Former TV journalist Deadman grew up immersed in the printing industry. As a child, her mother, Terrye Teverson, who bought KCS Print in Cornwall nearly 30 years ago having spent five years as managing director of the business, would regularly discuss the industry’s fortunes with Deadman’s father over dinner.
Deadman joined her mother at the Launceston-based print firm in 2013. She readily admits she didn’t think she would stick around for the long term.
“I started here working in sales and I enjoyed the role much more than I thought I would,” says Deadman. “I realized that, especially in our sector, it is far more about building relationships than ‘sales’ in the traditional sense.”
During the first five years of her, employment Deadman says she got to know the company’s close network of customers well. Then in 2018, the opportunity to take over as managing director of KCS presented itself after her mother decided to step down to fulfill a lifelong ambition to study a fine arts degree at Falmouth University.
“When the idea was mentioned of me taking over the business it felt like a privilege to have the opportunity to build on my mum’s legacy, but there was no pressure put on me – it was something I felt excited to do,” says Deadman.
She says that in order to stay ahead in the print sector you have to be “dynamic, focused on the future and constantly looking to evolve”. Deadman doesn’t think that print is dead – it’s just undergoing an evolution.
“We constantly have an eye on the future, and it’s not necessarily going to be an easy ride, but I feel proud of our achievements and I don’t see any reason that we can’t go from strength to strength,” adds Deadman.
Richard and Julie Bennett
Print’s newest power couple bought their first printing business in 2018 when they inked a deal to acquire Newcastle Print Solutions. Months later they were at it again, snapping up Hartlepool-based Atkinson Print in February this year.
And that’s not the end of their acquisition spree, according to Richard Bennett, who has a background in environmental chemistry.
“We’re looking for more,” says Bennett. “The printing industry is ripe for consolidation. I’d like to acquire more because I’d like to have a bigger piece of the market purely for diversity. What we’ve got is a great start and I’m really pleased with it.”
He concedes that print is, of course, a competitive marketplace at the moment, but Bennett believes there is a place for companies that do the right thing by their staff and customers. “Some people may say print is dead but is it? I can still see plenty of requirements for print and what companies like ourselves are trying to do is adapt the latest technologies and move with customer demand. The traditional stuff may be in decline, but we don’t see digital declining.”He thinks the key to longevity is offering high levels of service and good quality products. “If you get those elements right then you should do alright,” says Bennett. “If you’re going to chase work at a loss leader you’ve got no chance.”
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