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Interview with Brett Newman

Jo Golding speaks to Brett Newman, chief operations manager at Hybrid Services, about working in the print industry and how Mimaki’s reputation for innovation was behind his latest move.

What is your own professional background and what do you enjoy most about your current role?

I’m proud to have been a member of the printing community for more than 20 years. I’ve worked for resellers, distributors, and manufacturers at all levels and my current role sees me as the chief operations manager at Mimaki’s UK and Irish distributor, Hybrid Services.

I joined Hybrid primarily for the opportunity to work with Mimaki’s product portfolio and its reputation for innovation. A broad and diverse product range allows us to work in many different markets and customer bases, which means no two days are the same and I’m as excited about printing technology today as I was when I started out as a service engineer.

What do you think are the key factors underpinning Hybrid’s success to date?

Hybrid’s success comes down to a combination of things. Firstly, the product from Mimaki never fails to deliver. A history of great innovation and exciting plans for the future allow us to supply relevant, well designed, and original technology into a diverse range of markets in the UK and Ireland.

Secondly, the people within Hybrid. There’s a passion and dedication across the team and its network of resellers that says a lot about the brand, which leads onto the third factor, a long history and pedigree. Hybrid is now in its 22nd year—consistently supplying and supporting its reseller channel and end users in many markets that stretch far beyond the sign and graphics industry.

What has the response been like for your ‘Let’s Do More’ scheme and how important is helping the environment in the print industry?

Don’t forget it’s now ten years since we started ‘Let’s Do More’. Different people are motivated by different reasons for participating in the scheme and for those that don’t know how it works, we support customers who use Mimaki’s solvent ink cartridges by offering a rebate for their spent cartridges, help manage their print waste, and at the same time, keep around 40 tonnes of ink cartridges out of landfill every year.

So, for some users, the environmental benefits are the big motivating factor, for others, the free ink we provide as a rebate is beneficial and equally, those that appreciate Hybrid helping to manage a part of their print waste is a bonus. Whatever the motivation, it’s undoubtably been a huge success and remains a quite unique scheme in the industry.

What growth markets should print-service-providers diversify into using Hybrid’s technology and why?

Hybrid and Mimaki have been central to discussions about market convergence in recent years and we can’t stress enough the need to consider diversification in order to both grow and protect revenue.

We can’t stress enough the need to consider diversification in order to both grow and protect revenue

As I’ve said many times, the buyers don’t distinguish between print, they just see a printed item, so whatever that may be—whether a PSP wants to diversify into soft signage and textile printing or producing direct-to-object prints—there’s a Mimaki product to suit. We want our customers to be profitable and to be able to offer a broad range of new applications to their customers, so educating and informing them of the opportunities that Mimaki’s range presents is a key communication focus for Hybrid.