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Regional Printing goes from strength to strength

Thirty years after the term “decentralisation” was first coined the financial and social successes of working outside capital cities are still being reaped by companies and their staff. The reason for these ongoing successes are as varied as the communities themselves - whether it is growth as a result of helping local industry expand, or targetting intra and interstate companies, there is gold to be found in regional centres such as Bendigo.

Bendigo, located in central Victoria 150km north west of Melbourne, owes its beginning to the discovery of gold in 1851. When mining stopped in 1954 Bendigo was second only to Kalgoorlie as the largest gold mine in Australia. With a population of almost 89,000, Bendigo boasts a wide number of businesses and services, including the Bendigo Bank, Australia’s only regionally headquartered bank, and a major satellite hub for Telstra. It is also home to the main call centre for AAPT SmartChat.

In recent months the Bendigo printing industry has experienced a technology boom with the installation of in excess of $2.5 million worth of Heidelberg equipment in three facilities, including the first installation of a Prosetter52 Computer-to-Plate (CtP) solution in regional Victoria.

The installation by Bart‘n’Print of the Prosetter52 together with a Heidelberg SM52-5H press has enabled the company to increase productivity and access new markets. “We are now far more competitive in both turnaround times and pricing meaning we can now bid for work that was previously out of contention,” says Steve Bright, owner of Bart‘n’Print.

Started in 1977 by Steve, Bart‘n’Print produces a full range of corporate stationery and promotional materials for a diverse customer base that includes local government, banks, and corporate clients through to local sporting clubs.

Bart‘n’Print’s regional success has come as result of their close relationship with small to medium sized Bendigo-based enterprises. “We have a broad range of customers who, when they started with us 15 to 25 years ago, had only one or two employees. They have now expanded to 50 staff or more and as a result we have grown with them. Our strategy has always been to foster local business - we don’t go chasing outside work although we do have Melbourne-based clients. This local focus however does not mean that we can afford to lag behind in our adoption of technology as it is very important to us, and to our clients, that work produced is of the utmost quality in the shortest possible timeframes,” says Steve.

Steve says that as far as location is concerned “the upgrade of the highway connecting Bendigo to Melbourne means that the trip takes only 1.5 hours, which is very acceptable. You could spend longer than that getting from one side of Melbourne to the other, and no-one would think anything of that. Besides the lifestyle here is marvellous leading to a far lower staff turnover than some of my city counterparts.”

Bendigo Regional feature – Australian Printer August 2002