GSM Blog - read more about print on paper.

Printing Plus – Diversity in the Printing Industry

diversity in print

In an ever changing business environment—Diversity— can be one way to ensure longevity. GSM talks to Sam Blenkiron from Mirage Visual on the topic>

—with Sam Blenkiron @Mirage Visual
Sam BlenkironEstablished in 1982, Mirage Visual in Palmerston North have grown from a traditional printery to a company offering wide diversity. Over recent times they have brought together a suite of creative services, strategic communications & digital marketing, production and distribution. How has Mirage Visual grown it’s services to deliver end-to-end solutions—and still deliver exceptional results?


GSM: What services do Mirage Visual offer?

Sam: Our creative department covers everything from marketing & communication, visual design, structural design, web development and motion design. We can then offset or digital print any project as well as produce point of sale, signage and displays. We also have a division dedicated to promotional merchandise and corporate gifts. Once produced, we offer our clients the option for storage, 3PL (third Party Logistics) solutions and dispatch. It’s basically a one stop shop.

GSM: What is the reasoning behind offering such diversity?

Sam: Mirage have chosen to offer a complete but focused package to our clients. We’ve geared the company to be as agile as possible to adapt to the ever changing requirements of our clients.

GSM: How do you choose which services to offer?

Sam: By listening to our customers’ needs and requirements—we tend to focus on servicing a few customers really well as opposed to a fish and chip shop style approach.

GSM: How has this helped you grow?

Sam: We have the mindset of being open to change. This means that where there is a need, there is an opportunity to grow and flourish.

GSM: What are some of the challenges this has created?

Sam: Finding the right team who are of the same mindset.

GSM: Why is ‘mindset’ an issue?

Sam: Some staff find change hard while others really thrive on it. We try to build a team who are open adopters of change, new systems and technologies.

GSM: What are the benefits of offering a wide range of services?

Sam: Though we offer a wide variety of services we do have different specialists internally who run their respective areas. This means our clients have sound assurance they are dealing with the right company. Our approach
is wide but still very focused.

GSM: Has there also had to be a change in thinking within management to make this happen?

Sam: While our managers look after their own respective areas they are always open to better ways of completing work within those areas. From lean manufacturing changes to new technology, being open to change ensures
we move forward and not backwards.

GSM: From a plant / company structure / technology / hardware perspective —how has the company had to change or adapt to pursue this diversity business model? Example; getting into creative services is quite different to being a printery—were there teething problems with this? What were they? How did you overcome these?

Sam: By recruiting the right team of people. Any new markets we entered we had our eyes wide open as obviously we don’t want to offer products or services we can’t stand by. Our aim is to offer an advantage for our customers.

GSM: Could you share some thoughts on whether being in a smaller town makes this diversity model more / less relevant?

Sam: We are based in a central distribution hub for NZ, with overnight freight services to most of the country. This allows us to be well placed to offer our clients speedy campaign rollouts which is a tick in the box for many
of our clients who are based offshore.

GSM: How has this diversity direction strengthened / improved the business? Has it changed the volume of print work you do?

Sam: We aim to be loved by our clients and seen as an extension of their own marketing team. We do this by keeping close to our customers and finding solutions for them. With the diverse nature of our services we are able to juggle when some areas are up or down—overall it balances out.

GSM: And finally, what does this mean for the future of the company? Where do you see opportunities for further diversity?

Sam: We are always looking at opportunities and the moment we stop is perhaps the moment I should get out of the business. Next year we celebrate our 40th year in business—our company accountant is always telling us to only work for A & B rated clients and this advice hasn’t seen us wrong so far.

This article was originally published in GSM18. To read this, and other great articles, purchase this issue here.