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Starting out in the printing industry in 1966, Precision Printing are the known experts. As a way of commemorating over 50 years in the industry, their team is sharing their insights into their professions and industry. Here we have a Q&A with Group CEO Gary Peeling.

What role do you serve within the business?

I’m a CEO, so that allows me to lead an executive team. If I were to break down my working week, it would it would tend to look like this:

  • Marketing / Sales and Business Development 50%
  • Operational Efficiency 20%
  • Finance 15%
  • HR / People 10%
  • Other 5%

What career path led you to where you are now, and how long have you been with the business?

It’s quite an interesting story, I started as a teaboy and worked my way up the ladder and now I’ve been in the company for 30 years, so it’s a perfect success story!

As CEO at Precision Printing, what does the average ‘day in the life’ look like?

My working day starts at 7am. In a demand-led business, it’s valuable to help get things done while things are quiet.

Every morning, I will do my morning route of looking around the production floor. This lets me talk with staff and make sure everything is running the way it should. This is better than any dashboard or report, as you can see the projects in-hand, customers we are busy with and products that are selling well – as well as the machinery and departments that are busy.

Once I’ve done that, I’ll walk back to my desk to review our ecommerce channels and see how profits are performing. I use the quiet time to complete more complex cost and business proposals, analytical or planning work.

When I’m back to my computer, I will check my emails once I know everyone is happily working.

I can have multiple meetings throughout the day; these can either be onsite or offsite but it helps split up the day.

I usually leave the office at around 6:30pm after a hardworking day.

During your time at Precision Printing, what has been a career highlight?

I feel as though I have achieved a lot throughout my career and these are some of my standout moments:

  • Shipping 50,000 orders in a single day
  • Winning UK Print Company of the Year
  • Launching “Oneflow” workflow software as a commercial business
  • Being appointed Dscoop global Chairman

Over your time at Precision Printing, have you noticed any particular industry challenges?

A lot of people now think that traditional printing will be replaced by digital media. This has resulted in reduced demand and margin pressure based on perceived value.

How are things now?

The industry is therefore changing, which means it’s not declining. Now as digital marketing costs increase and the channels become more congested, printing is starting to look like remarkably good value.

What would you like people to know more about in your industry?

When emerging technologies are monetised within the industry, these often involve printing and graphic arts. Apple Mac, Digital Photography, and The Web and e-commerce are just three examples.

Who are your business role models and why?

Alon Bar Shany from HP Indigo. Alon has led a revolution in digital printing, managed a huge global business yet still somehow manages to meet and know most of his significant customers.

For those aspiring to become a CEO, what advice would you give to them?

If you’re wanting to become a CEO, be innovative and make a difference within the company. Never think it’s too late or something is too complicated. It rarely is.

For those wanting to work in print, what advice would you give to them?

Working in the printing industry will allow you to experiment creatively, whether this is in marketing or the production side when creating framed prints. If you can understand different business sectors – it’s going to be the perfect industry for you, and there’s certainly never a dull moment.

What do you enjoy to do outside of work?

Outside of work, I love to spend time with my family, I also enjoy cycling and travelling the world.

In a sentence, give us some snappy business advice…

When an opportunity comes, say yes.

Based in the North East of England, Precision Printing are constantly evolving. CEO Gary Peeling has been working at the business for 30 years, working his way up to his current CEO position. He loves cycling in his spare time, and knows the words to Billy Joel songs by heart.


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