"Ongoing training is critically important for long-term survival of SMEs, especially for company owners. It modifies your thinking and gets you working on the business."
Diarmuid Everard, Owner, PrintCom
- Ensuring business survival in a competitive market
- Decreasing overheads and converting queries to sales
Diarmuid Everard, owner of PrintCom, saw a dramatic change in his business back when demand collapsed for paper-based billing. They had a team of 29 people working with purpose-built equipment, for a type of paper that clients stopped buying.
With new technology on the rise and after losing major clients, PrintCom had to effectively start again. The solution was to downsize, rebrand and find a whole new range of products.
It was this challenge that led Diarmuid to engage with the Design, Print and Packaging Skillnet. His first-hand experience of how the industry was changing helped shape the training for his team. The training set out to modernise their services and improve efficiency.
Thanks to the Design, Print and Packaging Skillnet’s highly subsidised courses, PrintCom could afford to retain and retrain the team, establish lean manufacturing processes and focus on efficiencies in the sales cycle to future proof the business from further industry shifts.
- Staff retention, zero % staff turnover since 2012
- Conversion rates of enquiries to orders improved from 50% to 67%
Design, Print & Packaging Skillnet has supported PrintCom throughout their journey. The investment in training had a huge impact on their overall business strategy. Every penny spent on training, was returned in spades with each team member embracing the new operating practices. PrintCom followed the GROW principle which created a tight-knit group and a strong culture of teamwork.
PrintCom set out to decrease their overheads by making all their functions better, seeking small incremental improvements on all processes rather than a big bang effect.
Diarmuid recognised the value in training both for his business and the industry:
“Because of the training our company and staff have a willingness to investigate new things and try them, a learning mindset has been a big help with this. The more you train the more your attitude changes, the more responsive you are to new thinking. It helps you to think differently, gets you out of the trenches to spend some time planning; the speed at which technology is encroaching on our industry and businesses is phenomenal, our industry needs to be better at upskilling and reskilling.”
As an SME owner-manager, the risk is that you prioritise retraining the team over your own development needs. Diarmuid recognised that he needed to challenge his own thinking in order to deliver more effectively for the business and undertook a Masters in Professional Practice via the Design Print & Packaging Skillnet, the impact of which was transformational to the business:
“I stopped running the company and handed it over to be managed internally. I identified my best role was in sales and business development. Business owners will train staff but they won’t train themselves. You can spend too long in the engine room, heading for the rocks. But it’s training that gets you working on the business.”