Baseline Group has 30 staff and is Wellington based. Recently rebranded, the umbrella group encompasses Baseline Digital Print, signage and retail solutions company POP-I, and ZAG Décor.
Thompson says Baseline’s focus on staying innovative and technologically advanced has been key to its success in a rapidly-evolving business environment.
The company launched its rebranding campaign in February to better reflect its diversity. The range of companies under Baseline Group’s umbrella means the group can handle anything from a single sheet of A4 paper to a roll of digitally-printed, personalised wallpaper. It can also print bulkheads and retail displays.
Baseline is also creating a new website which will allow customers to upload their own graphics and purchase point-of-sale material online.
There has lately been a change in the digital printing atmosphere, says Thompson: customers have moved from offset to digital printing, and she thinks they will soon eschew digital printing for an entirely online offering.
“Digital printing will go the same direction as offset print has gone.”
It’s happening already – Thompson says one of Baseline’s clients in the education industry will, by 2017, be “90 percent online.”
“You have to be constantly diversifying,” says Thompson.
Thanks to her father Eric Thompson’s vision, Baseline has been on that path for several years already. Now 78, Eric Thompson remains the company’s director, and constantly researches industry trends and digital possibilities.
Andrea Thompson stepped up as general manager last year, describing the role as “satisfying and scary.” Her father invited her to join the business 10 years ago when she returned to New Zealand following 16 years spent overseas.
“Dad asked me, ‘What are you going to do?’ and I said, ‘No idea.’”
He has been training her in the business ever since, and preparing her for leadership “solidly” over the last five years. She will assume ownership of the company when her father is ready, she says, underlining that the company will remain under family ownership.
Thompson says she and her siblings used to visit the company when they were children. She is pleased to see her own children, aged nine and seven, now also coming in: “We’ve got the third generation coming through.”
Asked how she intends to stamp her signature on the company, Thompson says it’s all about innovation.
“We need to keep evolving, and evolving in the right direction. I believe online – accompanied by print – is that right direction.”
It’s about working “smart” and maintaining a customer focus, she says.