Snap franchisees form print co-op

FIVE of Western Australia’s largest Snap franchisees have pooled resources to establish a $2 million printing hub in Osborne Park.

The new facility throws out a major challenge to competing firms, including rival franchise group Worldwide Online Printing, which pioneered the hub concept.

The Snap printing hub, established as a cooperative, contains the latest high volume print technology.

The participating franchisees believe the new hub will lift the efficiency of their printing operations and the quality of the finished product.

John Smith, who owns Snap stores in Midland and the CBD and is current chairman of the cooperative, said he expected savings from two areas.

“One is the pre-press stage,” he said.

“The design and artwork will still be done at the sales centres. They will get it signed off by the client and transmit it electronically to an automated pre-press environment here.”

Mr Smith said the second area of savings was in the presses, which he said would be able to operate at consistently higher volumes than at individual stores.

“The production manager will be able to select the most appropriate press, and he may be able to combine jobs.”

The production centre has a five-colour press and four two-colour presses.

Mr Smith said each of the participating franchisees would be upgrading equipment, such as proofing devices, to ensure they had common standards with the production centre.

He said the stores would continue to offer digital printing but all other work would be directed to the new facility.

The five franchisees that established the production centre own seven Snap stores – at Subiaco, Claremont, Fremantle, Osborne Park, Applecross, Midland and St Georges Terrace.

By number, these stores are one third of Snap’s 22 stores in WA, but by volume they account for 44 per cent of Snap’s turnover.

Mr Smith said the production centre was an incremental improvement for the participating franchisees, which had progressively upgraded their printing capability over the past decade.

“We see this as a logical next step in the progression,” he told WA Business News.

Mr Smith said the Osborne Park hub was the fourth in Australia, but the first to be established as a cooperative, to be known as Caxton Cooperative.

Under this structure, each shareholder has one vote, but financial contributions and rewards are linked to print volumes through the production centre.

Perth-based Worldwide Online Printing, which has 53 franchisees across Australia, conducts all printing at two company-owned hubs in Perth and Sydney.

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