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Tag Archives: digital transformation

#BeyondCoronacrisis.001

By Andreas Weber, Head of Transformation | German version

 

The articles in my ad hoc series “Print and the Crisis” serve as a guide: The print industry has to rethink radically and change IMMEDIATELY in order to adapt its “social culture” and its “skills” to the situation. Before the Corona crisis, there were opportunities and loopholes to compensate for deficits. And to conceal so that there is a gap between communication and action. This is taking revenge now.

Because: Highly ambitious innovators in particular – regardless of whether they are technology developers or printers – have been and are hardly able to present the added value they can (actually) provide clearly and comprehensibly. My analysis of how specialist communication is practiced makes me both angry and sad. And at the same time offers options to tackle this satirically. See: “No April Fool’s Day: The ‘K’ in crisis stands for creativity!”

The situation is serious. Very seriously!

If communication in companies, both internally and externally, is as miserable as before, it is a disaster. As stated, we need a new #debate culture; it is not just about critical questioning and certainly not about criticism.

It is about preventing absurd absurdity from becoming normal. If, for example, a CEO claims that his new strategy is not bad, and certainly not wrong, only communicated incorrectly and therefore misunderstood, it is a testimony to the poverty! For himself and for his management. Especially when attempts are being made to suppress criticism intriguingly and to be outraged if this is exposed by a third, independent party.

Because what the German Ethics Council stated at the federal press conference on April 7, 2020 is correct and expedient: In the #Coronacrisis times, apart from #solidarity and #responsibility, above all open #discussions are required. “You can’t regain trust without public debates!” Said Steffen Augsberg (source: German news by tagesschau.de). It is also possible to undo decisions without becoming unreliable.

Decisions need clarity

In order to make sustainable decisions in a targeted manner, you have to be clear without any ifs and buts. For the extremely innovation-driven printing industry, this means not following the slogan of the false prophets who “preach”: “Technology will do it!” Because technocracy is just as dangerous as technology ignorance.

My suggestion: Everyone for themselves and all of us together should collect and exchange ideas. To explore how we can benefit in the digital age despite all the turbulence. On the one hand for our communication, the go-to-market and networking. On the other hand for the ‘digital’ transformation of what we as #PrintLovers do with our work and our businesses.

The entry into #clarity when it comes to digitization & transformation in the digital age is provided by what Thomas Göcke has thoroughly thought through, internalized and published, and has already practiced in a team with many colleagues around the world: demystifying digitalization and transformation in print and making it clear what it is actually about deriving meaningful actions from it. And to clarify the complexity, the momentum and the dimensions behind it.

I mention Thomas Göcke because he, as a print technology specialist, is entrusted with #marketing and #digitization tasks and shows us what goes on, what needs to be taken into account, and for how long, beyond our own and company thinking You need breath to renew yourself and make yourself fit for the digital age. My POV: That helps us all in the print industry!


INFO BOX

The following reading tips as a basis for discussion:

How digital transformation is leading the world of print into the future

Core message: “An essential part of the recipe for a successful digital transformation is a permanent look through customer glasses. Because we can only be successful if we make our customers successful.”

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Preparing your company for digital transformation

Core message: “In contrast to digitalization – which only includes the use of digital technologies – digital transformation describes a process in which the emergence of new business models and a 100 percent customer focus is the focus. The result is offers for customers, new markets and a new culture.”

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Those who feel inspired can actively participate in open discussions on all relevant topics related to print:

  • Via online dialogue “Over the Skype” via INKISH.TV (in English, for a global specialist audience)
  • Via INKISH.News with own blog posts (in English and via INKISH D-A-CH also in German).

 


 

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By Andreas Weber

Heideldruck started massive changes. Restructuring will cost around € 300 m. 2k employees have to leave. See as well my analysis of qualified feedback from experts around the globe.

My Take

Creativity and confidence are required.

Biggest challenges:

1. Significantly improve internal value creation as quickly as possible.
2. To cushion impending sales losses as much as possible.

 

The key facts

  • Closure of unprofitable businesses as well as sharp cuts in production costs and structural costs
  • Production of “Primefire” and “very-large-format printing” will be stopped – Action package includes global reduction in force by up to 2,000 jobs
  • Non-recurring expenses of approximately €300 million impact FY 2019/20 earnings
  • Return transfer of around €375 million in liquidity from trust fund secures financing of action package and significantly increases financial stability
  • Net debt to be almost completely eliminated; high-yield bond to be repurchased
  • Focus on technology leadership in core business with emphasis on digitalization to advance(Source: Heidelberg Press Release March 17th, 2020)

 


 

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First analysis of the webcast by the Heidelberg Board of Management March 18th, 2020, 10:00 AM CET

 

I would like to share my short real-time report based on the ad hoc news Heidelberg communicated yesterday evening

 

1. By completely reducing net debt (pension fund reserves are added to the majority of the balance sheet), Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG can make it an attractive takeover candidate.

2. Setting the #Primefire106 as the #inkjet printing flagship eliminates operational losses, but slows down growth through innovation in the prospering #packaging market. — CFO Marcus Antonius Wassenberg’s assessment that digital printing is just beginning is sounding worth considering. After all, Heidelberg has developed over many years and invested over € 150m in R&D. And all competitors rely on #Inkjetprinting. Maybe new partnerships can arise. In addition, Heidelberg is holding intensive discussions for new strategic partnerships.

3. It is still unclear how / whether the measures set out by CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer will affect order intake in times of the #coronavirus chaos. At the moment you can react (short-time work, reduce costs etc.) and see what happens. Manufacturing in China is picking up speed again.

4. The failure of the #drupa2020 has good and bad effects. It saves effort and costs, but brings communication with customers to a standstill.

5. #subscription and connected #digitalservices are becoming increasingly important.

 


 

More information by Heidelberg IR via Twitter

 

 


 

Dr Ulrich Hermann un-plugged subscription.001

By Andreas Weber, Head of Value

What is right, what is wrong? While many of us still struggling with the ever-present innovation dilemma, the current discussion in the print industry laments about price wars, margin erosion and technical issues (for example, is digital printing better than offset printing, or is the future in online print?).

If you look closely and look over the edge, it becomes clear what really matters: key for success are new economic systems for new business strategies and business model architectures that provide entrepreneurial freedom and enable connection to the digital age and Industry 4.0.

On the sidelines of the international media event on #subscription at Klampfer Druck in Graz, Austria, I was able to interview Dr. Ulrich Hermann in a short but substantial ‘un-plugged’ video. The Member of the Management Board and Chief Digital Officer at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG is driving forward the digital transformation, not only at Heidelberg, but also in the customer market.

Alluding to a current printers association study, which shows that the majority of printers are overwhelmed with the topic of digitization and Industry 4.0, I wanted to know if and how to solve the ‚Industry 4.0‘ dilemma at printing companies.

 

Info tip

The ValueTrendRadar subsidiary publication #hotspotsubscription – The Renewal of Print ‘is waiting with exciting news about digital transformation in the team with subscription solutions.

//

German Version

Was ist richtig, was ist falsch? Während viele mit dem wohl schon immer vorhandenen Innovations-Dilemma hadern, wird aktuelle in der Print-Branche v. a. über Preiskämpfe, Margenverfall und technische Fragen lamentiert (z.B. ist der Digitaldruck besser als der Offsetdruck? Oder: Liegt die Zukunft im Online Print?).

Schaut man genau hin und blickt üben den Tellerrand, so zeigt es sich, worauf es wirklich ankommt: Neue ökonomische Systeme für neue Geschäftsstrategien und Geschäftsmodell-Architekturen, die unternehmerischen Freiraum bringen und den Anschluss ans Digitalzeitalter und Industrie 4.0 ermöglichen.

Am Rande des internationalen Media-Events bei Klampfer Druck in Graz, Österreich, zum Thema #Subscription konnte ich ‚un-plugged‘ ein kurzes, aber gehaltvolles Video-Interview mit Dr. Ulrich Hermann führen. Der Vorstand und Chief Digital Officer bei Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG treibt die digitale Transformation voran, nicht nur bei Heidelberg, sondern auch im Markt bei den Kunden.

In Anspielung an eine aktuelle Verbands-Studie, die aufzeigt, dass die Mehrzahl der Druckereien mit dem Thema Digitalisierung und Industrie 4.0 überfordert ist, wollte ich wissen, ob und wie man das Industrie 4.0 Dilemma bei Druckereien lösen kann.

Info-Tipp

Die ValueTrendRadar-Tochterpublikation ‚#hotspotsubscription — The Renewal of Print’ wartet mit  spannenden Neuigkeiten rund um Digitale Transformation im Team mit Subskriptions-Lösungen.

 

ThinkPaper Wortbild PRINT

 

 

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Focus: New ways of transferring knowledge for profitable growth with print in the digital age

As of now, a blog focusing on interaction and knowledge transfer around the topic ‘Subscription’ is online:

https://hotspot-subscription.blog/

In German and English, a new platform will be made available that bundles factual information, expert opinions, interviews, practical experience and the latest scientific findings, makes them transparent and invites them to participate.

“Subscription is a new, exciting and multi-faceted topic that will keep us busy for a long time – with the potential to enable the graphics industry to continue its successful path to the digital future with print,” explains Andreas Weber, founder and CEO of Value Communication GmbH in Frankfurt am Main. As an experienced journalist and blogger, he moderates and designs the content of the blog. In a team with a top-class expert advisory board, relevant insights, trends and perspectives from daily work are recorded, discussed and made publicly accessible.

“The blog, as an interactive platform, aims to provide real added value to everyone who is interested in the emerging Subscription Economy in the industrial environment. Anyone who wants to contribute new and important things in this context or has specific questions can get involved”, adds Weber.

#hotspot-subscription.blog can now be subscribed free of charge for all available devices and is predestined for use by smartphone.

 


 

Experten-Blog #hotspot-subscription gestartet

Fokus: Neue Wege der Wissensvermittlung für profitables Wachstum mit Print im Digitalzeitalter

Ab sofort ist ein auf Interaktion und Wissenstransfer ausgerichteter Blog rund um das Thema ‚Subscription‘ online: 

https://hotspot-subscription.blog/

In deutscher und englischer Sprache wird damit eine neue Plattform zugänglich, die Sachinformationen, Experten-Meinungen, Interviews, Praxiserfahrungen und neueste wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse bündelt, transparent macht und zum Mitmachen einlädt. 

„Subscription ist ein neues, spannendes und vielschichtiges Thema, das uns lange beschäftigen wird — mit dem Potenzial, der grafischen Branche einen anhaltend erfolgreichen Weg in die digitale Zukunft mit Print zu ermöglichen“, erläutert Andreas Weber, Gründer und Chef der Value Communication GmbH in Frankfurt am Main. Als erfahrener Journalist und Blogger moderiert und gestaltet er den Blog inhaltlich. Im Team mit einem hochkarätig besetzten Expertenbeirat werden relevante Erkenntnisse, Trends und Perspektiven aus der täglichen Arbeit erfasst, diskutiert und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht. 

„Der Blog als interaktive Plattform will über die Branchengrenzen hinaus allen, die sich im Industrieumfeld für die entstehende ‚Subscription Economy‘ interessieren einen echten Mehrwert bieten. Denn wer in diesem Kontext neues und wichtiges beitragen möchte oder spezifische Fragen hat, kann sich einbringen“, ergänzt Andreas Weber. 

#hotspot-subscription.blog kann ab sofort kostenfrei subskribiert werden für alle verfügbaren Endgeräte und ist für die Nutzung per Smartphone prädestiniert.

#HotspotSubscription Banner Black

 


 

Gestern. Heute. Morgen. Der Print-Branche tut es gut, sich mit jungen Menschen auseinanderzusetzen. Denn die Generation Smartphone schätzt Print-Innovationen.

Kommentar von Andreas Weber, Head of Value

 

Mit der Premiere des Heidelberg Digital Print Forum 2019 ist auf Anhieb ein wirklicher Überraschung-Coup gelungen. Ambiente, Themen und Programmgestaltung im Wieslocher Print Media Center weichen vom Üblichen ab. Das Auditorium: grossartig, aufgeschlossen, neugierig, aber auch kritisch und wachsam. Mit anderen Worten: Ich habe mich extrem wohlgefühlt — wie die insgesamt über 170 anderen Teilnehmer und Co-Referenten auch.

Alles was ich heute erleben konnte, deckt sich mit meiner Analyse, die ich vorgetragen habe: Print als Medium und Druckereien als Kompetenzpartner profitieren dann, wenn der Nutzen in den Vordergrund gestellt wird. Das begeistert die, die als Kunde/Auftraggeber oder als Mediennutzer persönlich angesprochen, oder besser berührt werden wollen. Drucken kann nicht nur Inhalte vervielfältigen, sondern auf höchstem Niveau höchst individuell inszenieren.

 


 

Fotos: Andreas Weber


 

Ob auf dem Podium oder beim Marktplatz oder den informativen kurzen Fachvorträgen, es hat sich gezeigt, dass die Print-Welt im Wandel ist, aber durchaus zum Schrittmacher im Digitalzeitalter werden kann.

Meiner Auffassung nach: Druckereien brauchen sich nicht zu verstecken. Sie können mutig und pro-aktiv nach vorne gehen, um neue Geschäftsfelder zu erschließen bzw. Bestehendes zu reformieren.

Die moderne Digitaltechnik im Print steht an der Spitze der Medientechnologien. Und erfüllt die Anforderungen um zeitgemäß und zukunftssicher profitabel Geschäft zu machen.

Die Veranstaltung hat aus meiner Sicht nicht nur wichtige Fragestellungen geliefert, sondern auch konkrete, nützliche Ergebnisse, die für die Branche wichtig sind.


 

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Erfolgreiches Team (v.l.n.r.): Matthias Langner, Laura Sturm, Andreas Weber, Laura Breitner, Manuela Gomez, Daniel Szkutnik, Marc Schmitz. Foto: Heidelberg.

Ein Plädoyer für Print aus anderer Perspektive: Andreas Weber beginnt mit seinen Lieblingsbüchern, u.a Designing for Print und Vienna Stories. Foto: Juliette Pickl, Business Development Manager at Mondi Uncoated Fine Paper

 

Aus meiner Sicht als Referent ist folgendes wichtig:

Customization rückt in den Fokus! — Und hilft, den Akzidenzdruck zu reformieren.

Social Media kann ein Eldorado für Print sein! V.a. Facebook, Instagram im B2C und LinkedIn im B2B beflügeln neue Geschäftsmodelle.

Der Nutzen rückt in den Vordergrund. Digitaltechnik im Print ermöglicht das.

Das Marktpotential ist erheblich größer als man denkt und bietet Chancen für profitables Wachstum!


 

Eine von zahlreichen Innovation: Spektakuläre Neon-Bilder im Toner-Digitaldruckdruck

Video: Andreas Weber


Impressionen vom Forum und Statements der Organisatoren und Referenten

 

Video: Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG/HDU


Alle Charts zum Vortrag von Andreas Weber via SlideShare.net

 

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Xerox is fully committed to digital transformation, turning pressure equipment into Workplace Assistants.— Photo: Andreas Weber

By Andreas Weber, Head of Value | German Version

Note: The translation of the original German version was done by xeroxtranslates.com

“Our biggest challenge is to meet the demands of the people in the mobile age,” notes Mark Boyt. In its function as a global of solutions marketing at Xerox he presented head at an analyst meeting in Uxbridge, UK, strategy, and news about the ConnectKey platform, workplace Assistant, and e-commerce. The development and marketing of business apps is a focus. To do this, Xerox has collaborated extensively partner companies with qualified and authorized Xerox.

 


 


 

“To be still attractive for our customers and to create new business ideas, we have developed by the device vendor to the solution provider, and now to the service partner for our customers”, explains Marcus Putschli, CEO of e-dox AG, Leipzig/Germany. In the Centre is thus not only the hardware product portfolio, but the creative and consulting-oriented performance, to create a maximum customer benefit. Partner developed Putschli in other Xerox as a series from around the world with his team apps that offer new, specific application solutions notably based on technology infrastructure provided by Xerox.

Putschli said: “in addition to the managed print solutions we offer our customers the possibility of digitizing and data protection solutions in the enterprise to anchor. We are various document management partner provider, Microsoft-365-partner-certified app developers for Xerox, and support our customers in many IT issues advice to the page”. The app development takes place through the project area e-dev/> and can be accessed on 10 years of experience. The highlight: the apps are tailored to and run on existing multi-function printers.

 

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Info box to current example — the Convert2PDF app e-dev

Usable via subscription Convert2PDF app, it will be possible to take advantage of the full functionality and benefits of Convert2PDF easily directly from the Xerox, each ConnectKey device by Xerox device i.e. workflows and document processes by simple To control the app user interface.

Systems provides a particular advantage when using the app with Xerox VersaLink. The Convert2PDF app has extended the product range VersaLink in conjunction with Convert2PDF quasi often missing workflow scanning and allows the use of different Scanprofilen for different tasks or workflows. Users as well as administrators in companies are significantly relieved. The Convert2PDF scanning and workflow can be easily managed thanks to the app and also operated. Sources of error for incorrect processes are eliminated so in a comfortable way.The app is also offered on the redesigned Xerox app Gallery.

Xerox’s according to his own admission, that ConnectKey apps accelerate the digital transformation for companies. In the focus are three areas of action:

  1. Support for mobile workers, Office workers and teachers
  2. Smooth workflows for each company
  3. The advanced Xerox app Gallery to facilitate search and install and purchase transactions

 


My take: everything will be fine. Thanks Appiness!

Good news: print is an important pillar of the transformation of companies and their business communication processes. But: It is no longer sufficient to optimize existing, but sometimes are disruptiv new ways to follow, which provide the benefits for all those involved in the focus.

The so-called digital transformation simplifies and accelerates not only processes, but provoked new business goals and opportunities. All of us could benefit from this but only if we also transform to become creative consultants. Our customers have to become partners and customer service is a central issue. And this new, tailor-made apps play a central role. In this sense: Everything is fine. “Appiness” thanks!

 

 


 

Background information

New Xerox ConnectKey Apps Speed Digital Transformation for Enterprises, SMBs

  • Apps support office workers, mobile workforce; educators 
  • Frictionless workflows for any business
  • Enhanced Xerox App Gallery makes browsing, installing and purchasing easier

UXBRIDGE, U.K., Oct. 10, 2018 – Organisations can now better connect staff to popular business platforms such as Salesforce, QuickBooks Online and Concur, supporting customer relationship management, accounting and invoicing, plus streamline additional processes with new apps for Xerox ConnectKey® devices. Purchasing and implementing the apps is simple with a new e-commerce-enabled site.

The Morrell Group, a full-service automation controls design and engineering services organisation, has experienced the power of ConnectKey apps. The company saved 25 percent by automating its product distribution process with the Sign Me app, built by MidAmerica Technology, a Xerox Personalised Application Builder developer. The app digitises the document-laden process, accelerating the speed in which products get out the door. 

“Sign Me is a breakthrough app that has greatly improved our business – we’ve gained efficiencies that impact our bottom line,” said David Hajciar, operations manager, Morrell Group.   

 

Transformation: Xerox turns multifunction printers into Workplace Assistants. Video: Xerox


New apps make work easier 

The ongoing development of its ConnectKey-enabled portfolio underscores Xerox’s position as a print technology powerhouse. The latest enhancements make labour-intense, time-consuming efforts easier and offer new twists on traditional ways of working.  

The Xerox VersaLink® and Xerox AltaLink® series are the launch pads for apps such as:  

  • Xerox Connect App for Salesforce: access to Salesforce’s Customer Relationship Management system right at the multifunction printer (MFP); upload and share sales management information to client folders by scanning the documents directly into Salesforce. 
  • Xerox Audio Documents App: securely transforms hardcopy documents into audio files allowing commuters, multitaskers, or audio enthusiasts to listen on the go instead of reading. 
  • Xerox Connect App for QuickBooks Online: offers a hassle-free expense reimbursement process with multi-receipt scanning. Receipt data is extracted into an expense report and submitted with notifications sent to reviewers for timely approval. For Concur users, a similar receipt management app will be available by year’s end.   
  • Xerox Forms Manager App: simplifies management of multiple forms while reducing paper-based filing risks. With intelligent routing capabilities via embedded QR codes, scanned forms are automatically routed to the appropriate email address.
  • Xerox Quick Link App: enables a fast start to printing without IT support. This intuitive app sends an email directly from the device containing appropriate links to install, and connects computers or mobile devices with the drivers and configuration settings. 

 



 

Making the grade with educators

With insights gained from working with thousands of education customers, Xerox responds with apps that increase productivity for teachers and students:

  • Xerox Connect App for Blackboard: provides access to an industry-leading learning management system; documents are digitised and stored into their Blackboard Learn account from the MFP.    
  • Xerox Proofreader Service: checks for writing elements in the English language, such as spelling, grammar, style and plagiarism.  

Extra Value for Channel Partners 

Alongside an improved design for a better user experience, the e-commerce-enabled Xerox App Gallery provides a global marketplace for channel partners to promote and sell apps. Also, channel partners can share in the revenue when their customers purchase an app. 

Channel partners will learn more about how they can boost recurring post-sale revenues with the new ConnectKey apps and how the new e-commerce model helps them create, market and sell their own apps at the European Personalised Application Builder (PAB) Forum taking place November 7-8 at Xerox’s Innovation Centre in Uxbridge, UK. 

Availability 

Xerox’s newest ConnectKey-enabled apps will be added to the Xerox App Gallery in select geographies between fourth-quarter 2018 and first-quarter 2019. 

Source: Xerox

 


 

At a glance — via Twitter Moments

 

 

 

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Peter Sommer, Member of the Elanders Board, and Andreas Weber, Head of Value, met in Waiblingen, near Stuttgart, to discuss their ideas. Their meeting resulted in the #Think!Paper initiative.

 

#Think!Paper — Edition 1, Volume 1. | German Version

 

“We are launching an initiative that highlights the importance of print not only in but also for the digital era. What counts is not what we do or how we do it, but rather why print delivers sustainable success. The focus needs to be on the unique benefits that professional print production delivers. And that applies whether you’re looking at the past, present or future!” – Peter Sommer and Andreas Weber

A special kind of summit on print and transformation: Peter Sommer, Member of the Elanders Board, and Andreas Weber, Head of Value, met in Waiblingen, near Stuttgart, Germany. This European city is a major hub for the most dynamic solutions portfolio for print and demonstrates with high volumes and strong profits just how big a contribution print (based on digital printing) can make in the digital age. 

“I find it astounding and completely incomprehensible how poorly print is portrayed – especially by the print media industry itself. Why is that?” asks Sommer. The meeting picked out core issues that led to the establishment of the Think!Paper initiative. These points also represent the key thrust of the Think!Paper activities, offering a constructive and critical basis for further discussion.

Taking stock

The print media industry is underselling itself and taking far too little interest in what is going on elsewhere. It likes to keep to itself. There is usually little more than speculation about the challenges set by the digital age. Many positive aspects go unnoticed, and there is a failure to grasp the opportunities that change could bring.

Core arguments

Status quo: The industry has built its own funeral pyre and is fervently stoking the fire beneath it. However, the prospects for print shops in the digital age are far better than the image the industry is presenting, both within and beyond its own ranks.

The mistake being made is that print shops and print buyers are following false prophets.

Clarification: Print is a perfected medium with a pedigree, potential and the capacity for profitable new business. 

Consider the facts:

  • Print represents an exceptionally valuable form of communication – made by people, for people!
  • Improved functionality is exponentially increasing the benefits that print offers in the digital age.  
  • Print isn’t just about duplicating data – it can package text, images and special effects in a very special, highly personal format that moves people profoundly. 
  • As a communication medium, print has the most lasting effect and can therefore be used to great advantage. 
  • As part of the marketing mix, print is constantly raising the bar and creating new potential for customer relationships in the most effective ways possible.
  • And, when it comes to transformation – if anything has to change, then it is how print is handled as a premium product.

Paradigm: Print was, is and will remain an indispensable catalyst for cultural, social and economic developments. That is something ‘digital leaders’ such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple have long since recognized. Indeed, these giants of the digital age are highly adept at using print to their benefit. 

Plea: Print will continue to be a winner in the digital era, if it can strike the right balance between what is useful on a technical level and people’s real needs. The facts are on the table. Now is the time to communicate them clearly and comprehensibly! Let’s put the beauty and diversity of print in the right light!

Aims and measures

We are kicking off creative conversations that cut to the chase with a clear focus. This is how we want to present a vivid and forward-looking picture that highlights effective solutions for using print in all types of communication where it can harness its full potential and strengths. 

We are kindling enthusiasm for innovative and exceptional communication solutions that use print.

We are reinforcing business development with print by identifying and integrating areas of the market that have so far been under-utilized but can rapidly and effectively benefit from innovation solutions using print. 

We are organizing round tables, VIP events and social media-based interactive communication using print.

We are providing clear and concise concept papers as part of the new Think!Paper activities. These include elements such as dossiers, reports with analyses, and guidelines for top decision-makers in business.

We are launching a global ideas competition. 

We are setting up and managing the international “Think!Team”, an interdisciplinary panel of experts.

 


 

Note

A number of hand-picked partners have already been found for Think!Paper, including first and foremost Mondi Group, GT Trendhouse 42 and DRUCKMARKT. More news to follow shortly.


Contact

If you are interested in the Think!Paper initiative or want to get involved, please get in touch:

Twitter @PrintDigitalAge

Andreas Weber (coordination) via LinkedIn

Hashtag: #PDA #printforthedigitalage #creativity #printinnovation #transformation

 


 

#Think!Paper the key facts at a glance

What we do

We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission

We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook. 

We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse and sustainable conversations.

We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners

We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.


 

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Print ad out of a campaign by ‘internet.org by Facebook’, designed by Sid Lee, U.S.A.

 

#Think!Paper — Edition 1, Volume 2

”I believe Think!Paper’s stance of recognising the role of print in a digital age will help address this  issue and fill an incredible void in knowledge in an ever-shifting communication environment.”

 

By Fraser Church

 

I applaud the initiative of Think!Paper. This addresses a number of issues that have become prevalent in recent years particularly in the communication industry. 

Today’s marketers have been brought up on digital and social media as being the default form of customer communication, with the much-heralded cry of “digital first” becoming increasingly common. However, the question is whether they are listening to their customers, or whether they are getting carried away on the digital wave whilst at the same time being influenced by perceived efficiencies based more on cost than actual return on investment.

Brands are increasingly focussing on Customer Experience and optimising the customer journey; however, to do that properly, marketers need to recognise that a decision to make a purchase is as much emotional as rational these days. Brand trust, values and relationships are increasingly important in a world where there is a narrowing in product differentiation. As part of building that relationship, it is important for brands to understand which media to use when and for which messaging. 

Print is perhaps the most trusted medium.

Remember the phrase “I would like to see that in writing”. So, when something needs consideration, or has to be seen as authoritative, print can be a great medium. Print Is also the only channel that can impact on one of our most important senses of touch. Indeed, in my later years at Paragon I spend considerable time persuading clients of the value of increasing the production values of their printed output, and thus cost, to help subliminally re-enforce brand values. 

You could for example question whether a Tiffany shopping bag is perhaps an accessory as much as a means of getting goods home. At the same time, you have to be careful not to over play your hand; for example, charities would never use a coated stock, as this would seem to go against their environmental and cost saving credentials (even though recycled paper can cost more!).

But this does not mean everything should be printed.

Email is a great means to deliver offers, newsletters and access to the depth of content that the online environment can provide. Mobile, whilst being often seen as an invasive medium, is perhaps the best way to remind people of a medical or retail appointments, or increasingly keep them up-to-date in real time about their purchase deliveries; and with the advent of 5G networks they will increasingly deliver richer experiences. Apps are a great way for people to manage their life, for example online banking or travel. Whilst social media lets us reach audiences at pace, in an informal and engaging manner.

The issue is that whilst a digital revolution is undoubtedly taking place, interested parties have been perhaps a bit blinkered. The Print Industry has tended to take great pleasure at criticizing digital media whenever it can. On the other hand, the digital communication industry has just ignored print as irrelevant. It is not either or. It is not one or the other. The true power is recognising how brands can use all of the media to their best advantage, optimising customer journeys and building long-term relationships. I believe Think!Paper’s stance of recognising the role of print in a digital age will help address this issue and fill an incredible void in knowledge in an ever-shifting communication environment.

Finally, what about Digital Transformation?

Digital Transformation is often misunderstood. It is not about making sure that all communication is sent via email or mobile; it is about using technology to make it more efficient for businesses to both operate and deliver more engaging experiences for the customer. It is an innovation enabler, allowing new business, operational and communication models. 

However, this does not preclude print, and it should always be considered as a channel to be used to undertake specific roles. For example, whilst comparison websites may help you find the best mortgage, and banks want you to complete applications online, the issuing of printed legal document, welcome pack and annual statements can provide reassurance and feeling of security for customers. 

Also, we should remember that not all consumers are digital natives and a considerable proportion of the population have grown up enjoying and trusting print as a media.

So, whilst Digital Transformation will be responsible for creating a number of digital only brands such as Uber, the majority of companies partaking in digital transformation will still find there is a role, and a productive one at that, for print in their business model.

 

 


About Fraser Church

Fraser_Church

Fraser Church is an independent communication consultant and also General Manager of CPX Group — a co-operative of nine of the world’s largest and most innovative print and digital communication companies.

Fraser, who has a degree in Economics, started his career in consumer marketing working for a number of the UK’s leading brands. He then transferred his allegiances to the agency world as a director of RMP a data driven one-to-one communication agency specialising in customer loyalty in the retail sector.

He cut his teeth in the new digital world by setting up a dot.com company in 1999, providing consumers with an online resource for ordering catalogues and brochures. Fraser subsequently moved on to create some of the world’s earliest and most successful variable digital print applications for DSI who eventually became part of the Paragon Group.

Fraser was most recently Head of Creative Development at Paragon, particularly enjoying spending time with clients evangelising about how print plays an important part in customer journeys in an ever-increasing digital world.

He currently became a member of our #Think!Team to support the #Think!Paper initiative and to enrich knowledge sharing.

Contact via LinkedIn


 

 

ValueCheck Transformation Paradox.001

“I think of Germany [4.0] at night,
then I’m about to sleep,
I can not close my eyes
and my hot tears are flowing.”
From: Heinrich Heine, night thoughts

„Denk ich an Deutschland [4.0] in der Nacht,
dann bin ich um den Schlaf gebracht,
ich kann nicht mehr die Augen schließen,
und meine heißen Tränen fließen.“
—Aus: Heinrich Heine, Nachtgedanken


 

By Andreas Weber, Head of Value | German Version

It happened last week. The CEO and the CFO of a long-established mechanical engineering company presented the annual balance sheet figures at the annual press conference in the financial metropolis of Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Everything fine. And everything on schedule! After all, they delivered precisely what was promised a year ago. Unfavorable: Currency fluctuations that can not be influenced result in a slight decline in total sales and corresponding pre-tax profits.

Nevertheless, the board can stick to the good forecasts. Significant growth through transformation by at least 500 million euros in the next four years (that is, sales grow from around 2.5 billion euros to 3 billion euros) with significantly increasing returns. The company has been successfully restructured and is not only fit and stable, but also a global leader in digital transformation beyond its own market segment.

But: Already on the eve of the press conference, the share price began to decline and slipped significantly in the following week. The main reason: massive short selling, so the bet on speculation on falling share prices. The market capitalization thus dropped in value by a three-digit million amount.

Another negative effect: the business press as well as analysts can not deal in the right way with “digital transformation”. At least, they don’t get it! — In the late reports it comes to glaring errors resp. misjudgments and above all to the omission of the really important topics! — For example: “Quite unambitious: weak outlook puts pressure on Heidelberger Druck shares”. Or: ”Heidelberg disappoint investors” … — Phew! Understand that, who wants!

Granted, the topic “transformation” is highly complex. And requires that one understands: transformation is not a goal, but a state. The goal is: massive, sometimes disruptive change in the overall business philosophy. Not an easy task. And certainly not that it is possible to manage on-the-fly! — The CFO rightly explained calmly: “If you are in a hurry, you have to go slowly!”

Speaking of philosophy, Plato pointed out in his ancient teachings that everything acquired under duress can not find a foothold in the mind. In other words, the teacher can not teach if the student is not ready to learn. (This momentum was probably underestimated by the CEO and CFO when they held the press conference and, unfortunately, was not the basis of their communication strategy.)

The success of transformation in the digital age depends crucially on the will and the discipline to take the time to learn and practice, so that new experiences form new insights. This learning involves learning about oneself. Transformation requires self-knowledge.

Conclusion

An annual press conference as a lesson! Germany 4.0 fails in the fundamental understanding of the ‘digital transformation’. Not at the will of the apologists.

 


 

About the author

Andreas Weber has been a print expert and internationally renowned business communication analyst, coach, influencer, and networker for over 25 years. His activities focus on transformation forthe digital age and include lectures, management briefings, workshops, analyses, reports, and strategic advice. – His blog www.valuetrendradar.com inspires readers from over 140 countries worldwide.

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ValueCheck Transformation Paradox.001

„Denk ich an Deutschland [4.0] in der Nacht,
dann bin ich um den Schlaf gebracht,
ich kann nicht mehr die Augen schließen,
und meine heißen Tränen fließen.“
Aus: Heinrich Heine, Nachtgedanken

 


Von Andreas Weber, Head of Value | English Version

 

Letzte Woche passiert. Ich war Augen- und Ohrenzeuge. CEO und CFO eines Traditionsunternehmens aus dem Maschinenbau präsentieren in der Finanzmetropole Frankfurt am Main die Jahresbilanzzahlen. 

Alles tiptop. Und alles im Plan! Denn das, was man vor Jahresfrist in Aussicht stellte, ist exakt so vollzogen worden. Manko: V. a. durch nicht zu beeinflussende Währungsschwankungen sind der Gesamtumsatz und entsprechend der Vor-Steuergewinn leicht rückläufig. 

An den guten Prognosen kann der Vorstand aber festhalten. Deutliches Wachstum durch Transformation um mindestens 500 Millionen Euro in vier Jahren (das heisst: Umsatz wächst von rund 2,5 Milliarden Euro auf 3 Milliarden Euro) bei deutlich steigender Rendite. Das Unternehmen wurde erfolgreich grundlegend neu aufgestellt und zeigt sich nicht nur fit und stabil, sondern über den eigenen Marktbereich hinaus global führend im Bereich der ‚Digitalen Transformation‘.

Aber: Bereits am Vortag der Bilanzpressekonferenz begann der Aktienkurs zu sinken und rutschte in der nachfolgenden Woche deutlich ab. Der Hauptgrund: Massive Leerverkäufe, also die Wette zur Spekulation auf sinkende Kurse. Die Marktkapitalisierung sank damit im Wert um einen dreistelligen Millionenbetrag.

Weiterer Negativeffekt: Die Wirtschaftspresse wie auch Analysten können mit „Digitaler Transformation“ nichts rechtes anfangen. In den Nachberichten kommt es zu eklatanten Fehlern resp. Fehleinschätzungen und vor allem zum Weglassen des eigentlich Wichtigen! Tenor: „Recht unambitioniert: Lascher Ausblick setzt Heidelberger Druck-Aktie unter Druck“. Heidelberg enttäusche Anleger… — Puh! Verstehe das, wer will!

Zugegeben: Das Thema „Transformation“ ist hoch komplex. Und bedingt, dass man versteht: Transformation ist kein Ziel, sondern ein Zustand. Das Ziel lautet: Massive, bisweilen disruptive Veränderung der gesamten Geschäftsphilosophie. Kein leichtes Unterfangen. Und schon gar keines, dass sich von Heute auf Morgen bewältigen lässt. — Zurecht erklärte der CFO ruhig und gelassen: „Wer es eilig hat, muss langsam gehen!“

Apropos Philosophie: Plato wies in seiner antiken Lehre darauf hin, dass alles, was unter Zwang erworben wird, keinen Halt im Geist findet; oder anders ausgedrückt: Der Lehrer kann nicht lehren, wenn der Schüler nicht bereit ist zu lernen. (Dieses Momentum hatten CEO und CFO wohl unterschätzt, als sie die Bilanzpressekonferenz abhielten, und fatalerweise nicht zur Grundlage ihrer Kommunikationsstrategie gemacht.)

Der Erfolg von Transformation im Digitalzeitalter hängt maßgeblich vom Willen und der Disziplin ab, sich die Zeit zu nehmen, um zu lernen und zu üben, damit sich aus neuen Erfahrungen neue Erkenntnisse formen. Dieses Lernen beinhaltet das Lernen über sich selbst. Transformation erfordert Selbsterkenntnis.

Fazit

Eine Bilanzpressekonferenz als Lehrstück! Deutschland 4.0 scheitert bei der ‘Digitalen Transformation’ am grundlegenden Verständnis. Nicht am Willen der Apologeten.

 


 

Über den Autor

Seit mehr als 25 Jahren engagiert sich Andreas Weber als international renommierter Business Communication Analyst, Coach, Influencer und Transformer. Seine Aktivitäten fokussieren sich auf ‚Transformation for the Digital Age’ via Vorträgen, Management Briefings, Workshops, Analysen & Reports, Strategic Advice. — Mit seinem Blog www.valuetrendradar.com inspiriert er Leser aus über 140 Ländern der Welt.

 

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