment and investing in the people and the staff that we have got as well.

“I think certainly through the tougher times of 2008-09 that stood us in really good stead with our customers in that we started growing as a company at that point.”

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