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  • In a remarkable achievement, Lotsa Printing of Cairns and Port Douglas, Queensland has become the first printer globally to achieve a perfect 100% audit score for ISO 12 647 colour Quality Management System, using Mellow Colour.

    The achievement attracted the attention of the local Member of Parliament, The Hon. Warren Entsch, Federal member for Leichhardt, who presented Lotsa owner Peter Martin with the perfect-score certificate supplied by Colour Graphic Services.

    "This is a fabulous example where a business has learned how to overcome the challenges of operating in a regional area with what can be a very testing climate and it’s this kind of knowledge that will put them head and shoulders above the competition,” said Mr Entsch, adding: "It was great to meet with the owner of Lotsa, Peter Martin, and his team at the Port Douglas premises Peter showed me the system which continually monitors the colour and quality of their printing, and it’s just amazing – I have a whole new appreciation for the process behind the printing that we get done through Lotsa.”

    David Crowther of Colour Graphic Services, who conducted the audit to stringent benchmarks, said: "It’s a remarkable achievement for any printer, but especially so for a regional one like Lotsa, having to battle tropical weather and logistic issues. I had to double-check all of the criteria to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.”

    Maintaining Mellow Colour ISO 12647 colour Quality Management System (QMS) certification requires diligence, continuing improvement and six-monthly audits by a qualified Lead Auditor such as Crowther. A score of 70% or higher will enable a printing site to continue to be certified, such is the precision and demand of the ISO system that requires thorough procedures, measurement, training and records across all relevant departments, what Crowther calls the ‘culture of colour.’

    Lotsa had previously gained Australia’s highest QMS audit score of 95% at the company’s September 2015 audit. Lotsa has now gone one better, in fact as high as a printer can get with a 100% score – for the first time anywhere in the world.

    Devotee of colour

    Peter Martin explains how his SME printer in the tropics has managed such an accolade: "We have become devotees of the ‘Church of Colour.’ No longer do we rely on one or two people to manage perceived quality. With ISO and Mellow Colour systems in place, all staff can be a part of the process and take ownership of managing colour consistency across all 5 printing machines, digital and offset. Frankly, we are anal about colour quality and how we are perceived by our customers.”

    Acknowledging that ISO quality is an on-going perpetual pursuit and not just a one-off, Martin notes: "The 6 monthly audits are great for learning more from a colour expert on how we can perform better. The ISO process makes us look at the variables, the things that can go wrong or change, which can affect the final output. Mellow Colour’s PrintSpec software enables us to pinpoint where any problems might lie.”