Print is not dead

Paul Lim, general manager of MCM Printing, talks about how his industry is being disrupted and how the company is fighting back.

Printing has been among the industries most disrupted by digital technologies in recent years. Not only are consumers bypassing physical printed products such as newspapers and magazines in favour of electronic content, businesses are advertising differently, too. These days, many are opting to place their ads online.

The changing trends have “severely affected” the printing industry, said Paul Lim, general manager of MCM Printing.

Consequently, MCM has had to react swiftly to changing market demands. Today, the company operates as a one-stop hub providing an array of value-added services including pre-press, printing, binding and distribution.

MCM’s products include newspapers, journals, magazines, textbooks and directories. The company also prints books, calendars, diaries and customised certificates, menus and catalogues.

One of MCM’s biggest clients is The Myanmar Times, which runs the country’s largest English daily newspaper, as well as a daily and weekly Myanmar publication under its moniker. Both MCM and The Myanmar Times are sister companies under Myanmar Consolidated Media Co Ltd, which is controlled by local tycoon U Thein Tun.

MCM is expanding its client base to include other publications and marketing materials, too. More recently, it has also increased its portfolio of services.

The company is now cooperating with a team at The Myanmar Times to provide a new printing and publishing service. This involves editorial consulting, content generation, production and printing of corporate magazines and other marketing content.

“The use of print has changed especially in marketing. To stay relevant, printers must take extra effort to sharpen and extend their value proposition by understanding all our communication options against the digital alternatives and focusing on meeting customer demands,” Mr Lim said.

In that light, MCM has also developed new product lines to capture a wider and more diversified pool of customers. It now plans to extend its services to the retail sector. “To stay competitive, we need to quickly adapt to the changing trends,” Mr Lim said.

All that has to be done while juggling other economic challenges. “One of our biggest challenges is the rising costs of manpower and raw materials such as paper. So besides expanding our services and distribution reach, we also require increased productivity and cost efficiencies to drive earnings,” Mr Lim said.

He added that “the printing industry has evolved tremendously over the past few years and the business environment is now more competitive and complex.”

MCM is taking on those challenges by providing employees with clear leadership and direction as well as training and mentorship. Innovation is also encouraged.

“All our services performed in-house by our talented team of managers and designers,” said Mr Lim.

MCM was established in 2000 and currently employs more than 80 employees at two production sites in Thaketa Industrial Zone, Yangon.

SOURCE: MYANMAR TIMES

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