Print Image Network gains Investors in People GOLD!

We are now certified Gold in people management.

16 September 2020, Stockport

We did it! The team here at Print Image is delighted to announce that we have achieved the Investors in People Gold accreditation.

Following a virtual, but no less rigorous assessment due to Covid-19 and social distancing, we are proud to take our place among the 17% of IIP accredited organisations that have achieved the We invest in people, gold accreditation.

Investors in People defines what it takes to lead, train, support and manage people effectively and to achieve sustainable results. Gold accreditation essentially means that the business has got excellent people management policies in place but more than that, it means everyone – from CEO to apprentice takes ownership for making them come to life.

Paul Devoy, CEO of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate Print Image Network. Gold accreditation in We invest in people is a fantastic effort for any organisation, and places Print Image Network in fine company with a host of organisations that understand the value of people.”

Assessment Highlights:

  • Staff said they feel trusted by the leadership team to make decisions and that there is an open and transparent culture within the business.
  • Our values are embedded and are taken into consideration in our everyday work.
  • Our communication strategies ensure that everyone has access to the knowledge and information they need to do their jobs effectively.
  • Our performance management processes enable people to reflect on their work and identify their objectives and goals.
  • Our staff feel valued and appreciated for their contribution to the success of the business.
  • Our structure enables people to work collaboratively and provides interesting and varied roles.
  • Our approach to learning and development has supported people to progress their careers and fulfil their potential.
  • We embraced continuous improvement which forms part of the culture and has resulted in innovative new ways of working that benefit the business.
  • Our people enjoy their jobs and are proud to work for Print Image Network.

Commenting on the award, Stephen Power, Services Director said “We are ecstatic to have achieved IIP Gold! Having held the accreditation since 2011, the team has strived for continuous improvement at each three-year assessment. Our last full assessment in 2017 was conducted under the completely new 6th generation standard and we went straight in with silver status – a great result but one that we could improve on!”

“We believe that the success of Print Image Network begins and ends with our people and each member of staff subscribes to the IIP framework, which is designed to help organisations and their people to realise their full potential. We would like to thank the team for their commitment and hard work to achieve the Gold standard” Steve continued.

John Foster, Managing Director at Print Image Network added: “It is an absolute privilege to gain the gold standard accreditation. We work very hard to deliver true value and excellence for our customers. The employee survey, which saw 100% staff complete it, is a testament to how engaged and committed the team is. As a company, we are consistently striving for excellence.”

Print Image Network Appoints Election Consultant, Stuart Hayden.

Print Image Network is pleased to announce that Stuart Hayden has joined our growing team as an Election Consultant.

Stuart has worked in the elections industry for over twenty years, including 10 years in local government, where he progressed from Election Assistant to a Deputy Elections Manager.  During this time, he administered many electoral canvasses and worked on multiple large-scale ballot events, including City elections, UK Parliamentary and European Parliamentary elections (including an all postal vote pilot).

Staying in electoral administration, Stuart then gained experience in electoral software, where his achievements included involvement in software development which has assisted local authorities in the collation of electoral registers and the management of elections. Furthermore, Stuart was involved in the Individual Electoral Registration (IER) project, working on the transition from a predominantly paper-based system to the introduction of the Register to Vote website in 2014.

With a strong background in elections, Directors John Foster & Stephen Power are delighted to welcome Stuart to the team.

“Stuart’s appointment strengthens our team of elections experts and we are very happy to welcome him on board.  The expansion of our team means we can continue to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers,” says Steve Power, Services Director.

“With Stuart’s vast amount of election experience, he can advise the plethora of customers that sit under the Print Image Network umbrella,” adds John Foster, Managing Director. He continues, “in addition to our important council arm, Print Image Network has a non-statutory brand called UK Engage, which offers a full election and e-voting service to organisations looking for an impartial, transparent, and trusted scrutineer. Stuart’s wide range of skills means he will be looking after customers across all our election brands.”

Stuart began at Print Image Network on 18 May 2020.  He will be meeting with customers remotely for the time being and face-to-face when it is safe to do so.  Stuart says about his new role, “I am looking forward to the varied opportunities my new role presents, I can apply my 20 years’ experience within statutory elections and also get involved with the needs of customers in new market sectors. It is a very exciting time for me.”

COVID-19 Outbreak Operations Statement

In these uncertain times we have had a number of enquiries asking if we are still open for business. Since the beginning of March, we have tested and implemented our Business Continuity Plan. As such we are still very much open for business and here to help our existing customers and other companies that are having problems with their regular supply chains. 

Safety of our staff and customers is paramount to Print Image Network and in line with guidance from the World Health Organisation and .Gov website, we have implemented all necessary measures and precautions required to control the spread of infection to the highest level possible within our business and workforce.

Our office staff is fully equipped to work remotely and our print production facilities are also operating, in line with appropriate safety precautions. This means that we can still service our customer base to the highest possible standards. 

We will, of course, keep you updated of any operational changes but should you have any specific questions or concerns regarding business continuity or urgent requests, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 209 4800 or email sales@printimagenetwork.co.uk

We hope that this message reaches you in good health and look forward to hearing from you. The Print Image Network Team

Print Image Network supports the AEA’s Delivering Change Annual Conference 2 – 5th February 2020

Visit us at Stand 3 to discuss electoral print and mail

Print Image Network attends AEA 2020

Print Image Network is once again exhibiting at the annual AEA Conference in Blackpool, 2 -5th February 2020.  As a leading provider of electoral print solutions, we have supported the Conference and the AEA for many years. Once again will be on hand to offer help and advice to electoral administrators from councils across the UK on all aspects of electoral print and mail.

The agenda promises a full schedule including fringe events, plenary sessions, and workshops, not to mention the exhibition where we will be meeting delegates and customers at Stand 3 from Sunday afternoon.

Providing no fewer than 80 councils across the UK with electoral print solutions, we still have print capacity for the May polls. 2020 sees Police, Commission and Crime Commissioners elections in England and Wales, as well and local and mayoral elections – we welcome the opportunity to discuss these elections with local authority delegates attending the event.

With such as busy year last year and so many potential changes in 2020, we will be on hand to talk to delegates about how they found 2019, plus how we can help support them through 2020 changes concerning their print and mail requirements.

On the customer service front, we have recently (January 2020), achieved another year’s compliance for the Cabinet Office’s Customer Service Excellence Standard.  A big factor in our success is our staff, which year-on-year is praised for the way we support electoral administrators through election periods. Throughout Conference, every member of our account management team will visit The Grand to speak with customers and other delegates. We have a growing team of experienced account managers that help councils through busy, and sometimes complex, election and canvass periods. You can see some of the wonderful comments we received following the 2019 elections by downloading our Customer Survey results from last year>>

We have lots to discuss, so please feel free to come along and speak with the team at Stand 3. You can enter our chocolate hamper competition and you could win a Waitrose Hamper which is our raffle prize at the Annual Dinner. We look forward to seeing you at Conference!

You can check out our AEA Profile here>>

The benefits of a paper magazine wrap mailing solution for multi-component communications

Print Image Network’s Commercial Manager, Simon Milnes, explains why publishing and commercial companies are choosing to use a paper magazine wrap solution to deliver magazines and supplements.

For many years polywrap has been the material of choice for wrapping magazines, catalogues and direct mail. Lightweight, strong and weather-resistant it is extremely effective for keeping different mail pieces together in one combined pack. However, more and more organisations are seeking options which are eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives, such as paper.

“With a current backlash against single-use plastics and the problems surrounding recycling, we’re seeing an increased number of organisations approaching us to discuss alternatives, such as paper magazine wrap.” Says Simon Milnes, Commercial Manager at Print Image Network.

“As a responsible print management company, it’s our business to offer clients more sustainable ways to wrap magazines.”

Print Image Network has one of the largest printing networks in the country and prints everything from electoral stationery to direct mail. “As printing experts, we know that paper magazine wrap isn’t a new solution, however, it is being more widely used because of the resistance to use plastic of any kind.  There are multiple benefits for organisations,” says Simon.

Benefits of paper magazine wrap:

1. Sustainable product: eco-friendly and recyclable (supports ISO14001)

The paper used for our paper magazine wrap solution is FSC and PEFC certified. Unlike polywrap, paper wrap packaging is easily recycled after use. Therefore, its sustainable lifecycle will support any environmental commitments associated with CSR policies or ISO14001 efforts.

2. Endless design and promotional opportunities on the outer wrap

Paper magazine wrap can accommodate any design a client desires, as long as the areas for postal addresses and the postal indicia adhere to Royal Mail’s postage requirements.  From plain block colours to intricate designs and photos, the possibilities are endless.

3. Combined mailing savings (separate mailings in one pack)

Wrapping multiple communications means that postage is only paid once rather multiple times. Polywrap and/or envelope savings can be made as they won’t be required.

4. Can accommodate different size communications (such as A4 and A5)

Typical wraps are A4 and A5, however, our solution can wrap the largest insert if it a bespoke size, enclosing all other inserts neatly into the pack.

5. Machines can accommodate up to 9 different inserts per pack

Paper magazine wrap can fill your pack with up to 9 different inserts.

6. Individual inserts can be personalised

With paper wrap all nine inserts can be personalised, if required.

7. Packs are eligible for Royal Mail’s (cost-effective) Mailmark® service

Paper wrap packs are easier to process by Royal Mails machines (polywrap and eco-alternatives are not) and therefore is subject to the cheaper Mailsort options, which reduce postal costs.

Simon concluded, “It’s no surprise that organisations that have a strong conservation ethos are looking at paper wrap as an alternative solution to polywrap. However, we are getting enquiries from all types of organisations who are exploring the switch in a response to reader feedback, readers who don’t want to see plastic used at all.”

If you are interested in switching to a paper magazine wrap solution, please contact the team at Print Image Network.

Print Image Network excels following Customer Service Excellence review.

electoral stationery provider

Electoral stationery provider achieves ‘Compliance-Plus’ in 13 separate areas of the business.

Electoral stationery provider, Print Image Network, has held the Customer Service Excellence Standard since 2012. Each year the business gets assessed to see if it still meets the criteria set out by the standard.

Following our recent visit, we are pleased to announce that we passed the assessment with an incredible 13 Compliance-Plus awards.

Customer Service Excellence is a government backed industry standard that assesses whether services are efficient, effective, excellent, equitable and empowering, using 57 different criteria. It ensures organisations always put their customers at the heart of their operations.  Print Image Network is the only electoral stationery provider in the UK to hold the standard.

Compliance-Plus relates to areas where we surpass the standard required. These are areas where we show innovation, or where we are considered sector leaders. In the past we have successfully gained Compliance Plus in areas such as customer insight and Corporate Social Responsibility. However, with so many significant customer-facing projects being undertaken by the business, we wanted to highlight many different areas of progress.

We have surpassed the customer service standard for our electoral services in the following areas: –

  1. Providing services which serve hard to reach and disadvantage groups
  2. Consulting with customers to improve services
  3. Analysing the customer experience to improve service
  4. Utilising customer insight to prioritise service improvement
  5. Empowering and encouraging staff to participate and promote customer service
  6. Utilising staff insight to drive processes, policy and service planning
  7. Making product/solution information readily available to customers
  8. Providing information in the format our customers require it
  9. Improved range of communication tools and content for customers
  10. Improved channels of communication for customers
  11. Interacting within wider communities
  12. Consulting a range of stakeholders (including customers) to review our standards
  13. Setting customer satisfaction expectations

In 2018 a company-wide project began to articulate what we believed our core company values were  After a six-month project, the staff at UK Engage defined five core values – commitment, efficiency, knowledge, professionalism and trust. The CSE assessor was delighted to learn that we had implemented this project and is keen to see how it has developed in 12-months time.

“This has been an excellent surveillance 1 visit for electoral stationery provider, Print Image Network (13 Compliance Plus awards) and I would like to thank the organisation its staff, customers, partners and stakeholders for their time during this assessment. I look forward to completing surveillance 2 in January 2020.”
Mick Lynch – CSE Assessor

Poll Card Mailing Options – We’ve got it sorted!

Since it was announced that Royal Mail’s Mailmark service could no longer be used to mail poll cards, there has been lots of talk about Royal Mail’s ‘Poll Sort’ service for poll cards mailings.

In essence, Poll Sort or PCMO (Poll Card Mailing Option), is similar to the previous Walksort product, where mail is sorted and bundled into postal walks. Its specification means electoral services providers must meet the criteria set out by Royal Mail in order to achieve ‘Poll Sort’ for the May polls.

The introduction of the service has provoked debate over the weight (grammage) of card and thickness (microns) of card to use.  The team at Print Image Network has been assuring customers that we will carry out every process without changes to our usual procedure and we don’t intend to alter previous methods of working for our customers.


John Foster, Managing Director, said of meeting the new Royal Mail criteria. “As one of the leading electoral print and mail specialists in the country, we have developed our Poll Card Mailing Options, which we will happily discuss with all councils, should they wish to contact the team to see how we intend to approach this for the May polls.” He continued, “As always, we want to ensure that our customers are not inconvenienced in any way. Their key priority is having problem-free elections with a printer they can trust.”

‘Poll Sort’ has been hotly debated by the Electoral Commission, the Cabinet Office and the Association for Electoral Administrators, in conjunction with the electoral print providers.  The message that Print Image Network is keen to get over to customers ahead of the annual AEA Conference in Brighton, 3-7th February is that they will: –

  • Accept data as per normal (maps can still be incorporated if required)
  • Sort the data into the new required mailing order
  • Personalise the cards – meeting Electoral Commission guidance and Royal Mail criteria
  • Handle the cards to keep create the necessary order
  • Bundle/bag/present the cards to meet Royal Mail specifications
  • Comply with Royal Mail instructions for delivery or collection

To discuss Poll Card Mailing Options with the Print Image Team, please visit Stand 12 if you plan the visit the AEA Conference or call 0161 209 4800.  Alternatively, you can email sales@printimagenetwork.com

Rising to the Challenge at the AEA Conference 2019

Visit Print Image Network at Stand 12 from 3-6th February 2019

AEA Conference 2019

Print Image Network is once again exhibiting at the annual AEA Conference in Brighton, 3 -6th February 2019.  As a leading provider of electoral print solutions, we have supported the Conference and the AEA for many years and once again will be on hand to offer help and advice to electoral administrators from councils across the UK.

The agenda promises a full schedule, including new workshops, not to mention the exhibition where we will be meeting delegates and customers at Stand 12 from the Sunday afternoon.

Providing no fewer than 70 councils across the UK with electoral print solutions, we still have capacity for the May polls and delegates can speak to members of the team to discuss printed postal vote solutions, ballots papers and poll cards – where we can discuss with specificity our ‘poll sort’ poll card mailing options.

We will also have a full range of our grass skirt count solution items.  As 2019 will present more multi-seat elections, we are getting lots of requests for our ‘25’ and ’10’ grass skirts.  Our Small-10 and Large-10 skirts accommodate 10 ballot papers across and 3- 10 candidates down (plus one line for unused votes).  Our Small-25 and Large-25 skirts accommodate 25 ballot papers across and 3-23 candidates down (plus one line for used votes). Our solution also includes summary sheet to suit the 10 & 23 candidate skirts. Plus, we have an excellent grass skirt training video which is available free to councils who purchase grass skirts. 

Also, this year we will be launching our core values. As 2018 was a quieter year on the election front, we decided to formally define and publish our core values, which hopefully you will recognise us for.  Through a series of surveys and workshops our employees selected the values they believe are inherent in our company.  Come along to Stand 12 and find out how our values – Commitment, Efficiency, Knowledge, Professionalism and Trust can benefit your council in stressful election conditions.

We have lots to discuss, so please feel free to come along and speak with the team. You can enter our chocolate hamper competition and you could win an Echo Dot 3rd Generation which is our raffle prize at the Annual Dinner.

We look forward to seeing you at Conference!

You can check out our AEA Profile here>>

ISO-certified print suppliers and the provision of electoral print and mail.

ISO-certified electoral print and mail supplier

Print Image Network looks at how councils can benefit from appointing ISO-certified suppliers, in the provision of electoral print and mail.

 

Selecting the right electoral print and mail partner is of critical importance to UK local authorities. Increasingly, electoral print and mail suppliers are being invited to respond to tenders to explain the credentials they have for carrying out specialist and niche print requirements.

The majority of tenders to which we respond, ask for evidence of any particular accreditations, standards and awards, as by having these helps to provide certain reassurances and reduces business risk.

Working with an ISO-certified electoral print and mail specialist means that its products and services are certified and conform to the minimum standards set internationally, which is important when considering an electoral print and mail provider for Government elections.

The vast majority of responses require ISO 9001 as it demonstrates that our business has the correct quality structures in place to be considered. Likewise, in an age where data security is paramount, holding ISO 27001, is equally important.

ISO 9001

The ISO 9001 certification is internationally recognised as the most established quality framework, focussed on increasing efficiencies, preventing errors and improving customer service.  In the provision of electoral print and mail services, this translates to the assurance that the production of all election stationary, be it postal vote applications, postal votes, ballot papers, poll cards, HEFs, ITRs, confirmation letters and absent voter personal identifiers, is to the highest standard, undertaken by experienced staff, under robust security measures. Tenders will often be awarded to organisations which hold this standard.

ISO 27001

Another key ISO certification that is important in the provision of electoral print and mail is ISO 27001.  Organisations that have this certification can demonstrate to local authorities that they have a framework for securing and protecting confidential, personal and sensitive data, through effective technology, which is a crucial requirement, especially in the compliance of GDPR.

Print Image Network is ISO 9001:2015 & ISO 27001:2013 certified

In Summer 2018, we had our re-certification assessment and we are pleased to say that a successful transition was made to ISO9001: 2015. We maintained our management system in line with the requirements of the standard and demonstrated that we have the ability to systematically achieve the requirements for products and or services, within the scope of our activities and in accordance with our policy and objectives.

Being certified to ISO 9001 & ISO 27001 highlights our ongoing commitment to quality and integrity in the provision of electoral print and mail to local authorities.  To discuss how our accreditations can benefit your business, please contact us on 0161 209 4800 or email us at sales@printimagenetwork.com

To supplement these accreditations, we also hold Investors in People (Silver), The Cabinet Office’s Customer Service Excellence Standard and Cyber Essentials.