Lebone reaping benefits of technology, people investments

10th May 2021 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Creamer Media Reporter

Print solutions company Lebone Litho Printers’ infrastructure and technological investments, as well as its skills development and small, medium-sized and microenterprise (SMME) focus, are engendering benefits for the company.

This, combined with its diversification into digital, has enabled the company to remain successful and profitable even during the trend of print decline, and despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdowns.  

The company offers a complete end-to-end solution, from data management through to printing, packing, binding, die cutting, foiling, ultraviolet varnishing, laminating and finishing and distribution countrywide.

During a media tour of its facilities on May 10, group CE Keith Michael told Engineering News that the company has invested considerably into buildings at its main premises in Selby, Johannesburg, revamping and renovating these; as well as technology and skills investment across this and its other operations in the country.

The company has invested heavily in its Litho department, upgrading all of its presses; in training staff; and in capital expenditure (capex).

“We found that by not investing in our business, we would not have made it this far. Over the last five years, we’ve invested about R100-million, from capex to infrastructure,” acclaimed Michael.

He emphasised that investing in technology was critical, as a failure to do so would inevitably lead to a business dying.

Michael said that owing to these investments, the company was now able to print better and faster.

He noted that workers were able to grasp and adapt to new technology very well and quickly.

Michael said the technology enables the company to sell at a cheaper price, in line with what industry is demanding, and owing to price wars.

“If we had not made these investments, we would not be able to compete in the market. Technology has given us the edge is terms of honing skills; and producing super quality, with the best performing printers in terms of quality,” acclaimed Michael.

He also mentioned the importance of investing into its people in terms of skills development, as well as SMME focus.

He indicated that SMMEs form the backbone of any business and that the company has about 3 000 SMMEs on its database countrywide.

Through a consortium, the company spends about R200-million a year in terms of SMMEs, Michael said.

In terms of diversifying, he said the company has migrated from conventional digital, or conventional print, into digital.

He indicated that it has gone into developing platforms such as eMarking and Pay Marker, which allows remote marking of exam papers and tracking expenses of these markers. 

It has also developed enterprise development systems and electronic archiving.

Michael indicated that the print industry presents a lot of potential, especially in terms of enterprise development. He encouraged the youth to get involved in the space and work with the company.