Our Sales Director, Kelvin Bell gives a round-up of the year…
Sales are up, engagement has increased and most importantly our Chairman is happy with the end of calendar year results! With the last quarter still to go, we can’t take a break just yet!
Lots of exciting new developments around the world
Within the last twelve months, Vpress have won clients from Australia, New Zealand, Dubai just to name a few. We have seen larger than expected growth come from the USA too.
We already have the largest system in terms of orders, users, products and suppliers in place but currently we are building two huge global Print ordering platforms that will greatly exceed previous work which are expected to be up and running by February 2018.
But back in Cheltenham…
It was a slow start to the year while we settled into our new office. However, I think it was the same for everyone in the market due to so many external issues. But it seems as true Brits, we have risen above the economic climate once again to turn around the negatives we talk ourselves into. Summer was a little quiet as everyone took their holidays, but then rose way beyond expectation to a record December.
Behind the scenes, continued to develop Coreprint Web2Print, enhancing its features for Large Format, Social Media templates, and adding new languages such as Welsh to the scores already within the system. (We are still the only true internationalised solution in market!).
It’s not been all work and no play for the team at Vpress. For fourteen years running now, we have brought a number of our valued customers and contacts with us to Wimbledon as our guests. It is now a well-established yearly event for us where we entertain figures in the Print industry whether we work with them or not – it is all about tennis and networking. For once, no famous tennis players or celebrities were tampered with as the attention was mainly on cocktails of choice and a great day had by all!
Changing the Rules of the Game
However, the “game changer” for us this year has been the soft launch of our Elements module. It is still only two phases in but showing already its value to the modern Print Buyer. The end user can make changes to products/artwork and upload files then determine how they want them printed, finished and delivered – all with an instant price.
We think this type of ordering will dominate Web2Print/Print Procurement in the future, in a positive way for printers, reducing time spent on estimates and quotations while tapping in to more of the Print Buyer’s available budget. We’re always happy to tell you more.
New Faces and New Spaces
In order for Vpress to position ourselves for the continued growth we had a bit of a change around and brought Marketing back in house with Amelia joining us in October. So there are some great changes happening starting with an open day at one of our customers Precision Printing’s new location in Dagenham on January 25th … and what a place the new production site is!
There’s been a few trade shows this year too…
In the future, when we reflect over the last few years, I think 2017 will be the year we realised the Print Trade Shows (at least in the UK) had died. After a superb Drupa and a very strong and positive PacPrint in Melbourne back in May; the UK failed to deliver anything of substance with a weak “The Print Show” and disappointing “IPEX 2017” which saw Vpress as the only Web2Print system on display! Both shows had a lack of footfall but some great contacts were made, more so at IPEX despite fewer numbers.
We attended both for way less than budgeted and had some great engagement but these kind of events simply have nothing to offer our modern market.
What seems to work better is the more regional/local and targeted events where you know what we are getting than treated as a footfall competition. While I think there is still a place for Drupa and Graph Expo, the market has now changed and I fear for the future of both these events which have little to offer.
There’s Plenty to Smile About
Although December should have all been about Sales after two months of turning up to the opening of every envelope in Western Europe, DJ’s worn out from rapid dry cleans, the team still needed a party. What better reason to celebrate – Christmas and our M.D. Tim Cox coming 9th in the top 25 Print Week Suppliers List. We all know that this is not the coveted position it once was since Print Week changed the rules and took suppliers out of the Power 100 list, this still was a great achievement for a great personality, networker and someone not shy to talk (says ex Mr 89!).
Vpress are ending the year on a high with a very open minded Web2Print market that is diversifying more into new complementary areas. If you cannot see how technology ties in your customer and promotes growth then you really need to take notice, as 2018 is the year of the ERP/CRM Print Buyer. Where automation from design/order and purchase flows all the way to getting any job onto any press – we do this now! If you need help or advice just ask us or one of our customers.
And finally, everyone at Vpress would like to wish all our customers along with everyone else in this magnificent industry a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! So let’s look forward to an amazing 2018!