Fifteen years ago, Print Image Network co-founders John Foster and Stephen Power, combined their knowledge of the print industry and the world of elections to create the election printing specialist it is today. Print Image Network is a company focused on helping to solve the election complexities facing modern local authorities and organisations. As you can imagine, this has been no mean feat.
The challenges presented by the new Individual Electoral Registration system, which was introduced in 2014, plus the recent General election and local elections, have not been without certain challenges. Such significant changes in the electoral landscape have left suppliers of local authorities needing to react to the challenges with the same agility as councils themselves.
After three General elections the company is still going strong. It has seen many changes over the years; mostly legislative, although in more recent times other external factors have influenced the way elections are managed. Budget spending cuts, the decline of voter turnout and technological advancements (or rather restrictions thereof), have all led to challenges for councils and suppliers alike. So, as electoral staff throughout the UK took a short rest following 7th May, all are back to tackle this year’s canvass.
A testament to the way Print Image Network has handled the elections this year is the encouraging results of its recent customer satisfaction surveys. To ensure continued commitment to its Customer Service Excellent standard, Print Image Network developed two customer surveys – one to collect customer opinions relating to IER and one to determine how we serviced customers during the May 2015 elections. The combined satisfaction level from respondents came to 94%.
Over the years Print Image Network has extended its range of services and markets. It also provides print services for any type of business and, with the introduction of PIPI, Print Image Promotions and Incentives, has been providing branded promotion products since 2009.
One of the biggest events in the Print Image timeline was in 2009, when a new brand was born – UK Engage. Taking its experience from within the elections arena, Print Image Network launched UK Engage, the company’s brand to service the election needs of other types of organisations, both in the private and public sector. UK Engage, became more than an elections printer it became an elections services provider. As new staff members were employed and the company grew, so did its skill set and expertise it was able to offer.
Today, UK Engage offers organisations much more than a printing service – it is now able to offer a comprehensive service which includes consulting and advising organisations on their election processes, offering a range of services to improve engagement amongst members. The introduction of electronic voting and other ‘online’ solutions have equipped UK Engage to become a major contender in this field. Today, the brand runs internal elections, AGMs, training sessions and workshops for NHS foundation trusts, social housing providers, professional bodies, cooperatives, charities and Business Improvement Districts, amongst others.
John Foster and Stephen Power have built a company that has, over the past 15 years, gone from strength to strength. Co-founder Stephen Power had this to say about the anniversary. “Print Image Network has always been a forward thinking company, both brands are evolving and adapting to the market sectors in which they operate. We are well-prepared to meet the expectations our customers have for us in the future; we’re delighted to celebrate 15 years in business and we are looking forward to the next 15!”
John Foster added, “2015 has been quite a year. No one would deny that, at times, it’s been challenging for all involved but at the same time we have overcome challenges for all our customers to ultimately deliver successful elections. This year we have also retained our Customer Service Excellence standard, which means that we have been recognised as achieving excellent customer service. No other electoral services provider holds this standard and we are extremely proud that we’ve been able to maintain such high standards and pass our three-year assessment with flying colours.”
Since the early days the company has substantially increased its workforce, increased its product and service portfolio to encompass all modern needs and its customer base is growing each month.
Print Image Network Ltd, one of the UK’s leading providers of local authority electoral printing services, will sponsor the Elections Conference 2015 on 15 January 2015. The Elections Conference is an annual event for returning officers and senior managers from UK local authority councils who are accountable for managing the election process.
With a strong heritage in electoral services including the design, print, fulfilment and postage of canvass materials, poll cards, postal voting packs and ballot papers, Print Image Network works with more than 80 local authorities throughout the UK. The company is excited to sponsor the event for the second year as it addresses prominent issues that affect its customers.
The one-day event welcomes an array of prestigious speakers to discuss a number of key challenges facing returning officers and senior managers. Dr Clive Grace OBE, Secretary of the SOLACE Foundation will open and close the conference with Sam Gyimah MP, Parliamentary under Secretary of State at the Department for Education and Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office delivering the keynote session. In addition, Print Image Network is especially pleased that Tony Slater, Head of Elections at the company will be delivering one of the afternoon sessions - Digitising Elections.
John Foster, Managing Director of Print Image Network said of the forthcoming conference “2015 will be a key year for returning officers and their staff, the May Parliamentary Election and local elections will present great challenges for all involved. At Print Image Network it is our job to assist local authorities as much as possible with the challenges they face, this year we will continue to do so with our flexible and responsive approach to election administration.”
Services Director, Stephen Power added "Managing the complexities that Parliamentary, local elections and electoral registration bring can be especially testing for local authorities. In order to fully assist our customers to the best of our ability we work closely with the Cabinet Office and the AEA, our commitment to the Electoral Commission Working Group is also vital to understanding the future challenges that local authorities face.”
The Elections Conference is being held on 15 January 2015 at Broadway House, London and is organised by SOLACE Enterprises.