Dealing With Brexit: J Thomson & The Scottish Printing Industry



As we enter into 2018, and almost a year until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, we look back on the Brexit vote in 2016 to assess the changing attitudes and possibilities in the printing industry in a post-Brexit world.

While few industries in the United Kingdom can claim to definitively know what Brexit holds for them, the wide array of Brexit perceptions and premonitions deserve continued monitoring if we are to be appropriately prepared for whatever stands to come.

Therefore, as the UK stumbles up to the anniversary of the triggering of article 50, we look at how J Thomson Colour Printers, and the printing industry as a whole, may be affected by Brexit and the many challenges it will undoubtably have.

The Weakening Pound

The dramatic weakening of the pound against many international currencies after the 2016 referendum marked an uncomfortable moment for many UK-based printers, as many of the raw materials imported from Europe and around the world became considerably more expensive.

Kevin Creechan, Managing Director at J Thomson, explains that despite the pain already felt by many British industries over the weakening of the pound, this price increase will not impact J Thomson customers directly.

“It is unlikely that our prices will be affected by Brexit directly as the market dictates price levels and as we still have an over-capacity in UK print then the constant race to the bottom is likely to continue.

Indirectly there will be a cost impact to printers as the weak sterling makes the European products – equipment, paper, ink, plates etc. - more expensive.

However, my feeling is that a lot of printers will absorb most of these increases to hold onto business rather than increase prices which then might make their customers look around for alternatives.”

The Strong Service Economy

Indeed, acknowledging the need for UK companies to remain competitive in the global marketplace despite the challenges of Brexit and the potentialities it may have regarding the national economy, J Thomson have put an even greater focus on not just maintaining the company’s already exceptionally high standard of service to their customers and partners, but improving it, as Kevin Creechan explains:

“Brexit will have no impact whatsoever on our service levels. We will continue to provide a first class service and will continue to try to find ways of improving or enhancing that service to our customers.

Our recent investment in LED UV technology has raised the bar in quality and turnaround times and there will be further investment in equipment, people and systems to build on that.”

In the coming months and years, the true cost of Brexit will start to reveal itself and regardless how hard or soft its impact and our exit from the European Union ultimately is, it’s vital we understand that the best tool to combat, or even capitalise on, the market environment we find ourselves in will be through the strengthening of our commitment to deliver the highest quality service possible.

This sentiment is certainly echoed by both Kevin Creechan and J Thomson and will prove vital to the continued success of both the company and the Scottish print industry.

“Our commitment to our customers, their products and brands and the Scottish print industry has never been stronger. Admittedly circumstances, like those in respect of Brexit and it’s negative impact, will make it more difficult but will just strengthen our resolve to overcome that and ensure that those we deal with and support see no negatives.”

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