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Close Brothers

Print industry ‘yet to feel effects of Brexit’

Research from Close Brothers has revealed the supply chain concerns UK SMEs from multiple sectors have regarding Brexit, including the Print sector.

The asset finance specialist polled 900 businesses – while 56% say they have felt no impact on levels of business from the UK’s decision to leave the EU, a further 20% said it was too early to tell; only 24% had felt any kind of effect.

In the Print sector, Close Brothers says the results closely reflected those of the UK as a whole, which means it’s clear that the majority of Print businesses are yet to feel any real and tangible effect from Brexit.

In terms of spending decisions, more than three quarters (76%) of businesses have not delayed spending or investment decisions because of the EU Referendum.

Roger Aust, Managing Director of Close Brothers Asset Finance Print division, said: “Once again, Print businesses reflected exactly the national picture, but what is interesting to note is that 88% of smaller firms – those with a turnover of between £250k to £500k – were the least liable to allow the EU referendum stop them from pushing their business forward and investing.

“Close Brothers has a history of lending through all economic cycles, and experience tells us that these organisations aren’t sitting on large reserves of cash, meaning that in order to maintain business levels they typically don’t have a choice but to spend and invest to ensure a sustainable flow of cash.

“Firms don’t become unviable overnight; we see it as our responsibility to do what we can to ensure our customers, who are in the main SMEs, remain in business and can build towards a profitable future.

“One alternative to consider is restructuring your business finances to make any rise in costs easier to deal with. A great way to do this is through asset finance, which is where our team of experts at Close Brothers Asset Finance can help.

“Print is a significant player in the UK economy but there are ways to mitigate the risks and still have a productive and successful business.”

Coherence arrives with a bid to challenge industry model

A new digital agency Coherence has launched, with ambitions to create an empowering ‘autonomous’ culture, where brands use new technology to speed up development of websites and online projects.

Previously known as Emosaic, Coherence has a 20-year heritage, with clients spanning private companies, public services and institutions across multiple verticals, including Close Brothers, NHS, Mothercare and Truprint.

“At the heart of Coherence is a belief that marketing now needs to be done differently. The days where agencies take campaign briefs from clients then create and manage everything end-to-end are coming to an end,” said Drew Griffiths, MD of Coherence. “Rebranding to Coherence reflects our new way of working, which is based around Cohesion DX8, our proprietary technology. We are launching a pioneering new proposition into the agency and technology market that will change the way brands’ digital teams work.”

Cohesion DX8 is a productivity toolkit that uses Drupal 8 as its core platform. It allows brands to build enterprise level websites faster, with less resource and with more control, representing a significant development in enterprise CMS solutions.

Coherence has created a framework that allows brands to do significantly more tasks internally, allowing them to be agile and less dependent on their digital agency. New services include personalisation, multi-site and multi-lingual capabilities, application development and service design plus more aggressive conversion rate optimisation.

The DX8 technology can also be white-labelled by other digital agencies.

“Old processes and workflows need to redefined – it’s no longer acceptable to take six weeks to get a new landing page test live,” continued Griffiths. “Inflexible teams are not the best way to manage marketing today and deliver on business strategies. Agility matters. Our technology empowers brands to do more, while the agency supports them with specialist skills and knowledge when needed. Our goal is to make ourselves redundant from any given project. There is a fundamental shift happening to the way web development agencies work.”

Digital industry veteran Craig Hanna has joined the board of Coherence as business director. Previously a member of the senior management team at Econsultancy, Hanna has over twenty years’ experience in both marketing and digital transformation, advising companies ranging from SMEs to Fortune 250 brands.

Close Brothers

Digital Finance Initiative Launched By Close Bothers

A new initiative to provide soft lending against digital print assets for UK SME printers has been announced by Close Brothers Asset Finance.

The product will enable businesses to fund digital assets without the need to provide any deposit or guarantees, helping printers preserve cash and also help them to make a quick decision in a fast-moving part of the market.

David Bunker, assistant managing director of Close Brothers Asset Finance’s print division, said: “We’ve had our eye on the digital market for some time. Everybody’s been talking about it for so many years but now nearly every print company has some sort of digital print engine, some more than others.”

The traditional banking view held by Bunker was that digital printers represent little value, making them a challenge to underwrite, with this being the main reason that the vendors themselves have often provided finance.

Bunker added: “We’ve seen a space in the market where customers want something that’s not related to consumables. With this we are underwriting the customer rather than the asset, so it’s a traditional hire purchase to fund the machine over three or four years. Using hire purchase instead of renting the asset they get the tax benefit from it and so it’s been a customer-driven product really.”

Any type of new or ex-demo digital production printing machines will be considered through the initiative, including high-speed, high-capacity printers for commercial printing and in-house departments to continuous -feed printers for high-volume printing.