We sat down with Owen Russell, one of our Managing Directors at Digital Plus Ltd to discuss the last few months and Large format printing during the 2020 pandemic, what it has meant for him personally and the business that himself and his business partner Christopher Stringwell started 22 years ago.
Hi Owen, strange times, not just for our sector but for the country as a whole, how did you find the lockdown period yourself?
For the first few weeks like most people, I was biting my finger nails at the thought of the whole world crashing and taking Digital Plus with it. During these first few weeks, I had got my head down to plan how I thought this pandemic would affect our business. Whilst doing this, I began to see it has an inspiring moment by looking at this as a fresh start, we had the positive benefit of twenty years trading and a very loyal customer base on which we had concentrated on providing the best service to for many years. With this in mind, my thought process was that when our clients work returned, so then would ours. Keep positive is what I kept telling myself!
With the country having ground to a halt somewhat, have you ever experienced anything like this before?
We had experienced the 2008 recession and had learnt that by helping our clients through these difficult times we had to improve our communication and product offering, whilst giving the best advice to try to save them money. This cemented our relationship with our customers as they had someone they could turn to.
The 2020 pandemic feels to be a whole lot different to 2008, we have continued over the years to keep in place the ethos of better communication, product and advice but have seen the struggle of many companies trying to restart their business in a slow marketplace take its toll on overall spend.
We believe that things will not return to normal (whatever the new normal ends up being) for a good few years to come, but in the meantime we will pay even greater attention to our customer’s needs and maintain the higher service and product knowledge that is required to keep new and existing clients trusting in Digital Plus to deliver their success.
Now the government is lifting the lockdown (depending on what that looks like for us all) what do you think our customers will be looking for from a Large Format Printer?
We have been printing a lot of Covid 19 safety products for our clients, which has included branded sneeze screens, floor graphics, window graphics and outdoor promotional signage to keep their staff and customers safe. Now we are beginning to see this type of work dropping off due to business’s having recently opened. The new requirement for our customer will begin to turn to promotion to enable a return back to pre-lock down turnover.
We supply a vast range of products to aid this return to normality and are well versed at providing solutions in helping businesses promote themselves using large format printing onto a wide range of materials. We also offer an installation service to take the stress out of how and where these graphics are to be displayed and will always give the best advice in order to make their message or promotion as engaging as possible.
How have your staff responded to the lockdown?
We have helpful and professional staff which I am very proud of. They always do their best, making sure that our clients are serviced to the high standard at which we aim for. While it has been a stressful time for all (which includes our personal lives) the pulling together and the determination to carry on being one the best large format printing companies in the UK means the future looks bright in spite of the hardship that a lot of business are facing. (You can meet the team here)
If you could offer one word of advice to the industry right now what would that be?
Keep focused and you’ll learn quickly.
In all things we try to find a positive outlook however difficult at times that may be, if you could take a positive experience from what has happened, what would that be?
The most positive thing I would say, would be that our clients have continued to trust in what we do and believe we can deliver their brief however small or large. This has come from our members of staff who have, over the years shown a commitment in delivering a perfectly finished product, be it a wall graphic or a poster. Our foundations are strong as a team and I have full confidence in knowing that anyone using Digital Plus will see the caring nature of our people and our strength in the quality of our ideas and what we produce.
If you had one personal goal, what would it be?
I would say, and I know this may sound like I need to get a life, but I love my work and love to see the graphic projects that we have delivered for some of the biggest companies in the UK finished and displayed. To see the original concepts and hear the conversations when the project is but an idea on paper, turn into stunning displays always amazes me even to this day. The jewel in the crown for me is the global recognition we have received in winning several printing awards which makes me just want to carry on. I may retire when I’m ninety
Large format printing during the 2020 Pandemic will no doubt change the way we do business and has given us the opportunity to concentrate on what we do best, so if you would like to know more about us please,click here or get in touch.