Site logo

The Future Of Trade Printing

We discuss the future of trade printing and how Australian print resellers can stay ahead of the curve

The world of trade printing is constantly evolving, and it is important for print resellers and brokers to stay informed about the latest trends and developments in the industry. So here’s what we’ve uncovered through our recent research trip to European hubs.

The Future of Trade Printing Is About Volume

One of the key trends in the future of trade printing is the increasing demand for volume and capacity. As businesses and consumers continue to rely more heavily on print materials, print resellers and brokers will need to find ways to produce more materials in less time. This will require investment in new equipment and technology that can handle larger volumes and faster turnaround times.

Thankfully, Mediapoint has continually sought new equipment, optimised production processes and strong supplier relationships. We’ve also designed out trade printing facility with expansion in mind. This allows us to meet the growing demands of trade print clients well into the future.

Optimising each element of our value stream means we have the capacity to do more for our clients with less waste. Less waste means more savings in time, money and resources. This creates a closed loop that leads to purchasing better equipment, optimising production and increasing output.

Print brokers should be evaluating a trade printer based on their capacity, equipment and capabilities. Doing so now enables resellers to capitalise on emerging trends and demands of retail customers.

Older Equipment Won’t Service High Volume Resellers

This increasing demand for volume and capacity means traditional print shops will need to find ways to produce more materials in less time. In order to meet this demand, they’ll need to identify trade printers who have the knowhow and equipment. This ability to meet expectations also requires innovative technology such as automation tools (like our PrintIQ portal), Lean processes and effective operations teams. Each of these elements helps to streamline production and improve efficiency. This leads to better outcomes for both reseller and customer alike.

Trade printers who do not invest in key areas will struggle and may not be able to offer the level of quality and service that clients are expecting. Additionally, as the market evolves, these laggards will be unable to access the technologies and techniques that emerge falling further behind.

Bespoke and Custom Printing Solutions Will Move In-House

Despite the future of trade printing moving prioritising volume there will still be a need for bespoke and custom print solutions. Some trade printers may choose to focus on filling production gaps in these areas. However, these jobs will be more likely to be produced in-house due to the decreasing costs of necessary equipment.

At Mediapoint we are very focused on how and who we support when it comes to trade printing. We have a specific definition of a trade client and don’t intend on changing. What we do intend on, however, is continually evolving to meet their needs and helping them grow.

If you’re a high volume print reseller or a print shop looking to grow your capacity, set up a PrintIQ account or contact us to discuss your needs.

A Gamechanger: Our New Flatbed Printer

We are excited to announce that we are procuring a Durst P5D4 flatbed printer. This will significantly increase our flatbed printing volume without sacrificing quality. This new machine is a major investment for Mediapoint. We believe it will be a game-changer for print resellers and brokers.

The Durst P5 D4 printer is a state-of-the-art flatbed printing machine that is designed to handle large volume orders with speed and precision. It includes key automation features that integrate seamlessly with our existing systems and processes. This allows us to take on more print jobs at good quality, with faster turnaround times, and higher volumes.

Jamie takes you on a tour of our new Durst printer and explains how it will significantly benefit print resellers in Australia.

There are several reasons why we are investing in this new equipment:

It’s a Highly Automated Flatbed Printer

The Durst P5D4 printer is equipped with automation features that integrate with our existing systems and processes. It will make our already solid printing processes even more efficient. This will enable us to take on more jobs, complete them faster, and with better quality. As you should know by now that means more savings for us that we can pass onto our clients.

Our Clients Can Offer More For Less

Thanks to the benefits mentioned above (and in Jamie’s video) our print resellers will be able to offer more. Faster service, higher volume, and new product options are all on the table. This will help Mediapoint customers stand out from the retail printing competition. I

The efficiency of this machine will further add to savings we offer print brokers, enabling them to onsell with greater margin: The Durst P5D4 printer will also help us to save costs, which we can pass on to our print brokers. This will enable them to onsell our products with greater margin, which will help them grow their business.

We Can Fulfil Massive Flatbed Printing Jobs

This new machine can fulfil orders and meet turnaround times that were previously uncatered. This will enable us to take on more jobs and meet the demands of clients. We’re all about helping our trade clients grow alongside us – and this is certainly going to support that aim.

Mediapoints flatbed printing capacity will triple thanks to this new printer – meaning even greater savings, less waste and more margin for all. We believe that this new equipment will be a game-changer for our print resellers and brokers.

Access all the benefits above by signing up for a PrintIQ account today and utilising our automated print portal for your trade printing needs.

Australian Print Industry Vs Europe: 4 Things We Learned

The Australian print industry and Europe are, naturally, quite different. From the way they approach the business of print through to the elements of production they prioritise.

In this blog, we discuss the main differences we identified on a recent trip to visit trade printing facilities in Europe.

European Printers Prioritise Quality

The European print market seems to value print quality over speed and volume. This is due to the expectations and diversity of customers in this market. Therefore the throughput is generally lower and print modes set finer to achieve those small percentage gains in resolution. This is evident in the way that European printers invest in equipment that offers more control over quality optimisations than throughput. Additionally, the European market is home to many high-end print shops that specialise in luxury and bespoke prints at volume – albeit with much slower turnaround.

That’s not to say that resolution in large-format printing in Australia is significantly worse. We’re talking minimal differences in quality – it’s just that Australian resellers prioritise volume.

Sustainability Efforts Are More Mature than Australian Print Industry

Another major difference between the European and Australian print markets is the emphasis on sustainability. There is a greater emphasis on using environmentally friendly materials and reducing energy consumption in print. Not only is less concern about costs associated with sustainability.

Greater (and more regular) Investments in New Equipment in Europe: In Europe, printers tend to make greater and more regular investments in new equipment. This is because the European market is more competitive and printers must stay ahead of the curve to remain competitive. Additionally, European printers also tend to invest in new equipment to ensure that they can produce prints of the highest quality.

Staff turnover is much lower in Europe and staff stay with companies – buying into the vision and mission of businesses: Finally, the European print industry is known for having a lower staff turnover rate compared to the Australian print industry. Staff in Europe tend to stay with companies for longer periods of time, and they tend to buy into the vision and mission of the business. This is because the European market is more mature and stable, and staff are more likely to find job security and stability in the European print industry.

An Australian Printer Success Story For Durst

As a leading Australian printer we have established strong relationships with our equipment suppliers. See how we work in tandem with Durst – one of the global names in print.

You’ll often hear us say Mediapoint is the best-equipped trade printer. We stand behind that statement and pride ourselves on always looking for the right machinery for each job.

Luckily Mediapoint has also established a strong relationship with Durst – manufacturers of some of the best printing equipment in the world. We are able to trade ideas and discuss ways to do more with our equipment. This ensures we’re running our equipment optimally, providing the best output for trade printing customers.

Recognised as a Leading Australian Printer

Our continued efforts to match leading printing equipment with efficient processes led Durst to feature Mediapoint as a leading Australian printer in their case study series. The team was honoured to share our story along with feedback on the way we work with the global Durst team.

See the full case study video below:

Why Durst Printing Equipment?

Durst has been a big part of how we’ve been able to expand our portfolio and enabled us to offer services to customers with confidence that our equipment won’t break down or be retired any time soon. Plus, as a leading name in print equipment worldwide, we’ve attracted clients because of Durst’s reputation.

As a business we also appreciated the openness and support of the Durst team. It can be hard for an Australian printer to establish open lines of communication with a global equipment manufacturer. In the grand scheme of things large format printing in Australia is a small market. However, Durst recognised our dedication to getting the most out of the equipment and our Lean approach to printing productivity.

This has led to a synergistic relationship where we can share feedback that helps the manufacturer improve products and services, whilst they do the same for us.

Want to see the quality produced by our lineup of Durst equipment? Sign up for our PrintIQ self-serve printing portal.

The Mediapoint Trade Printing Story

The Mediapoint trade printing story is one of ambition, learning, and dedication. Read on to learn where we’ve come from and where we’re going.

Mediapoint has been servicing trade printing for almost two decades. Throughout that time we’ve consistently developed our capabilities and focused on providing value wherever possible. Our wealth of experience, lean processes and wide range of equipment make us the perfect partner for enterprise resellers.

The Mediapoint Trade Printing Story Starts In A Lounge Room

Our first print run was in the family lounge room in 2006. We started with just $1000 and one offering – signage. Through contacts of the family business (a commercial cleaning company) we identified that local businesses needed quality signage. It was a truly bootstrap operation that took over the household. We learned a lot about printing very quickly – particularly that having the right equipment was key.

Our first plotter broke down within a year of use which led us to source new machinery. That’s when we found a large format printer that could print AND cut. This didn’t come cheap but it did open up new avenues and ways of doing things. The very process of sourcing new equipment – learning about model features, print modes, ink requirements etc. – as well as operating a growing business within a small family home, set up the foundations for the way we work today.

Diving into Large Format Printing

Along with the purchase of our first wide format printer (and some other machinery) we took a leap of faith and rented our first commercial space in 2007. At the time the space we had rented was massive for what we needed but it represented opportunity and room to grow.

For the next several years we continued to build out our product range, equipment inventory and capabilities. We can’t say it was a dream run but we pride ourselves on our ability to adapt, learn and build upon the issues that come our way.

By 2011 it became clear that there was a particular type of client that was ordering us regularly, that we could service efficiently, and that was fast becoming our main market.

Becoming an Exclusive Trade Only Printer

As it turned out, by 2011 a majority of our clients were trade customers – high volume print resellers / brokers looking for consistent quality at speed. Thanks to the addition of even more equipment, in combination with refined processes, we started to gain a reputation for being one of the most reliable trade printers.

Trade clients themselves were reliable, loyal and suited our lean approach to service – so we made the decision to focus on them exclusively. This turned out to be a smart move and we’ve seen nothing but benefits for ourselves and our clients since.

Our mantra is ‘helping businesses win’ and by aiming to be the best at print we relieve a burden on our trade customers. We allow them to be the best at what they do – reselling print. We enable our customers to offer more products, focus on fostering customer relationships, and grow their sales.

In 2017 we bought a new 2200sqm HQ in Derrimut, Victoria – where we are located today. This was a major step towards helping even more businesses around Australia access trade printing services.

The Mediapoint Trade Printing Story Continues

We’re proud to be one of the largest dedicated, large format printing facilities. With over 150 orders a day, and a wide range of equipment we need every inch of the space!

We’re still just as focused on matching the best in printing and finishing equipment with efficient lean processes as we were in 2007. So we don’t just rest on our laurels – the Mediapoint team is always looking to provide more products, more efficient services and more savings to our clients.

Our definition of quality, and even our definition of a trade print client, is different from many of our competitors. But after 16+ years in business, and with a loyal base of high volume resellers, it’s clear that the our way of doing things will continue to serve all stakeholders well. The Mediapoint trade printing story is far from over!

Want to work with us? Join our growing community of print resellers and access trade only pricing by signing up for a PrintIQ account.

Using IQ: Getting Quotes & Making Orders

Our self-serve trade print portal is PrintIQ. It makes ordering print jobs with Mediapoint quick and easy. Amongst the features within the self-serve print portal you’re able to access live pricing 24/7, get quotes, view your previous / current orders, and submit artwork.

Jamie (Mediapoint Founder) has put together a useful video walkthrough to showcase the PrintIQ workflow. Learn how to view products, put a quote together, confirm your orders and see helpful metrics when you need them.

We’ve developed PrintIQ to cater towards customers that require fast, efficient print at the best-price.

Our trade printing portal enables us to guarantee next-day turnaround on certain products when ordered by cut-off times. High volume resellers love the ability to easily build quotes, submit their artwork and track progress live, in one place.

Sign Up to Access Trade Only Pricing

Want to access the best priced trade printing? Sign up for a PrintIQ account today.

Definition of a Trade Print Client

We delve into our definition of a trade print client and how it ensures a transparent relationship that benefits everyone.

At Mediapoint we define a trade client as any entity reselling print; not the end consumer. So when we say, “we are a trade only printer” that means we don’t deal with retail customers. This has a few benefits for our customers but it’s important to know what such a trade printing relationship means.

Our Definition of a Trade Print Client Sets Accountabilities

We have found that there are fewer crossed wires, faster turnaround and better results when dealing directly with print resellers. One line of communication makes each party accountable for certain tasks. For Mediapoint that’s print, cut, finishing and packaging. For our trade clients that means they handle preparation of artwork and communicating with the retail customer.

We find that this task split is appealing to trade printing clients. It provides peace-of-mind that their customer won’t be poached. This is all too common when there is no separation between the end customer and the trade printer. Either organically or by intent resellers can be cut out of deals as customers seek to lower prices or reduce administration.

Our Definition of a Trade Print Client Enables Us to Support More Businesses

As a print reselling partner with a focus solely on trade clients we are able to support more than just traditional print shops. Our definition of a trade print client extends beyond print resellers or print brokers. Marketing/design agencies, individual consultants are also in need of a high volume printing partner. Our ability to blind ship orders and deal direct is particularly appealing to these organisations.

Trade Customer

Considerations for Working with Trade Printers

A trade printer’s number one priority should be to give its resellers the most margin. That’s how we operate at Mediapoint. We’ve heavily invested in our manufacturing and our process. That means all other areas of the business including the frontend, prepress, and dispatch need to be fairly automated.

So if you require personal service on every order, a trade printer like us may not be optimal. You will be directed to an automated system for the aforementioned benefits of speed, efficiency and cost.

However, you’ll have access to the best printing prices and reclaim time back to grow your business. Not to mention peace of mind. These are the tradeoffs to consider when comparing trade printing VS In-House Production.

A quality trade printer (also known as a Wholesale Printer) will deal only with you – not your customer – allowing you to focus on growing relationships and your customer base. After all, trade printing is a service where you outsource to a supplier who producing work on your behalf. You are then left with greater equipment availability for priority, short-run jobs and/or more time to focus on growing your business.

If you think you fit into our definition of trade and are looking to outsource your printing, sign up for a PrintIQ account today.

How Much Does it Cost To Buy A Large Format Printer?

There are several factors that determine the true cost when you buy a large format printer. Jamie Xuereb discusses them in the video below and outlines the costs further in this article.

Everyone Gets Distracted by Physical Equipment Cost

We often see people get sucked in by the cost of a large format printer itself. They only look at this number as a metric to determine quality of the asset, the capital required and expense to the business. But we believe that there are several important factors besides the cost of the printer. The main elements to consider are:

  • Print Mode
  • Ink Costs
  • Service Fees
  • Floor Space.

The Effects of Different Print Modes

You always want to work any cost calculations on the ‘go to’ mode that you want to print at. This is how print line capacity is throttled; directly impacting ROI. We are notorious for knuckling honing in on optimal print modes when acquiring a new equipment. The key is to identify a mode that eliminates banding in print and provides a balance of speed. This way we can ensure we sustain our service level to our reseller customer and prints are of a good quality.

We do not get swayed by the fastest modes on a printer – even though it is easy to! Each printer will have a different sweet spot that provides the optimal results. We account for reduced speed through batching and other pre / post print processes. That’s how Mediapoint can support the needs of our high-volume resellers without sacrificing quality.

Consider Ink Cost When You Buy a Large Format Printer

The ink cost (per square meter) is very important, particularly for higher volume use. It’s imperative that you calculate the price of your printer based on average usage throughout its useful life.

For example: Say a new large format printer will have a 4 year useful life. You could anticipate doing 100,000 square meters of print during that time. You’ll want to work out the total cost with ink required for that volume, as well as any servicing fees in the 4 year period.

On that note…

When You Buy a Wide Format Printer You’ll Require Servicing

This is the part that most print equipment salespeople do not like to talk about. However we can’t stress enough how much this can influence the true cost. At Mediapoint we have found maintenance costs with certain brands to be unfeasible.

When you buy a large format printer, investigate the square meters of printing it can produce before certain servicing is required. Make sure to keep this top-of-mind and factor into your costings.

How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Large Format Printer
Our Durst 512R LED in action. We used the points in these posts when making decision to buy this printer as it fit our business

Large Printers Require Significant Amount of Floor Space

When it comes to commercial printing, new equipment ties up more floor space. There is a material cost to this (buying / leasing space) and an opportunity cost (using the space for something else). Don’t forget that on top space for each piece of equipment we need room for handling stock, to a working and dispatch area.

To give you an example: at Mediapoint we have over 2000sqm of internal warehouse space. Now whilst not all of that is used at the moment (we are future proofing for further expansion), a significant portion is takin up by our printing equipment. Real estate is a major, yet often overlooked, reason why business scaling is challenging for print shops.

If you’re looking to buy a large format printer to cater for demand growth, first consider a trade printing partner like Mediapoint. We have 16+ years experience dealing only with resellers, allowing them to expand their businesses efficiently. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

The Costs of Wide Format Printing Explained

In this article we break down wide format printing costs to give you a peak behind the scenes. You’ll be able to better understand exactly where gains can be made. Plus, you’ll have a better idea of the difference between trade printing and in-house production.

Wide Format Printing Equipment Cost & Capacity

First and foremost is the actual cost of the large format equipment to be used. The capital expenditure of these assets is factored into the cost of each sheet. When calculating this, organisations need to also consider the capacity of the selected printer. At Mediapoint, we have invested in large format printers that can handle more volume, to bring down the cost per sheet and produce more jobs per hour. In tandem with our streamlined batching processes we can feed more volume through the line in less operational time. That means we can pass on greater savings to our trade clients and give them greater margin for reselling.

For the clients we cater to best (high volume resellers) this is the optimal process, however there will inevitably be some tradeoffs. We’ve covered those in another article that outlines how to evaluate a trade printer and make sure they match your needs.

Ink Plays a Key Part in Large Format Printing

Fundamentally you need ink to print – there is no way around this commodity. An ink cost per square meter is factored into the cost of any printing run. When dealing with large format prints this can be a significant cost – particularly if the equipment being used is not efficient in its ink usage. You’ll find that entry level or cheaper equipment will be less effective in its use of inks. So you may still end up with a quality print, but the ink costs per square meter are much higher.

We run premium Durst printers on a single printing mode. These are optimised for a set quality of print in all batches. This allows us to sustain efficient ink usage even at the high volume our clients expect, whilst sustaining the level of print quality their own customers expect.

Floor Space Required for Wide Format Printers

Large printers need a lot of floor space. From handling stock, to a working and dispatch area; each piece of equipment needs a significant amount of real estate. At Mediapoint we have over 2000sqm of internal warehouse space. This enables our teams work safely and efficiently when handling print jobs. Plus, it future-proofs our expansion plans.

This is an oft-overlooked aspect of wide format printing, and a major reason why scaling production / capacity is hard for your average print shop. Once the capacity of existing equipment is reached, not only do you need to outlay capital for equipment but also rental of extra floor space or sometimes even an entirely new premises. That expenditure usually leads to increase in print pricing which can affect relationships with customers and significantly impact your bottom line.


Another overlooked aspect of wide format printing is the added finishing equipment and processes required. Finishing has a linked impact on quality and delivery of print runs. Sometimes, the cost of good finishing equipment can cost more than the actual print equipment. Then we must consider the cost of staff, training, and the time needed to finish orders. Once again, this all contributes to the final pricing of print jobs. Any process optimisations or capital savings mean less costs overall and greater margins to play with. In printing, economies of scale are very real – which is why trying to justify completing high-volume, repetitive work in-house can be difficult.

Durst 512 Mediapoint
The Costs of Wide Format Printing Explained

Quality Assurance and Dispatch

Unlike other forms of print, like the name suggests, large format printing is large. Due to the materials and equipment involved the print process differs from smaller-scale operation. That means it is necessary to conduct QA work prior to dispatch. It also requires customised packaging and delivery option which ties up a lot of resources as well.

As you can see, there are many factors at play when it comes to the pricing of commercial printing. Due to this the quoting process can often take quite a while, delaying projects or blowing out lead times. That’s why we’ve invested in our PrintIQ system – offering 24/7 live pricing and automated print processing.

If you’re a print resellers looking to provide accurate quotes, manage customer expectations, and get on with the business of selling, create an account today.

3 Ways Trade Printing Can Increase Profits

In the video above (and the accompanying article) we discuss how you can increase profits by engaging a trade printer.

Increase Profits by Offering More Products to Your Existing Customers

It’s highly likely the bulk of your revenue comes from existing customers, who already buying from you. You’ve built up a relationship with them and you’re likely to be their go-to supplier. But there’s a finite amount of products and stock you can hold / offer without taking up costly space. Not to mention the compatibility of these materials with your existing equipment.

That’s where an established, large trade printer comes in handy. By engaging a print partner you can offer their range of products and services as your own to existing customers without having to outlay significant cost for new stock, products or specialised printing equipment. You win by growing your product offerings (whilst minimising spend) and they win by not having to go elsewhere.

It’s a no-risk way to add services and products without the need for more floor space, staff, equipment or administration. Under this model you can just focus on the selling; strengthening relationships with clients as you also add profit, thanks to good margins and increased offerings.

Downsizing By Removing Unprofitable Lines

Eliminate the risk and the burden of unprofitable lines by shifting the responsibility to a trade printer. It’s no secret that staff are getting harder to find in Australia, so when we they are available we need them to be utilised effectively. Plus accessing the latest technology or purchasing new equipment is taking longer than ever thanks to supply chain issues. So keeping up with the right equipment or the right setup to match our competitors, and the demands of a growing customer base, is much harder.

To overcome these challenges (particularly during the peak of COVID) we’ve seen printing companies downsizing, moving to leaner models and focusing only on profitable lines. Some have even made the decision to shift entirely from print manufacturing to print reselling or brokering.

Trade printers make this a viable long-term strategy, allowing print business owners to stress less and move to more profitable models over the last couple years.

Increase Profits by Outsourcing Large Volume Orders

If you’re manufacturing predominantly in-house it’s likely that you have entry-level equipment or assets that suit a lower volume of production. This is fine for artisanal, bespoke or custom jobs, but not beneficial if you’re expecting to grow the volume of your print runs. In this scenario the cost per square metre will be much higher when factoring in ink, stock, labour, capital for equipment and the physical space you need for it all.

Of course, you can charge more (out of necessity / perceived value) but should your quantity of orders or volume grow, you’ll be tying up production capacity on low margin orders. Never forget that time is a commodity; any time your machines are running for one job, they aren’t producing for another. You want to be utilising your own equipment for the orders that make the most profit; outsourcing to a reliable partner enables you to do this without sacrificing quality or speed on key accounts.

Using a trade printer you can produce faster, at a higher volume, without the profit-eating capital outlay.

Trade Printing Mediapoint
3 Ways Trade Printing Can Increase Profits

Which Trade Printers Will Increase Profits

Each trade / wholesale printer will have different offerings when it comes to products, service and pricing.

It’s important to undertake a robust evaluation of your options – whether you’re already in a trade printing partnership or just starting to look into the option. It doesn’t take much to get the answers you need, just a decent investment of focus and time. However, the return on this investment can reap great rewards when it comes to increasing profits. We recently discussed the fundamental questions you should answer in your evaluation when looking to outsource your printing.

Match up with a quality wholesale printer and you’ll be freeing up equipment capacity, labour, time and capital whilst building up the bottom line.

If you’re interested in evaluating Mediapoint services, and joining hundreds of other high volume resellers taking advantage of trade print, sign up to our PrintIQ system today.

have a question?
Link added to the buffer