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Morten Reitoft

Morten B. Reitoft, Founder and CEO of INKISH. Photo: Andreas Weber

 

By Andreas Weber

 


It is quite rare in the print industry to have constructive discussions on social media. Morten B. Reitoft shows that it can be done differently. His provocative POV on INKISH.News inspired by my current interview regarding the resignation of Dr. Ulrich Hermann, Chief Digital Officer at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, sparked a global debate. And that’s exactly what we need. Bravo!

Some stats for the very first 24h shows the importance:

  • a couple of thousands of readers for the full stories
  • more than 10k viewers plus many hundreds of interactions in real-tme on LinkedIn
  • around three dozend qualified comments which will be the bases for further sories

Here are excerpts from the current discussion on LinkedIn.


 

You should read the latest INKISH.News post by Morten B. Reitoft. It’s very valuable. It’s about: What if Heidelberg went out of business?

Morten actually posted on LinkedIn: “When almost the entire board has stepped down, a new board will most likely have to take an in-depth look into the strategy, and a new board rarely decides to adopt the previous board’s strategy without alterations. So it is not just about implementation – it is about developing a strategy that can be implemented and show it’s strength.” And attached a Link to his full story.

 


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Here is my comment. Pls. feel free to comment on your own.

 

Appreciate your POV, dear Morten. And hopefully its a real wake-up call 🙂

Some input from my side:

  1. The board was downsized with a view to the future, not replaced.
  2. The strategy is and has been approved by the Supervisory Board and its new chairman, a profound expert in corporate strategy, and is fully supported.
  3. The CEO and CFO must now implement the strategy, supported by a newly established executive committee with solid experience in business operations. The motto: execute!
  4. Subscription fully relates to offset printing. This is not about a new sales model, but about digital business model design options that help customers to focus on an improved go-to-market in partnership. Heidelberg takes on the risk and takes over the complete technology, supply and service management to increase the value and profit of the print shop — all based on IoT / Big Data, AI and automation.
  5. It is doubtful that subscription customers go bankrupt because business management is highly transparent and verifiable in real time. It could hardly be better.
  6. The target is of course to establish a new eco-system for print shops. That is why Heidelberg has purchased Crispy Mountain, puts its IT on cloud solutions and in the future relies on AI.
  7. You are right: Ink-Jet Printing is a main topic for the future. Heidelberg’s clear statement is that they generally rely on partnerships in digital printing. And Heidelberg has a lot of catching up to do here.
  8. I wouldn’t say that Heidelberg marketing is poor. Right now it’s different. Talk to the people at Heidelberg Digital Unit, headed by Sonja Mechling. They are amazing. But of course there is still a lot to do…
  9. At least: You are right, we need a new communication approach. Therefor it’s great to see how INKISH makes progress. Heidelberg and others could and should learn from.
  10. The real problem at Heidelberg is: Too high costs for factories in Wiesloch/Germany that are too large. This results in drastic measures that everyone wants to avoid. And this is associated with a cultural change, since you don’t have to stay a mechanical engineer but become a digital solution provider for print in the digital age.

PS: The market capitalization of Heidelberg went down (currently <200 m €). So the company is totally undervalued. — Sounds cynical, but could become a real scenario: Maybe HP or Xerox or even Koenig & Bauer or who ever will achieve Heidelberg (in the worst case to shut it down). Who knows?


 

A lot of others commented as well. This is great and exactly what we need to push things forward in the print industry!

 


 

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#Think!Paper — Edition 3, Vol. 1

Interview by Andreas Weber, Head of Value

 

Morten B. Reitoft from Denmark is one of my favorite colleagues. Dedicated to TV & Video to promote print in the best way. His advice is always valuable and well recognized around the globe. So I am happy to get his statements in the context of our unique #Think!paper work.

What is the beauty of print in the digital age?

Morten B. Reitoft: It’s tactile qualities, it’s a push media, and it represents a brand in multiple dimensions rather than just on a screen!


 

Everything in the Mobile Age is so fast. Why is the adaption of digital printing technology innovations so slow?

Morten B. Reitoft: One of the biggest obstacles for print, in general, is cost, time and distribution. The designing process is more or less the same, so the cost for both print and distribution is the major differentiator — and of course, the time it takes from idea to it reaches an audience.

An even more critical obstacle adapting print is two issues that we as an industry have:

  1. we believe we should measure print the same way as digital content, in clicks, impressions, etc. and that have till date been impossible
  2. we don’t even believe in print ourselves as an industry – just check how few printing companies that produce marketing material for their products and services on print!

The industry needs to take our own medicine and use print in our marketing. We have to define the measures for how we want to be accounted for.

I believe that print has a way higher impact than mobile and web since it last longer, has the tactility and represent a brand way better for the same reasons.

We have also forgotten some of the virtues from the past – print can be just pretty, engage and impress – in my opinion, that works too!


 

What are the key drivers for a powerful & successful print service biz today and what will it be in the future?

Morten B. Reitoft: The driver is the same as it has always been – demand! The service providers today have to figure out which markets to address.

If you want to be a commodity supplier, you’ll need volume, and probably prices are one of the major drivers for getting commodity customers. Today online printers can’t really differentiate on quality since all deliver to the standards, so the new with online printers is to offer same-day services as well as extending their offerings into, i.e. merchandise.

For printers who want to work with higher margin products – quality, diversity, paper, is the major drivers. Some printers even consider to work into new niches like packaging, labels, printed electronics, decor – and though really not related 3D. About the future – I have written an article that I still believe is right “Printers will be factories – and customers will buy from elsewhere” – referring to the fact that somebody will need to add value to a product and especially commodity printers will not be part of the value-adding process since they ONLY focus on price.

Thanks, Morten, for sharing your thoughts and insights.

 


 

Morten via Twitter

About

Morten B. Reitoft is an experienced CEO with a passion for development of ideas and business. He is very creative and very hard working and one of his greatest strength is his ability to encourage people – whether these are customers, employees or business partners.

Specialties: Creative, competitive, Great interest in both the detail and the overview, very good communication skills, inspiring, fast thinking, internationally oriented, great interest in people, business and processes.

Sign up for our INKISH.TV newsletter 

 


 

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#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, customer experience 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.

 


 

#ThinkPaper Morten via INKISH.001

 

By Morten B. Reitoft, Editor/CEO INKISH, TV for- and about the printing industry, based in Roskilde, Zealand/Denmark

(The story was originally posted on LinkedIn, 5. March 2019)

#Think!Paper — Edition 2, Vol. 3 

Do you know the feeling of anti-climax? You have been busy for many days, maybe even been traveling, perhaps yet met a lot of people and, then you are back in your office, and things are quiet. Perhaps not more quiet than usual, but the contrast is what makes the anti-climax. This is how I am right now.

Last week I was at the Hunkeler Innovationdays #HID19 in Lucerne, Switzerland and it was actually one of the events I really anticipated to visit. Many friends, many business partners, potential business partners, and well – equipment that whatever you look at it as amazing. When you look at the digital printers, they are pretty amazing. The quality, the speed, the size, the – well – everything is just amazing. However, the binding is actually to some extent more amazing. You feed a roll in one end, and you see finished applications coming out in the other end. Books, statements, magazines, you name it, and I can’t help thinking about the amazing world what we live in. Technology keeps bringing us new amazing options, but most people in the printing industry don’t even know. The requirements for the vendors must be quite stressful from time to time. How do you keep innovating and how do you keep bringing new technology to the market when even the last great invention hasn’t sold in quantity expected?

At Hunkeler Innovationdays I spoke to CEO Michel Hunkeler and he kind of said (listen for yourself when we publish the interview) that Inkjet printers didn’t sell as fast as anticipated. It’s not cheap to develop machines like that and to be profitable, volume to some extent is required, or the price will be too high. Partnerships are seen as never before. Today we see technology from one vendor build into technology from another vendor. Some even re-brand products to get a wider distribution and who knows maybe shared development- and marketing cost. Two fresh examples are Ricoh/FujiFilm/Heidelberg or what about Argos/Plockmatic and then Hunkeler who build the amazing equipment that interfaces with practically every major supplier of inline or nearline binding equipment.

Houston we have got a problem. We – as an industry – continues to focus on effectiveness, lower cost and unfortunately don’t focus a lot on how to grow our industry. I have said this numerous times, and of course, my voice is a beep in the bigger world – but friends we have to do something.

 

Events #HID19

#HID19 was a big success according to all those exhibitors. Indeed, it was very well organized and highly informative. 

 

Where does it start? It starts with having a focus on growth rather than price – maybe not so much from the vendor side, but your hard work making machines better, faster, and more efficient drive the price development in the wrong direction. Your customers need to learn how to focus on growth – not just from a company perspective but an industry perspective. Some marketing people don’t know what we are capable of. Some people believe that print is old-fashion. Some people don’t see the value in push media and printed communication. Some of your customers don’t even know the basic skills when it comes to selling applications and solutions on anything but price?

I think we as an industry should figure out what to do. 

Many people in the industry actually do something about this – but all are small voices in a big world, and you should support these people. If you can make the industry grow your customers will increase revenue and profit, and they will be able to invest in your equipment – it’s that simple!

A few mentions! Deborah Corn and her Project Peacock educate the designers and print buyers. Matthew Parker teaches printers to sell not on price. Pat McGrew educate the market with her Print Sample TV. TwoSides about the environmental issues – and many more people – not to forget mentioning INKISH of course. We all work to make the printing industry better, more profitable, growing and exciting in the future as well – but vendors should financially support the future of the industry – and if you don’t want to encourage any existing channels just for the sake of marketing – find your projects that can support the industry you are part of and invest. The ROI in my opinion is higher and the impact on everybody is considerable. I personally buy magazines for more than $100 a month, I buy books frequently – if we all buy more print applications we support our industry and why shouldn’t we?

And then – After the Hunkeler Innovationdays I checked out some of the vendor’s websites – my god. Take a look at your own site and tell yourself that it does a good job – if you think so, fine – if not – do something about it. INKISH is about storytelling but to see websites in 2019 that still only focus on products – not even tell stories from users or inspire potential customers – my goodness – you will have a difficult time communicating with the younger generations.

DO something about that as well!

 


 

Response

There was immediately an interesting discussion on LinkedIn after Morton published his story. Here our selection via screenshot.

 

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Morten Photo

About Morten

Morten B. Reitoft is an experienced CEO with a passion for development of ideas and business. His statement: ”I am very creative and very hard working and one of my greatest strength is my ability to encourage people – whether these are customers, employees or business partners.”

Specialties: Creative, competitive, Great interest in both the detail and the overview, very good communication skills, inspiring, fast thinking, internationally oriented, great interest in people, business and processes.

Sign up for our INKISH.TV newsletter: http://eepurl.com/boQR_b

 


 

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More about the #Think!Paper project can be found in the ValueBlog.

 


 

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