By Tony Mills – Print-Rite Europe CEO.
I joined Print-Rite Europe 12 months ago, or more accurately re-joined after a gap of 17 years!
As a Group I found the same rock solid business ethics and attitude to innovate and progress as I remembered from years before. And the Print Rite Europe business remained well-run and well-organised. Yes, all of that but maybe just a little bit set in our ways.
So 12 months on we have grown, developed and very clearly reminded ourselves and the market that we are “open for business”. Result? Significantly higher sales and even more important, higher expectations and confidence for the future.
So why and how has this happened?
Simple really. It’s about the people. And in Print Rite Europe there is a burning commitment from top to bottom, bottom to top to try, to give things a chance, to make a mistake – once – and move on with more knowledge and experience.
This all with broadly the same people but more drive and motivation achieved by:
• Recognition – including our employee of the month award and twice monthly staff liaison group.
• Information – management know, understand and review the status of the business every minute every day, not once a month at a Board meeting.
• Sharing – daily and cumulative sales are reported to all staff every day. And they care what the numbers are and strive to meet the next target.
• Job roles – listening to people and assessing their skill sets has led to a number of cross-departmental re-deployments and promotions.
• Trust and respect for colleagues who have the knowledge and experience but whose voices have not always been heard.
• Team spirit – A perfect example of this was our 35th anniversary charity excercise bike ride – all 5,944 miles of it (the distance to Print-Rite in China). Many of our team took part, and we even got the local MP, Nigel Mills, to take a turn when he visited!
• Work-rate and activity, perhaps best described by a packing and warehouse department with the same staff levels, now routinely shipping 50% more product every day.
• Support from Headquarters including a visit by Group Chairman, Mr Arnald Ho to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the acquisition of the company. We also had a great party!
You know that’s it really. No magic potions, no text book business improvement implementation, just a framework giving people, real people, the chance to contribute to the success of the business in an enjoyable, friendly and positive environment.
Here’s to the next 12 months.