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Taking the pulse of a local Australian printer today

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

We live in combustible, unpredictable times, and at Complete we are aware that individuals, families and businesses are facing big challenges.

But WOW! What a time to be alive!

Every day that we print in Melbourne, we are learning more than ever before.

From funding a credit line for our team at the local coffee roaster, to driving across the city to personally hand over proofs, we’re discovering and rediscovering ways to retain the human touch while continuing to deliver the level of service, quality and value that we know our clients deserve and are accustomed to.

This, in the face of turbulent times, with pressure all the way along the supply chain. The Australian print market faces energy surcharges on Aluminum print plates and paper, transportation bottlenecks and severely under-resourced courier companies.

What are some of the key challenges facing Australian printers?

The entire print industry is facing unsustainable costs for aluminum, energy, packaging materials and transportation. In order to continue producing world-class products such as print plates, businesses such as Kodak have had to increase surcharges.

Unfortunately, there are less and less businesses operating in this incredible and historic print industry. For example, there is only one business left in Australia that has the capability to operate large scale case binding; binding beautiful hard-back books.

When the pandemic first broke out, there was a mass return to Australian on-shore printing, but now the Australian print market itself is being squeezed to its limits.

And the most important of resource of all – human resource – is under strain as we adjust to a new chapter. As Australia Post has very publicly communicated, between vaccine mandates and state regulations around isolation, businesses small, medium and large can be seriously impacted with covid-impacted resourcing issues, and we are not immune to this.

As a proud Melbourne printer, this is what we’re doing about the challenges we face

At Complete, we see opportunities to continue learning and improving our service every day. We see opportunities to better understand the pain points of businesses out there – and to offer better solutions. We’re extremely proud of our processes and practises that have come to the fore during the most challenging times faced by businesses for decades.

And we continue to support our local suppliers, partners, communities and charities where possible, and we remain environmentally responsible right across the business.

We achieve all of the above thanks to individual accountability from every member of our team. It’s not just senior management or production that are responsible for delivering on our four pillars – service, quality, value and trust – it’s the whole team. And this is a team that has become particularly close with one another over the last two years.

As has been the case for 30 years, Complete staff have been the number one focus since the beginning of the pandemic. We know that with the right tools, our team can deliver a level of service, quality and value that continues to grow our relationships and reputation.

Over the last two years, we’ve invested in the following to make sure that our tools match the hunger of our staff:

Industry leading print technology

In 2020, we invested in a top of class digital printer, the Xerox iGen 5 Digital Printing Press.

The machine provides us with the ability to deliver higher volume digital print runs to customers, which enables more economic pricing that we pass on. It also presents greater security in assurity of supply in these uncertain times. We know we can deliver large volumes in very competitive turnaround times.

Every week, we print 45,000 menus for the Marley Spoon (Recipe & Meal Box Delivery) Melbourne site. Everything is done within a 24-hour window; from receiving the file (with 30 variants) to delivering the menus.

Environmentally Responsible Printing

Since 1 January 2021, our print headquarters have been 100% powered by renewable energy sources.

This is achieved in two ways:

  1. by consuming power generated by our 200Kw LGC* (728-panel) rooftop solar power plant

  2. drawing additional power in our peak periods from Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Power that is 100% GreenPower** Certified – providing comfort to us and our clients that the energy we consume from the grid has no impact on the environment

In addition, we send excess energy generated from our solar power plant back to the grid for others to utilise.

Data Secure Printing

From September this year, we started rolling a new online web to print portal across clients. This enables a seamless user experience for existing clients to upload digital content and track their job.

The portal goes hand-in-glove with our Heidelberg Image Control, which we also upgraded from Series 1 to Series 2, with a lot more features and functionality. The new prepress software provides us with online and interactive proofing functionally.

We also upgraded our proofing technology to include the latest Spectrophotometer, enabling us to continuously monitor our proofing devices so they do not go out of Colour Management Specifications.

Data-driven delivery

Due to the challenges listed above, we have started using our own vehicles again. And with the support of data driven technology, we’re on top of just-in-time delivery.

*LGC is the acronym for Large-scale Generation Certificate from a Certified Power Plant. Certificates are generated for every MegaWatt of Power Generated (whether consumed or returned to the grid).

**GreenPower is a government-managed program that enables businesses to support renewable energy generation. Our partnership with ERM Power ensures Complete is purchasing energy that comes from genuinely renewable sources, with our fees going towards funding renewable energy projects and jobs. Without GreenPower, we could not guarantee that the energy we purchase from the grid is responsibly generated.

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