On February 2nd, companies across Britain were recognised by the British Association for Print and Communications (BAPC) at an awards luncheon. SAXOPRINT is honoured to have won the BAPC ‘Business of the Year’. We caught up with the chairman, Sidney Bobb, to find out more about this distinguished award and about his organisation.
SAXOPRINT: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. We are delighted to receive such a distinguished award and would love to share with our readers a little bit more about our achievement.
Even though some of our readers have already heard of the BAPC, many have not. Could you explain for us what the BAPC is?
Sidney Bobb: Originally formed in 1978 in order to help gain acceptance of the on-demand end of the Print market The BAPC is now the leading Trade Association for the Creative Industry, which includes the Graphic Arts, Print and Communication sectors. The BAPC, run by printers for printers, provides members with a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience.
Being frontline the Association has concentrated on developing services and facilities that will directly help BAPC members survive and succeed. It is the aim of the Association to cultivate a “community of print” that acts as a forum for the graphic arts industry to work together for mutual benefit.
SAXOPRINT: What is your position at the BAPC and how long have you been involved with the association?
Sidney Bobb: I am chairman of the BAPC National Council, which is made up from a number of volunteers throughout the UK who give their time freely for the benefit of the sector.
I joined the Association in 1987 and have been active since that time. I was appointed Chairman in 1995.
SAXOPRINT: How long has the BAPC held the award ceremony and how long has ‘Business of the Year’ been an award?
Sidney Bobb: The BAPC has been presenting awards since 1989 when it was known as Printer of the Year. However, as the market place has developed the name of the award was changed some years ago to take into consideration the diversity of the sector.
SAXOPRINT: Could you explain the nomination process?
Sidney Bobb: Each year an independent judging panel is appointed. The panel includes business consultants, an accountant, a print technical expert, and one or two past winners of the award.
SAXOPRINT: How were the nominees chosen? How did you test each company?
Sidney Bobb: A wide range of companies including suppliers and the trade press are invited to nominate those they think deserve the accolade. The majority of nominations do come from the membership of the BAPC and indeed sometimes even customers submit suggestions.
The panel then studies each nomination, carries out research on their reputation, studies their financial situation and does some “secret shopping” with the nominees.
SAXOPRINT: We read that the nomination process was different this year in comparison to past years. What were the reasons for changing the nomination process? How did this affect the pool of nominees?
Sidney Bobb: In order to ensure that the awards are truly relevant and reflect what is going on in the industry The BAPC has to ensure that the process is in keeping with the culture of the industry. Each year the process is reviewed and changed where necessary. As the sector has developed we receive nominations from not only traditional printers but from companies who operate within the sector and perhaps somewhat differently than the norm.
SAXOPRINT: How did you first hear of SAXOPRINT?
Sidney Bobb: I think my first point of contact with Saxoprint was an e-mail query from them and the conversation developed to such an extent that they saw the benefit of belonging to the BAPC.
SAXOPRINT: We are so honoured to be awarded ‘Business of the Year’, could you let us (and our readers) know what criteria you used to choose who would win this notable award?
Sidney Bobb: Frankly I have no influence over the judging it is all left to the independent panel and having carried out their investigations recommended Saxoprint as the winners.
SAXOPRINT: We noticed that past winners have all done most of their business offline and are based in the UK. Is there any significance to choosing a business that does business online and in many different foreign markets?
Sidney Bobb: There is no particular significance in choosing an online business as a winner. It is perhaps a reflection on the way the sector is moving and it is no surprise that an international company has won as with internet business the geographical location of a print business is of little consequence.
SAXOPRINT: SAXOPRINT is proud to be an accredited member of the BAPC, could you explain to our readers what that means and how companies can benefit from being a member?
Sidney Bobb: Being a member of the BAPC means that a company has to operate within our Code of Practice and this provides their customers with the comfort of knowing that they are not dealing with a “fly by night company” but with a printer who works to a certain standard and has integrity – it’s almost a guarantee of quality.
Companies who belong to the BAPC are part of a community and have access to a high level of support and guidance and such help assists members in maximising their business opportunities. We enable ideas and resources to be pooled and shared so that everyone gets access to a smarter way of working, through a wide range of support services and all kinds of stimuli to business growth. Indeed the BAPC is one body for everybody.
SAXOPRINT: Thank you again for your time. We look forward to future co-operations with the BAPC.
Sidney Bobb: You’re quite welcome and congratulations on the award.