A career in print: from Louise Stephenson, Client Sales Service Director at Precision

Print was probably the last thing on my mind when asked as a school leaver, “what do you want to do when you grow up”.

After leaving college I went straight into employment, I worked as a PA for Rothschild’s the Merchant Bankers and from there moved into customer services working for brands such as Orange and Barclays, I quickly proved myself and worked quickly through the ranks making my way up to call centre manager, heading up a large team of customer service and sales agents.

As a manager amongst a team I always believed in leading by example, therefore spent an hour a day on the phones listening to what our customers were telling us and encouraging my team leaders to do the same. I quickly realised that selling our products was easier when our customers recognised that they were being given an unbeatable level of service and we as team knew and understood the products we were selling.

So where does print come into my story, my sister and her husband started their own print company and asked if I would like to help them increase their sales. Knowing nothing about print but being confident talking to people I offered my help, and years later I am still here and I can honestly say I have loved every minute of the journey I have been on. We have progressed from being a print management company to having a complete production facility offering digital, offset and large format.

Long days, hard work and having a focus where customer satisfaction and quality of products we printed were pivotal to the business ethos we slowly started to make a name for ourselves within the printing industry.

Staff numbers increased and everyone joining always commented on how much of a team we were, everyone did what they could to ensure that the jobs got out of the door on time and were printed to the highest standards.

Personally I had to very quickly learn about Paper Sizes, PDF’s, CMYK v RGB v Spot Colour, print ready artwork, crops and bleed it all seemed so alien to me, fast forward to today and I sometimes shock myself that I can speak so fluently about these areas of our industry. I really do know my Durst Omega 2 from my Indigo.

Fast forward to November 2014 and we joined forces with Precision Printing and Precision North was born. After meeting the team and visiting Precision South offices I realised that together we really could push the boundaries and offer a complete print solution.

Printing is not a natural first choice of career for women to move into and I am proud to be part of a scheme in the North East called, “Building my Skills”, where businesses go into Secondary Schools and talk to School Leavers about our industry. Print has the ability to transform a brand, print can show your customers that you care, whether it be a personalised brochure or a simple business card. My advice to all women wanting a career in print is firstly, be hungry for knowledge, I still strive to learn from my colleagues. Finally, but in my mind the most important, know your customer, listen to your customers needs and always aim to go that extra mile.

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