Howard Hunt managing director Danny Clarke may be a little bored of Brexit, but what he’s seriously sick of hearing about is paper price increases.
What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?
For our customers, I’d like to see paper prices fixed for 2019. For us – Increased volumes tops my list every year!
What trend (business or technology) do you think 2018 will be remembered for?
The uncertainty of GDPR was significant in 2018, the acceptance and understanding of it along with the new products being bought to market to overcome its challenges will probably be what 2018 is remembered for.
On a personal note, we would like to think that our investment in the HP T240 platform and the possibilities being made available through inkjet technology advances will be an ongoing trend and something that we will certainly associate to 2018.
What do you think will represent the single biggest opportunity for printers in 2019 and why?
I think that the introduction of the partially addressed mail product will offer the largest opportunity for printers, filling the reduction in direct mail that many customers can no longer or are reluctant to use for acquisition mailing.
What do you think will represent the single biggest threat for printers in 2019 and why?
Paper price increases have been staggering this year and is a major contributor to the reduction in volume seen across the industry, our clients’ budgets are already set and there is never an ever-ending pot of excess money for them to dip into. Continued increases into 2019 will likely lead to decreased volume for us, reduced reach for our customers and adds a further barrier to use of the channel.
What’s the one thing that the industry should do more of, or do better, in 2019?
We have experienced a couple of customers this year that were newcomers to the channel and we’re blown away by the possibilities print opened to them and the rewards they were able to reap. More of this education is necessary and whilst the DMA along with Royal Mail’s MarketReach have taken strides in making this a reality, we hope that with the metrics JicMail now has to offer, and a joint effort from all industry leaders, that this will further strengthen the value of the medium.
What was your biggest disappointment in 2018?
I am extremely competitive and so I guess my biggest disappointment is any unsuccessful tender bids. Although I’m extremely proud that the team were able to deliver a record number of contract acquisitions in 2018, its always the few that slip through the cracks that stick with me.
What was your highlight of 2018?
The successful and speedy installation of our inkjet HP press has been a major highlight, and it’s already running at almost full capacity. It was a great investment for us and has helped us to secure some amazing new brands.
What are your hopes for 2019?
We are looking forward to active collaboration within the industry to continue the necessary promotion of the channel and demonstrating its worth in a rapidly changing environment.
What is your one-word view on Brexit?
What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Treat people as you expect to be treated.
What if anything will you do differently in 2019?
Win more tenders!
What was the best Christmas present you ever received?
An Arsenal shirt of course!
Are you making any New Year’s resolutions? If so, what?
I don’t tend to make new year’s resolutions, I make sure I always have a list of goals which end up keeping me busy the whole year through.