Peter Janssen is the CEO of Endless Branding from Beek, The Netherlands – and one of the interesting things Peter Janssen emphasize in his speech from Benelux Online Print Event 18 in Brussels is that we “pretty much produce the same things we have always done, however, the way we do it has changed a lot”… This is interesting since this is what a lot of printers experience and some are successful others are still struggling. Listen and learn!

Our next guest, Peter Janssen, is in-store PoS specialist and owner of Endless Branding, and deposited an interesting question. “How can online print contribute to the sales and digitally produced PoS materials?”

Endless Branding has been active for over 30 years in the design and production of Point of Sales displays, and as Lionel from Google stated, in recent years we have seen tremendous changes in retail. This is also reflected to the PoS market. These days, retails all have their own custom made requirements and marketeers aim to seize the moment more than ever before.

On the other hand, budgets are under pressure, and procurement tries to cluster as much as possible in order to maximize returns. The consequence is that standard display with no impact and no chance to success in a promotional action. Also, there are more and more requests for tailored solutions in smaller and smaller runs.

I’m curious how Peter and his team tackled this challenges. Please give a round of applause for Peter.

Welcome again, in the hot Brussels balls. When I drove this morning from Maastricht to Brussels I saw the lightning in the back, dark clouds, I saw some lighting, some flashes, then I saw these metal balls I think “Are we safe in here?” But I think we are. Okay.

I wanna tell you a short presentation, something about what we do today. My name is Peter Janssen and I wanna talk a little bit about our client portals. We’re not really into an online operation that we go fully into the web with web shops and everything but we use internal web shops, internal client portals, that we create them for each customer of their own, and they’re always custom made because every customer of ours has his own wishes. See how this works, okay. The last one and a half year I think we worked close together with Enview systems [inaudible 00:03:06]in front here is the product manager of the software and for people who have later on maybe a question can reach out to Valentin. A quick impression, I can talk about who we are. Maybe a movie to see who we are. They said to me when I push the button it works.

At Endless Branding we design and produce point of sale materials. What we do didn’t change that much over the last 20 years but how we do it changed completely. We believe in digital. This has been underlined by our Benelux identity with different languages and smaller runs. As a former screen printer and also offset printer we embrace the digital revolution because of the flexibility.

In today’s market we face different challenges compared to the past. We need to be quicker, more flexible and just in time. Quality in combination with creativity is always the main focus in our company. So for the last decade we invested a lot in a digital workflow. Not only in printers, but also cutters and auto management. A new focus is automation and as soon as we saw the [inaudible 00:05:03] one, we were interested. The quality is perfect and the machine has automation. After running some tests in [inaudible 00:05:13] demo center we decided to purchase the printer with some tailor-made adjustments. We call it fine tuning. One of these adjustments was a vacuum table with specific vacuum zones so we don’t need to [inaudible 00:05:25] table, but printing materials we use most in our daily production.

The [inaudible 00:05:32] one is installed, end of last year and today in full production. We already got some new jobs from customers that we couldn’t deliver a few months ago and that’s mainly because of the high level of quality we deliver today. We found a partner for the future. And looking forward, we hope to invest in a second printer very soon.

This was maybe a little bit a commercial for the printer but it was the latest movie we got from the company and it shows a little bit about the machines we’re running and what we’re doing. And we saw the environment what I told you, we saw the environment change a lot over the past, I don’t know, five to ten years. It went quicker by the year. You see also the good retailers, maybe the little bit, if you can tell it like that, a little bit not so good retailers. If you look for example at [inaudible 00:06:30] If you go into a shop you can even shoot an arrow through the shop, maybe that’s not a good example but you can throw balls, ping pong all around. So they do a lot of good things and you can try the products. Because the biggest difference in a retail environment between online buying and going to a shop is the experience I think. So try to get the experience.

The speaker before me already told something about the shoes and everything and that … I think the biggest difference is when you just open up your store and make it a big showroom. Our customers, they got the same challenge every day and we have to serve them. So we need to design the [inaudible 00:07:23] which the Germans say, or the wow-factor. And we try to make a presentation, a good presentation that stands out and make all the products get into the spotlight. But sometimes there are design errors too. So we can fix them very quickly and these design errors, in the past we had to check it every time again, send it again to a plotter, a cutter, a digital cutter to check these designs and today, nowaday we start with a 3D rendering. And we can technically check if all the crease lines, all the cutting lines, everything is okay. And this is, these drawings we create we fill in our customer portals.

So if a customer has a design that he uses much more on yearly basis we put it in his database and he can just select it and he can place an order. But we have to make sure that the orders that come in are without any folds or any technical problems whatsoever. So we use the software to get it … to get the errors out of it. The most things we do are very big because in the end a display stands out if it’s a big one and especially we with our company with the big digital printers.

I think we’re an expert in bigger sizes, up to three meters. So most of the briefings are … take out, stand out, make something extra and try to get a real good presentation on this shopping floor. But you can imagine if you go with a model like that from three meters high to your customer, it’s a very … It’s a struggle every time. Most of our customers are multinationals. They are on the seventh or eighth floor. If you have to present something here in this building, you come up with the elevator and it’s crashed before we even get there.

So of course we make these physical mockups before we start a production but today we use it much often as just a one sample for us internally. And then we translate that into a 3D rendering and send that to our customers. And it saves of course a lot of material, a lot of traveling, a lot of money. And that’s what we’re looking for of course. Sometimes you have to test of course. If you make a structure, you wanna see. This picture I grabbed from the internet. It’s just … you can imagine these books, they are heavy, you have to test it, you cannot do this in a structural design environment. But in the end if you make your design and it works, you will translate it again into 360 impression and it can be checked. And Enview software is really good on the details. You can even see the [inaudible 00:10:46] and everything that … the closeup details. I got a pointer here, let’s see if I can show you that there.

If you zoom in from this side. This is then this client portal so this for example is a box, a packaging where a display is in. But you can change very easily also as a customer from one [inaudible 00:11:11] to the other and the drawing will go with you on this … in this change. Endless Branding, a few years ago we said “We’re specialists in digital, we want to go for digital.” We still do some screen printing and offset printing but I think at this moment 85% of our jobs are digitally produced and the runs are every day getting smaller and smaller. They have to be quicker and just in time. We got at the moment I think four Zund cutting tables, they are next to each other and cutting 24 hours a day. And if you look at them you think it’s slow but they never stop, they go on and on and on. So in the end we do a lot of square meters and a lot of output on a digital way.

But our designers, they want to make their mockups and they interrupt sometimes with these production runs. And now I think we got a leak there. It cools a little bit. It’s okay, we can … Okay.

So with this new software and also this … the digital workflow we created, I hope it’s the good word for this, the workflow but we try to catch in this design all these errors before we go to the cutter. And then we only need to cut one and normally it’s right on the spot, maybe one change, two changes. We change that digitally and send it out to our customers. Saves again a lot of money and a lot of time. For these production runs. One of the samples we made, physical samples is still running in our company from one department to the other from printing where it starts that you can see if you’re printing the right image, to cutting, laminating, whatever. Gluing, taping.

It’s the sample that follows through the company. But we even want to change that with some 3D renders that go into our planning system. And in the end of this year we hope to go live with that so then different departures can work on the same design at the same time. Now it’s always a struggle where as this model I needed it so at the cutter, but we wanted to started gluing already, we got a deadline et cetera et cetera.

Since we print like, I don’t know 85% digital, we also, of course we have a lot of digital printers. These printers, they can do more media than only cardboard and corrugated board, paper. But also plastics, metal, you name it, we can print on it. As long as it’s not thicker than 10 centimeters and it’s flat so we can stick it to the table with some suction power, then it’s okay for us. But some of these materials they are not cheap. They are more expensive than corrugated or paper. And then it’s of course a pity if you use a lot of material in the design stage that you just wasted because of wrong designs et cetera.

With Enview we got our parametric library where we can just pick out some designs and we can also combine them and in the end if we use for example this is I think a butler finish die bond. If we use this one in stead of paper or something, we just change the thickness and it’s again a complete design that fits and it’s okay from the first sheet we put under our router.

Today, metal, wood, plastic, corrugated board, honeycomb, a lot of these parametric designs, it means that you draw a little bit different. Enview is the first environment where a cut environment combined with a web shop. So even an end customer can change his design. It will change in dimensions, you can change for example, the width, the height, the depth. Me personally, we don’t do it in this way at this moment because I don’t know if these customers are up to that. I think you get a lot of Mickey Mouse designs that lead to a lot of errors et cetera, et cetera. But for some designs, we will do it, and also for the last step in our software piece it’s the instructions for assembling video and 3D PDF. You can use in stead of a complete photoshopped document with a lot of pictures that takes … Five years ago we took half a day, we already had some software in that time but it never came out with the right touch and the right details. This one does really good.

And you can make a movie even. We work with these on the shop floor and the one who is putting this up. It just has a 3D demo, a movie on his telephone and he can just see what happens and how we can assemble everything. So we just do it once. Our customer picks it out of the portal and he uses the movie or the 3D PDF for instruction use.

The challenges we face in the movie, I already told you a little bit about those. We have to be flexible. I hardly speak to a customer who says “Oh, take your time.” It’s not that we need it that quick. All the jobs we do nowadays they are quick and they are all … have to be done yesterday you know. It’s getting quicker and quicker and we have to me more flexible and the runs are getting smaller so you cannot make up errors anymore and profit. If the runs are smaller and you mess up some material, you will see that in your margins. And in the end we don’t want to sit behind our desk making offers all day long and only chasing these customers and hopefully en up with an order.

The phone from the 80’s, what I saw in one of the presentations before. We still got it, but it’s more to connect with our customers also by phone but today you also need like a gun or something because we got more and more jobs every day. The amount is decreasing and the number of runs is increasing very much. To handle all these we have a packgate client portal. And every portal is made for our customer on a custom made base. Every customer of ours has a specific needs. This one is for Microsoft and they got their … I don’t see it there … Microsoft PoS. But we also put … some customers … we put there … Just some inspiration, we put another button with a lot of designs we create and we think they could use it. They don’t have to buy it, we just fill it up and sometimes we see a job coming through that nobody asked for and just came out of the blue.

For this customer we do also a lot of printing stuff. Not that … It’s not our core business but they wanted to have it in one hand so we provided them with this. And it’s all for several countries. So also a lot of translation. And they can log into this from different countries, they can see the different translations, they can add their notifications to the job and see what has to be done different and our project manager only looks at on top there. Go back. To the projects, the codes, the orders, everything that’s running, that’s pending, jobs that are paid, not paid, delivered, not delivered. You can see it all in this client portal.

This is a parametric display so this structure can be adjusted by a client. The client itself doesn’t do this, it’s by an agency done so they got … understanding about structural design and they can make their own designs. Can also make their own changes and they can adjust the width, they can adjust the depth and the height until limits because otherwise we run out of sheets. But until limits they could give in different measurements and there will automatically be a new drawing on our cutter.

Here you see … I clicked on one of those lines, so then this desk popped up. But you can see an overview of the current orders and the order history and the job status. In the future we want to try to get this again integrated with exact production, that’s our CRM system, how you say that. And with this system we got the old circle I hope. We got it completely closed and then we spend less hours and less errors in every production.

And then there’s something new coming up. We don’t work with this but a lot of our customers work with their own, illustrator, photoshop et cetera environment. They don’t want to go directly on a web portal or on a web based environment. They want to do it in their safe server, on their safe desktop maybe. And maybe Valentin, you can tell something because I don’t know anything about it, so you just told me that it’s coming.

Yeah, okay, thank you Peter. So this simply is an extension of the online platform where with the help of [inaudible 00:22:37] publisher on the online platform, we are able to edit the artwork. But some of the professional users, to them this wouldn’t be enough because they would like to use the potential Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Professional tools on the desktop. So we’re making a bridge between the online platform and the desktop tools that to facilitate the designs with a single click of a mouse to go to a desktop, do the design with the professional tools like Adobe Illustrator. Another click and it goes back to the platform. So that’s what’s coming in the next month.

It’s not in Enview done but it’s going to Illustrator and right where you click … it’s a plugin. Okay. Thank you. So this was a short presentation about our digital progress and if you got any questions, maybe I can answer them, maybe later, maybe not. Thank you.

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