Southend-based printers, Solopress celebrate producing their 2,000,000th order after almost 20 years in business, marking the occasion by giving away a £1,200 tech bundle to one lucky customer. Nearly 2 years on from becoming a part of the Onlineprinters group, Solopress have gone from strength to strength, recently appointing Simon Cooper as their new Managing Director to head the industry-leading company. Hitting this milestone has been a huge success for the £30m turnover business which has had rapid growth over the past 14 years. A large part of Solopress' success can be attributed to their quick turnaround times. Solopress deliver around 77% of jobs within 24 hours and are supported by 19,000 customers who have rated them as 'Excellent' on Trustpilot.

Fashion is a circle: trends, we know, tend to come back and become new must-haves. And it is precisely from the fashion world that appreciation for the printed paper has recently emerged. In February, Dolce&Gabbana gave an interview to Vogue Italia to the cry of “Power to the Press”, highlighting the charismatic force of printed paper, a media chosen by the two designers for their new Spring/Summer 2019 advertising campaign. On the same wavelength also Giorgio Armani, who in an exclusive interview for Il Sole24Ore declared his love for printed paper: “I have a special relationship, a physical one, with paper: I like the typical smell of a freshly printed newspaper, the crispness of the glossy pages of a magazine. It may sound strange, but I always have the feeling that printed words and images can be touched, that they become eternal”.

Organised by the Printing and Publishing Institute Japan and Horizon, 25 high-ranking printing and digitization experts from the Japan Business Forms Association paid a visit to Onlineprinters on 28 February. The company is among the market leaders in online printing in Europe. The focus of the visit was on the exchange regarding topics such as e-commerce and innovation as well as on digital production processes. Following a presentation on success factors in e-commerce, the Japanese experts toured Onlineprinters’ largest production site, located in Neustadt an der Aisch, Germany, where over 2.5 billion printed products are produced every year.

In spite of the fact that the industry's doom has been predicted several times, the European printing sector continues to flourish, generating an annual revenue of EUR 80 billion. “Companies that embrace the transformation have significant growth opportunities," says Michael Fries, the CEO of Onlineprinters. The international group of companies is one of the top 3 online print providers in Europe.

The continuous growth of e-commerce offers interesting opportunities for those who operate in the web-to-print world. "We are in a favorable situation from an economic and cultural perspective for those who, like us, offer online professional services, but we need to remember that the growing popularity of online shopping is not the only requirement for successful growth. The market is filling up with competitors and the battle cannot be won only with promotions and low-cost offers", says Vincenzo Cirimele - CEO of PressUP, a leading online printing company in Italy. This is also the premise for the announcement of PressUP’s new strategy for the next three years: "We intend to achieve the growth objectives that we have set for ourselves by providing holistic solution based on the client-oriented philosophy that distinguishes our business focus", explains Cirimele. "The fusion of the traditional online product catalogs implies a simpler offer, in order to grow we need to differentiate ourselves from the rest". Selling online implies an impersonality in the relationship with the customer but PressUP overcomes it in a prominent way thanks to the unique customer service they offer through their Customer Care and the special management of requests that go beyond what is offered in the catalog.

Leading online store, Selectequip, has recently refurbished their Wakefield sign company and subsequently been shortlisted for a best small business award. The new showroom-type environment allows business clients to view their capabilities in a comfortable surrounding while also allowing them to hold their own meetings in the new 16-seater boardroom. With strong growth over the last 18 months, Selectequip’s investment in a Mimaki JFX200-2531 and Kongsberg X24 Starter, purchased from CMYUK, has allowed them to keep up with increasing demand.

An increasing number of marketing professionals use the benefits of custom packaging for sales promotions at exhibitions and for seasonal customer campaigns. A good reason for Onlineprinters, leader in the online print market, to enter the packaging market. “Our customers want to get their print products quickly. They don't have time to get quotes and negotiate prices. What is more, advertising specialists today don't want to order 1,000 packaging boxes if they only need a hundred or so for their next campaign or promo event,” explains Christian Würst, CCO of online print provider Onlineprinters. The group of companies produces more than 2.5 billion printings each year and operates highly integrated business processes from web shop to shipping. “This also allows us to produce short runs at fair prices. Packaging has become affordable for everyone,” Würst continues.

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