The country’s largest offset printer continues to look for ways to improve its performance, and that means taking a wider perspective than the one that demands more ink on more sheets of paper
Geon has completed a busy year since enjoying unparalleled success at the 2011 Pride In Print Awards, where the company took home the supreme prize along with a previously unheard of 24 gold medals.
After enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done, general manager Andrew Durrans let the company’s senior management know that they could not afford to let the grass grow under their feet. He asked the team to come up with a strategic plan that would move the print giant further ahead. He says, “What they have developed is really the next stage of what has been a progression from how the company first formed, from a group of smaller print businesses into one large enterprise that is able to cater to all businesses regardless of size.”
From its inception, the company has operated as a single entity and gave autonomy to its regional branches in terms of site management and operations. Durrans says this won’t change but the company will work better at co-ordinating its strategy as a whole, rather than separate parts. He says, “For instance, one issue is that we might get a request for a job in our Wellington plant that may, for a variety of reasons, be more efficiently done in Auckland or Napier. We can now co-ordinate that. As part of this national restructure we have appointed Chris Wise as national sales and marketing manager and Craig Wallis as national operations manager.”
Geon divides its New Zealand operations into two regions. Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth and Tauranga make up its northern region with its southern region comprising Christchurch, Wellington, Palmerston North and Napier. Chris Wise says the company can now take full advantage of its widespread capabilities and geographical footprint. He says, “In terms of sales and marketing for New Zealand, our northern and southern sales teams can now focus on profitable growth and get the right balance between working out of each region and each region belonging to a larger group.”
He believes the realignment will assist open communication within the company and with its customers. He says, “From a sales perspective, it allows us to put initiatives in place nationally and we can now report on common platforms. That gives us greater visibility, allowing us to focus on our core business and our customers. It’s also about consistent and regular communication with our staff. We can roll out strategies on a national basis, which are actioned more effectively providing better response and results with our stakeholders. In July we are excited to reinforce our national led strategy by having our first truly national sales conference.”
Focus on growth areas
Geon’s new national operations manager, Craig Wallis, sees the realignment as a progressive move for the company. He says, “The key for our customers is that we can now produce work in the most cost-effective location. We are discovering new strengths in our people, our capabilities and our intellectual know how throughout all of New Zealand. We now have a structure to better utilise our combined expertise.”
He adds that the company can now focus on growth areas. He says, “For instance, areas such as mailing, design and logistics can complement our existing capabilities in offset, digital and wide format printing. We have product specialists in each area and, with the new alignment, we can move outside of what we did before.”
Magic for the customers
Andrew Durrans sees the company’s offering changing as the market demands. He says, “We have been growing our non-offset capabilities and we will continue to do that. Selling surplus offset equipment has enabled us to reinvest cash into our growth areas. We find a larger portion of our revenue coming from non-traditional print customers, which actually leads to new print work. This realignment is helping us identify new revenue streams that complement our core business of print.”
In print, as in other businesses, successful companies consider their customers first. He adds, “If you think about it, for most customers, print is often a by-product of what they want. We continually re-evaluate our processes in an effort to improve our service to our customers. Another benefit of this national realignment is that we can better engage with our staff members who now have a much greater visibility of our total market offering.”
The company has no doubt that technology will continue to drastically change the face of our print industry. However, despite the imminent advent of nanography; the effects of inkjet web; and the influence of the internet, Andrew Durrans takes a realistic view of the economic and print environment in New Zealand.
He concludes, “Our customers want the magic, they want results from the products and services we provide – it’s a competitive environment for all of us and it is our job to make it happen for our customers.”