PANPA judges recognised the output quality at APN News & Media’s Yandina plant and its safety, environmental and community programs in naming it 2015 Print Centre of the Year – but for general manager Greg Carson it was all about the people.
“It’s really the staff that make Yandina the great production facility it is today,” Mr Carson said.
“It doesn’t matter how much you put into the assets, what you spend on the technology or how much machinery you’ve got. It’s the people that create the difference.”
Yandina is a multimillion-dollar operation situated on a five-acre site in a semi-rural, semi-industrial area of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast that churns out on average 150 print jobs a week. Its assets include four Regioman coldest units combined with a Uniset heatset tower and the latest Krause LS computer-to-plate imagesetters.
It produces five daily newspapers: Grafton’s Daily Examiner, Lismore’s Northern Star, The Gympie Times, The Fraser Coast Chronicle and the Sunshine Coast Daily.
A number of staff, including Mr Carson, have been at Yandina since the first product rolled off its presses in October, 2006. Many had transferred to the newly-constructed Yandina facility following the closure of the print centre in Maroochydore, around 25 kilometres away.
“First preference back then was to give the staff at that site the opportunity to move to the Yandina site, which most people have taken up,” Mr Carson says.
Mr Carson says there are often staff barbeques to thank the hard work of his team. The barbeques themselves reflectthe community-minded approach Yandina takes to running its business.
Food for staff events is sourced from local butchers and grocers and the centre sponsors and prints the program for the annual Yandina street fair.
Yandina also donates end rolls to disability support network Endeavour Foundation, and each Christmas buys gifts and food hampers for disadvantaged families.
Its environmental initiatives include harvesting and recycling rain water collected on the site, programs to reduce power consumption and replacing halogen lights with energy-efficient LEDs and motion sensors that automatically switch off lights.
Yet as environmentally conscious as Yandina is, it is not immune to the rampant forces of nature: flooding and cyclones.
“It’s just a culture that if the job has to get out it will get out”
“Certainly over the years we’ve experienced a lot of flooding and road closures where we have to not only get papers out but get staff to work,” Mr Carson says.
“We’ll find in those times that people may have to do additional work to cover for others who can’t get here, and it’s just a culture that if the job has to get out it will get out.”
The other main culture of Yandina’s staff is one of safety, which has been a priority since the facility opened.
“Staff look out for their work mates, not just for their own safety,” Mr Carson says.
“It’s interesting to take a person from Yandina to another print site, and the first thing they notice is that this place doesn’t look as safe as ours.
“It’s something that they really pick up on.”
Since its opening, Yandina has implemented a little more automation into the way it handles its products. The centre has changed the way it stacks its heatset products from bundle stacking to log stacking, added a second Muller Martini stich and trim line and is currently in the process of commissioning a Sigma bagging line.
Yandina currently prints around 70 per cent APN products, and 30 per cent external work and Mr Carson says he is keen to explore things like digital printing to help combat the challenges confronting the industry, such as reduced print sales.
“The challenge for all print centres is how to diversify and utilise the equipment for other revenue opportunities, as well as looking at different ways of doing what we’re currently doing to sustain the print industry into the future.”
For more news from The Newspaper Works, click here.