Precision Printing has proudly serving the print industry since 1966. As a way of commemorating this momentous occasion, their team is sharing their insights into their professions and industry. Here we have a Q&A with Group CEO Gary Peeling.
What is your role in the business?
A CEO leads the executive team, and in my case that results in a being a “General Practitioner” within the business. 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%
- 5% Other
How long have you been working with Precision? What career path led you to where you are now?
I’ve been with Precision for 30 years. Precision was a family business and therefore was my first role but starting as tea boy rather than CEO.
What does ‘A day in the life’ of a CEO at Precision look like?
I get to work at around 7:00 (out of hours’ time). In a demand-led business, it’s valuable to help get things done while things are quiet.
I will then walk the production floors. 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.
Then I’m back to my desk to review spend reports for our ecommerce channels. I use the quiet time to complete more complex cost and business proposals, analytical or planning work.
I then start working on my emails as everyone else gets to work.
Most days will involve a couple of client meetings with one being offsite most days and another 2-3 internal meetings.
Work will finish at around 18:30.
What have your career highlights at Precision been?
As I’ve been with the business a long time I have a few to list! My top moments are:
- 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
Have you noticed any industry challenges during your time with the business?
Printing is a traditional media and therefore it is often assumed it will eventually be replaced, therefore it is considered less important than emerging digital media. This has resulted in reduced demand and margin pressure based on perceived value.
And how are things now?
Well perception is changing, the industry is not declining, the results and returns from print campaigns remain sound and predictable. Now as digital marketing costs increase and the channels become more congested, printing is starting to look like remarkably good value.
What do you wish people knew about your industry?
Printing and graphic arts is often at the forefront of every major technical innovation and is often the very first way emerging technologies are monetised. Apple Mac, Digital Photography, and The Web and e-commerce are just three examples.
Do you have any business role models – and why?
Alon Bar Shany the G.M. at 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.
What advice do you have for individuals with aspirations for a CEO position?
Every business is slowly dying from the moment it’s started so keep moving and innovating. Never think it’s too late or something is too complicated. It rarely is.
What advice do you have for people wanting to work in print?
If you enjoy technology, creativity, marketing and making things – and understanding about lots of different business sectors – it’s going to be the perfect industry for you, and there’s never a dull moment.
What do you do outside of work?
Travel, family time and cycling.
Finally, give us one sentence of snappy business advice…
Do want to know the secret to opportunities? Taking them.
Precision Printing is a North East-based company specialising in a range of services, including book printing services. 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.