Printing administrators are involved in various aspects of the print production process. Roles and duties can include:
Works manager – responsible for the overall running of a factory or plant. They oversee the printing processes and departments, supervise staff and plan schedules. They liaise with customers and have overall responsibility for ensuring the process is run cost-effectively.
Production controller/manager - oversees print orders through the stages of origination, machine printing and finishing. They coordinate different print orders, planning the most efficient use of available machinery and staff, dealing with any production problems that arise, and ensuring deadlines are met and products meet quality standards.
Estimator – uses software packages to assist in the preparation of quotations for jobs, taking into account the materials needed, the artwork required, and the costs involved in each stage of the printing process. They liaise with clients and managers.
Buyer - responsible for purchasing materials needed for a particular job. Negotiates with materials suppliers to get the best value for money.
Account/sales executive - seeks to develop new business opportunities for the company, and maintain existing client accounts. Executives deal with clients on a face-to-face basis, by phone, mail and email.
Trainer – coaches and mentors new and experienced staff who are undertaking work-based training programmes.
Depending on the size of the company, administrators may cover several of these roles or specialise in one area.
Hours vary depending on the nature of the organisation and job role. Office work is usually 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Managers and printing controllers often work shifts. Overtime may be available.
The place of work varies according to the job and can include factories, small workshops or offices. Some travel may be required when meeting clients or visiting suppliers. A driving licence will be helpful.
As a printing administrator, you should:
The printing, packaging and graphics industry is the UK’s fifth largest manufacturing industry, and employs around 200,000 people in over 12,000 companies. Most companies are small to medium enterprises with the largest concentrations of employment found in London and the south-east, Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow.
Promotion to supervisory, departmental management and general management positions is possible, particularly for those with advanced qualifications.
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