UK businesses can save up to £23 billion per annum by making a few simple changes to manage resources more effectively, according to DEFRA. Over £2bn could be saved in printing costs alone, as identified in a 2009 report by cebr (Centre for Economics and Business Research).
The UK housing market remained comparatively healthy in 2012 and is showing early signs of recovery but the economy as whole shrank in Q4 2012 and may do so again in the first quarter of 2013. If this happens, the UK will officially be in a recession once more.
The State of the Housing Market
The property market is showing early signs of recovery, with Rightmove reporting a 0.2% increase in house prices across its site in the first few weeks of January, compared with December 2012. This represents a 2.4% increase on the same period last year. Rightmove has also reported a 22% increase in the number of new properties on the site, month-on-month.
Good news, on the face of it, as mortgage approvals increased at the end of 2012 and the Council of Mortgage Lenders has forecast that mortgage lending will increase by 10% in 2013. As the UK economy shrank by 0.3% in the last quarter, the construction industry was the only sector to grow, expanding by 0.3%.
A note of caution, however, as the figures mask the continuing difficulties faced by the industry. Adjusted for inflation, house prices actually fell by 4% last year and are still 25% lower than in the third quarter of 2007. The numbers tell a similar tale when we look at the number of properties for sale and the amount of money being lent.
Despite the recent increases, the number of properties for sale is still 37% lower than it was five years ago and the number of new properties being built is just 55% of the pre-recession figure. Whilst the predicted 10% rise in mortgage lending is undoubtedly welcome news, current lending is only half of what it was in 2007.
So, things are moving in the right direction but recovery takes time and, following the recessions of the late 80s and early 90s, house prices took several years to get back to their pre-recession levels. If the economy shrinks again in Q1 2013, the UK will slide back into recession and any recovery may be jeopardised. It is more important than ever, then, to for businesses to effectively manage their bottom line – to reduce costs without compromising on service.
How Printware Can Help
Printware has built a solid reputation helping businesses to streamline their print processes and reduce costs. Working with a large, nationwide estate agent, Printware delivered a tailor-made managed print solution which couldn’t be matched for price and service. The client needed a flexible service, high quality, reliable printers and a supplier it could trust.
Printware supplied 500 devices free of charge in return for a commitment to purchase consumables and service for three years. A bespoke ordering portal streamlined the purchasing process, freeing branches from the need to place orders centrally and allowing them to benefit from next day delivery. The printers are covered by a 4+4 service agreement, which means that, if a fault develops, an engineer will be on site within 4 business hours and have the problem resolved within another four hours. With a more efficient purchasing system and minimal downtime, the customer is free to concentrate on the business of selling houses and taking care of their own bottom line.
The Printware Commitment
By developing a close working relationship with the client and taking the time to understand their needs, we were able to deliver their ideal solution. This commitment to understanding our customers’ needs, backed by the resources needed to deliver exceptional service, puts Printware in a unique position to help your business navigate through these uncertain times.
To find out more and see how Printware can help drive your business forward, call of one our experts on 023 9262 3300.
by Anthony Morgan