Technology development in the graphics arts sector is in full expansion.
Smart factory, Print Industrie 4.0 focuses on digital technologies that stimulate the
inter-connectivity between printing companies, promote and bring them together with “strategic” partners. Classic models that acted as intermediaries between supply and demand, buyers and sellers, are being replaced by scenarios of transparent networked digital technology.

The result: Suppliers, producers and consumers find each other (to a large extent) automatically. Business processes, services, product offering and communication will also become transparent and interactive in equal measure.

What does this mean in concrete terms for the graphics industry in the Benelux and in Europe?

INTERVIEW with some of the speakers at the VIGC congress 2020
Jan De Roeck (Marketing Director ESKO)
Dirk Deroo ( Founder & CEO Dataline solutions)
Toon Van Rossum ( Product Manager Enfocus)
Jos Steutelings ( Managing Director VIGC )

*Next year’s VIGC CONGRESS is scheduled for October 14th 2021.

NL:
De technologieontwikkeling in de grafische sector is in volle expansie.
Smart factory, Print Industrie 4.0 legt de focus op digitale technologieën die de
inter-connectiviteit van grafische bedrijven onderling, en die met “strategische” partners bevorderen en samenbrengen. Klassieke modellen die fungeerden als intermediair tussen vraag en aanbod, kopers en verkopers, worden vervangen door scenario’s van transparant genetwerkte digitale technologie.

Het resultaat: Leveranciers, producenten en consumenten vinden elkaar (voor een groot deel) automatisch. Bedrijfsprocessen, diensten, productaanbod en communicatie worden in gelijke mate ook transparant en interactief.

Wat betekent dit nu concreet voor de grafische industrie in de Benelux en in Europa?

INTERVIEW met enkele sprekers van het VIGC congres 2020
Jan De Roeck (Marketing Director ESKO)
Dirk Deroo ( Founder & CEO Dataline solutions)
Toon Van Rossum ( Product Manager Enfocus)
Jos Steutelings ( Managing Director VIGC )

* Het VIGC-CONGRES van volgend jaar staat gepland op 14 oktober 2021.

What is your feeling and impression of this year’s VIGC congress 2020?

I’m actually very positive about this congress, this has been a very, very different one compared to last year when we were all together in a big auditorium.

But it wasn’t also yet another Zoom webinar. It was really a professional broadcasting from a professional studio.

I liked the sequence of the different topics and the different speeches and so on. I am having a very, very good feeling about this event, absolutely.

Why is the digital maturity model for the packaging industry you talked about today so important ?

I think this all goes back to the term “transformation”, part of “digital transformation”, which means to me that it’s not something that you can do overnight and implement overnight. It’s a gradual process and it’s a continuous process.

But how can you basically define where your destination is if you don’t know where you are today?

So the whole idea of the digital maturity model, which in a sense is not really something new. If you think about digital maturity models or maturity models in general, it’s not really something new, it’s not something we invented.

We just used this technique and implemented it on the graphic arts industry, more specifically on the packaging industry. So with that maturity model, packaging converters will be able to – much easier, with a given framework – define where they are in their journey of becoming a more digital business.

As we’ve identified five stages in our digital maturity model, all different steps in that, a continuous process of becoming a more digital company. And with the tools that we’ve made available, businesses will be able to identify where they are.

And it’s only when you know that, when you have that information, it’s only then that you’ll be able to develop a well documented and thought through strategy of moving further onto that journey of becoming a more digital business.

How can ESKO help their clients to further assess their business in these challenging times ?

Digital maturity model, of course, provides quite in-depth documentation about how companies behave and how they are organized, which tools they use in each of the five stages of digital maturity.

Now, that is actually, we would really ask anybody that’s interested in learning more about this to actually go through the material and actually use it in a kind of a workshop, either within the department or even within, I mean, even in the boardroom with the management teams of packaging converters. Go through the material and see how you can identify your own business with a player, as we have described it, in any of the stages, any of the five stages of the maturity model.

We have also a couple of questionnaires available, multiple choice questionnaires, where individuals can actually go through the questions, see which answer fits best to a given situation, and that will actually also help packaging converters to go through this process of identifying where they are.

But I would really like this to be a workshop that is driven by the management where the users are involved in that process. And if customers I mean, if packaging converters themselves don’t really have either the skill or the confidence to do a good job there, we’re always willing to come in and help host such a workshop to kind of discover in which stage of digital maturity a packaging converter actually is.

Are you happy with how VIGC is presenting this first virtual congress?

I guess Dataline is, for more than five years, a gold partner of VIGC, and it’s the fifth year we are a member of this kind of organization. And this year is the first year of virtual congress. And in my opinion, it’s great. It’s the best, even better than previous years.

So I think of the future, that kind of organization, maybe it will be a hybrid organization. But these advantages, we need to use them in the future organization. So I’m happy with it, yes. Thank you.

Why did you create this new MAS Audit Software that you introduced here at the congress today ?

That’s a very good question. First of all, Dataline is the producer of a multipress business software. It’s a software that is used, let’s say, in 24 European companies, European countries, sorry. We have more than thousand companies that are 10000 users.

And I was wondering for more than five years, four years, how can I measure the needs of a kind of usage of that kind of software? And I tried many times before to write that kind of software. First version was 10 years ago. You can see it’s still on our website: roibuust.biz, I guess.

But I need an application that is more tailor made to a company with its needs. So why did I write the software? Because my question was, is this prospect, is this company ready for the change in management and our pre-sales takes, let’s say, at least three months. So it’s not a question to sell an application like multipress. Yes, but is this company ready for the change management? Are its employees also ready for the change management?

And that’s the reason why I wrote the software for let’s say it took two years, again in my attic. And after two years and let’s say 100 times, rewriting, rewriting the software is ready. And yes, indeed, I proposed to the people today, and many of them were very enthusiastic.

What can we expect in the coming months and will there be a fully functional cloud based solution of this MAS Software?

In Europe, we have, let’s say, 10, 15 channel partners for each country, and these channel partners are now using the alpha version. And I guess 25, 23 companies have been ordering the mass software, the first version. So it’s ready. Yes, it’s ready. But we are now rewriting the software, and that’s the easiest part, rewriting in full Web based and it will be ready, let’s say, in January 2021. It will be ready in 12 languages. Now, the version today is also already in 12 languages, but it’s not Web based at this time.

And we have a roadmap for, let’s say, the summer and for next year and next year. So there’s a lot of things to do and it will be a project, an open source project that we will write for more than, let’s say, four or five new years, creating new features.

Why is it important for Enfocus to participate in the VIGC congress?

So I think in general, for us as a company, we like to make ourselves available, make it easier for people to talk to us and ask us questions, and we can learn from them, they can learn from us. We have some sessions scheduled after the presentations to really get a one on one discussion going. And on the other end, it’s also a difficult year to travel. So every event in Belgium as a Belgian company is, of course, nice to be part of.

How do you see the automation mindset of your customers evolving the coming year?

I think the biggest trend is that what we saw in the bigger companies first, like in the last few years, is also now being adopted by the smaller companies.

They learn that it’s not just happening, a workflow in place and work like the workflow works, but they’re understanding that they already had their way of working and they want to adapt their workflow and their automation according to their own way of working, which is actually the way to add value to your production, differentiate yourself from other companies. And it’s really interesting to see that these companies start to own their automation more and more. So they started a few years ago and now they really build on it and see a future in it.

Did VIGC like the virtual formula and what are the plans for next year’s 2021 edition?

Yes, we did, we did! It indeed was a great success because we had more than 80 participants and 14 teams that loaded up their proposals. So it was overwhelming, to be honest.

Also, the quality of the projects were very good. For next year, we have the intention to do it, the 11th and the 12th October on Monday and Tuesday. And then on Thursday, we also will have the congress again. So the dates are fixed. And of course, we hope that also INKISH.TV, which we had a very good cooperation with, will join us at the second graphic arts Hackathon, because we are very glad that you joined us by broadcasting some pictures and coping with our business.

Next year’s VIGC Graphic Arts Hackathon is scheduled for October 11th and 12th 2021, the congress is on Thursday 14th October 2021

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