08 Aug 2016by PW Client
Young Executive of the Year Barracks for Print
Murray Scott is only 37 years old, but he sees an exciting long-term future for the print industry, and he’s keen to be part of it.
Winner of last year’s Western Australian Young Executive of the Year title, Murray represented WA and took out the 2016 national gong.
‘It’s good to know you’re on the right track and that your industry peers acknowledge what you are doing, and how you go about it,’ he told Media Super.
Since he left school, Murray Scott has lived, eaten and breathed printing. Over the years he has qualified as a printer, added a bachelor’s degree in commerce and guided both a brand development, graphic and web design agency and a digital print and mailing house to success.
Finding a point of difference
Now at Picton Press in Perth, Murray is very clear-eyed about what the future has to offer.
‘We recognised early that we needed a point of difference. Any printer can buy the latest equipment, but it’s how they operate the equipment that matters. Our focus on cutting edge technology is just one side of the equation. We then add efficiencies that our clients can’t get elsewhere,’ he said.
Sourcing printing overseas has become very attractive, especially if a client has plenty of time on their hands.
‘We can’t compete with overseas suppliers on price on all work. That’s a fact. Apart from the obvious wages differential, the Australian industry prides itself on its health and safety and our high standards of workplace environment. These advantages come with a cost burden,’ he said.
‘However, where we can gain an advantage is in turnaround.’
Buyers of overseas print can wait six to eight weeks for a delivery on their doorstep. Picton Press can better than halve that.
‘We attract magazines and catalogues – products that are time sensitive and can be altered practically seconds before we start the press. This is especially attractive to retailers in offering last minute bargains or making price changes – it allows them to be more agile in their own market.
‘Add to that a live workflow report, a motivated workforce and a keen eye for cutting waste, and we’re able to provide an extremely attractive offer,’ Murray said.
Prepare for the future, today
Murray wants to excite young people about printing.
‘When you go into a school and ask who knows anything about printing, you often get a blank response. Kids don’t know about printing. But when you tell them that it’s rather like a massive computer suddenly they become very interested,’ he laughs.
And Murray reckons that’s how printing should be promoted.
‘It’s no longer a dirty factory job. Printers no longer get covered in ink. Everything is automated, compartmentalised, contained and run via a computer. In fact, there are now big presses that are run from control rooms that look rather like a flight deck of a big jet,’ he said.
Yes, there is a lot of new technology being introduced, and yes, that means some jobs will vanish.
‘But that’s not something to be afraid of,’ Murray said. ‘Other jobs will be created. We will need more and more IT experts to not only control and maintain this equipment, but to innovate and take the processes in directions we can’t imagine today.
‘This could also lead to whole new industries being invented.’
Already there are signs of print moving into areas traditionally seen as belonging to other disciplines. Murray cites signwriting as one. And he will make it his business to continue to try and attract young people to print.
‘Promotion of the industry in schools and to younger generations before they make career decisions is paramount. There are apprenticeships within the industry, such as graphic prepress and graphic arts, which allow students to earn a living while learning, in place of going through traditional University or TAFE qualifications.
‘There will always be print,’ he says, confidently.