Welcome to the Smart Factory
Hello, to our Wednesday session, Breakout Sessions in French and we really have the joy today to invite Hervé Schwertz from Pixel Tech and Jacques whom you now know. Jacques Michiels is my partner INKISH BENELUX and I, Yves d’Aviau de Ternay, represent INKISH France.
We are going to be delighted to be able to exchange with Hervé Schwertz on rather one aspect of printing 4.0 which is our topic this week, on the Smart Factory, but no longer to focus on automation in prepress and in particular, and this what I found very interesting is how to accompany those companies that want to get started and tackle these automation issues. That’s why I asked Hervé Schwertz if he could bring us both his point of view and, above all, his experience in the field. Hello Hervé Schwertz. Can you introduce yourself in a few words and of course your company as well?
Yes, of course. Thank you for your invitation. So, I’m Hervé Schwertz, I’m 53 years old, I’m the co-manager and commercial director of Pixel Tech, a company that’s been in existence for 23 years.
The core business is large-format digital printing, we are 17 employees, we achieve a turnover of 3.7 million euros. And there are two areas of expertise: the sale of equipment, large-format digital printers and the sale of software solutions. And as part of this last activity, we have developed the sale of prepress automation solutions. The reason for my presence at this presentation.
Thank you very much, Hervé. So I’m going to launch your presentation. Thank you Hervé for your presentation, which, for my part, I like very much and can you explain your angle and this title “The 8 commandments of Prepress Automation Sales.”
When you contacted me, Yves, we talked a little bit about printing 4.0 and we actually talked about our core business, which is our main axis of automation, which is the prepress part.
And we’ve been thinking about how you can approach this. I’m a salesman. My job is to sell I’m not all technical and I found it interesting to share with the people watching this session the difficulties and problems I encountered and how I managed, how we managed to overcome this from a point of sale. And explaining what the problems we had in terms of sales, showing what the problems of our customers were. It’s a sales-focused presentation, but it will show what are the issues and pitfalls that you have to avoid when implementing a prepress automation solution in a digital printing company.
So after eight commandments, that’s just the Joke side of it.
…, of a marble slab in my spare time, here it is
Bravo. Well, we’ll start with your first commandment: “1. All companies, you won’t try to automate.” This is very interesting. Tell us more …
Yes, in fact what we found when we implemented automation solutions was that not all companies were eligible for automation. First. The first point is that there is a certain level of turnover, at a certain level of activity that I think is a minimum to be able to implement prepress automation solutions. For me, a company that makes less than a million euros in turnover in print, in digital printing, does not have enough volume and does not have enough grain to grind to industrialise its processes at the prepress level. This doesn’t mean that there are limited targets because there are a lot targets since very clearly, among our clients, we are in fact addressing customers who are of very different types.
We come from the world of large format digital printing. Obviously, the first customers that we have equipped with automation were large-format digital printers. But we have also equipped printers who are hybrid, printers who make analog printing, the typical offset printers and who have a digital printing part.
Or medium-format digital print pure-players who come to see us now because they’ve actually heard about our expertise and say: “I know you’ve automated this company, this company, this company. So does it make sense for us to automate?” And we also have as a development axis, pure players, people who do the web, web-to-print, this kind of automation. And other companies. And that’s very interesting, it’s the industrialists who have set up digital printing to make short personalized series. Their job is not printing. On the other hand, they use digital printing means to produce consumer goods or industrial goods in short personalized runs. That’s why I’m saying that in fact, it’s not worth trying to automate, in fact a company that does not have large dimension. For me. the bar is a million euros in print.
Because it has a cost. For what reasons, Hervé?
For various reasons. On the one hand, indeed, software investment costs are significant for automating, typically, for us, one or a complete automation solution, it’s in software investment, let’s say 30, 35 thousand euros. It’s a significant investment.
Are you talking at this point, I would say hardware or also combined software,
Not only, in the EUR 30 – 35 thousand range. For me, it is only the software part and the contracts to update his software for one year and the training of the customer on the use of these solutions or the deployment of these solutions.
And then, once there’s the choice, we have sold an automation solution to a customer. That’s where his work begins. That is to say, he needs to start developing these flows, and right now, it’s a significant investment. It takes human and financial resources.
The second commandment: “2. With the business leader you will debate”
So one of the pitfalls I faced when I tried to sell prepress solutions, was that at the beginning I tried to talk to the DTP managers or the prepress department managers, and in fact very clearly, they are resistant to change. It’s quite logical because you try to change processes in a company, there is inevitably resistance to change, and the main pitfall I face was indeed the DTP operators, or even some prepress managers, did not want to automate for fear of losing their jobs. In fact, they don’t lose their jobs. they find a more interesting job afterwards. But it’s a fear that is quite human.
That’s why from now on, when I try to convince a company that it needs to automate this prepress process, I speak to the managers of the company in that company and not to the person in charge of prepress.
Yes, it has to be in line with the company’s strategy.
Exactly, there must, there must be a real vision of the leader. In other areas, resistance does not come from the same people. If we take for example, I’m going to cite as other types of customers we are targeting, those who do web-to-print. Here, in this case, it’s not the prod that’s blocking. It is rather the development department by the computer scientists who develop the site because they love scripting. In fact, when we tell them we’re going to implement a solution that will allow you to automate, that’s based on market standards, and so on. It’s not the prepress department that’s blocking. It is more the IT department that is afraid of losing power in the deployment of these solutions. So that’s why, in order to be able to start an automation process and to market this type of solution to our customers, we obviously have to talk to company managers who will make the decision.
Yes, I share fully. Your third commandment: “3. In front of the five-legged sheep, you’ll never back down.”
So that’s funny because in the large format business, every time I say: “Well, we sell prepress automation solutions. Our job is to industrialize everything that is repetitive, without added value tasks at the prepress level.” I always have the following answer: “No, no but we don’t make standard products, we make large format, we make vinyl, we make beach flags, we never print the same product.” In fact, that’s true, but globally, no matter what job you have, there are repetitive tasks with no added value that we can be automated on the prepress side. I have customers, for example in the prepress field, in the large-format field, who make complex products. They make voluminous POS, I would say products that they design in 3D, etc. Obviously, the flow isn’t going to automate that. On the other hand, on these products, each phase is printed, and therefore they will glue vinyl on it or print directly on these sides. These files will have to be checked, normalized and checked to make sure that they are correct from a structural point of view PDF, etc.
So, whatever the customer’s activity, even if they are on complex products with high added value, there are repetitive tasks, without added value and there is grain to grind.
In this case, it’s important. Often, when we talk about automation, we focus only on standard products, but not only.
That’s it, even in a complex product. There are treatments that are repetitive treatments that can be automated.
The fourth commandment: “4. Never in the gloubibulga (imaginary dish and favorite food of Casimir) of the workflows, you will not fall.”
So, this is a reference to people my age, in fact.
“L’île aux enfants”
When I asked Loïc, at home, who’s doing and who gave me the presentation, because I’m very, very bad to do presentation, he told me what is the gloubiboulga? I’m getting old. Now I knew it was old, but now, it’s … In fact, one of the problems we have when we sell workflows is that workflow is a term that is very overused, that is to say that everyone talks about workflow and one of the first things I do when I go to see a client is to define the scope of our expertise. When you talk about workflow to a digital printer. When I go, I’m going to talk about workflow. Maybe he won’t hear “ERP”. He might hear “amalgam solutions.” He may hear “a production monitoring workflow” and in addition, each and every one of these products, sometimes do a bit of prepress processing, i.e. ERPs sometimes integrate preflight solutions. Some production tracking solutions have tools that allow you to standardize PDF files, from a PDF structure point of view.
One of the first things I do when I see a client, for me, my perimeter is the prepress workflow, that’s enough. What is a prepress workflow? It is the management of file loading, the association of a file with production variables and metadata. How are we going to process the file? The second point is the PreFlight, i.e. we’re going to control the file. The third point is standardization. We’re going to correct the errors in some, some PDFs. The workflow is capable of doing that. It won’t do it all. It is not capable of correcting all errors, but all standard errors. It will do it. It will standardize the files and then we will create a PDF of production. In fact, we’ll apply a manufacturing recipe that allows us to make the customer file conform to the product that wants to be printed. Typically, when I want to create a, I want to print a kakemono. I’ll add 2 cm at the top, 3 cm at the bottom so that it fits into the frame used by the printer. This is the generation of PDF of Prod and the last step is the validation. The generation and validation of an “OK for print” proof so that the client validates the file which has been processed by the workflow. So this is the perimeter for me of the prepress automation, onboarding, pre-flighting, standardization, the generation of a PDF of production and the generation and validation of the “OK for print” proof. There you go. Then, this tool must connect with other solutions, with an ERP, with possibly behind the software that will manage the amalgamation, a RIP etc. But… I try to be as precise as possible when I send a customer request and say: “Here, my scope is: I generate a pre-printed PDF of production, then, the optimization of the production of this PDF of prod, the follow-up of this PDF of prod in the workshop, it’s not my job.” There are other tools to do that, but my perimeter is the PDF, the prepress workflow.
A small question because, as you rightly say therefore the workflow up to the proofing, in principle, so that, if there is the “OK for print”, well, it will follow its course in the prod. I agree with you, but when it comes to proofing nowadays. Well, everyone tries to do this online, so trying to actually have the “OK for print” without having to print the sheet yet. Although offices, often offices, still require hardcopy proofing. What’s your, what’s your opinion on this? I know that there are many between us, especially in everything that is the setting up of “OK for print” by integrated systems that send by the Internet for approval by the customer. But what the percentage for you, what do you see in practice? Still in, depending on what type of business, do you think there are still a lot of people using paper proof?
So, very little. It depends on the job. Clearly, it depends whether you’re in packaging, whether you’re a comm agency, etc. In fact, I should have explained what I called the “OK for print”, in fact in the field of large format. The “OK for print” is in fact a PDF file with the pre-printed PDF of production. It’s just, it’s not a paper proof at all, in fact.
It’s just the PDF of production that they actually have the customers validate and in general, the classic large format digital printer, what does he? He actually sends it by email with the related issues. In fact, he does not master at all the tool that is used by the client to open this famous PDF. That’s why we have “OK for print” online validation solutions that allow us to control the way the PDF is displayed and to be sure that what the customer sees, is indeed the PDF of production that has been validated. When I talk about “OK for print”, I’m talking about file proofing, not proofing at all. The proofing in the large format, we have certain clients who proof, they still receive proofs. Rather,they are people who work for fairly high-end markets, such as luxury goods, cosmetics and so on.
And when, when your customers are interested in automation, you don’t receive any specifications from them?
It depends. It depends on the clients, i.e. we have clients who have a very clear vision of what they want to do, i.e. they are people who have and who are already structured and so on. There are quite a few clients who know that they have to industrialize their process. Who feel that they need to move from the graphic arts to the graphic industry because that’s what our clients’ problems are, but very often they don’t know where to start.
And then I’m also interested in it and I think that already starting to automate the prepress part. It is generally the service where we have the most gains, productivity gains that can be made extremely quickly. This is where there is the most. If there are errors in prepress, it’s incessant back and forth with the production, incessant back and forth with the client. It’s reprints, reprints, colorimetric issues, transparency issues and overprinting issues. And here, very clearly, is the fact of implementing a prepress automation solution, starting with the most standard products, the most repetitive, time-consuming tasks. The payoff is quick.
I now move on to the fifth commandment: “5. In the absence of product nomenclature and metadata, you will flee.”
So that’s when you talk to a client about workflow, he says: “Yeah, that’s your thing, it can automate everything.” It can automate everything if we have variables, if we have information. And that’s the most problematic. That is to say, apart from some customers, I was talking about our industrial clients.
An industrial client, him. He has an ERP that generates an PO, a production order, and in this PO, there is all the information that allows him to know: What will be printed? How? In what quantity? With what type of finishing? Etc. Because that’s their job. They already have that. They have a product nomenclature and they know product PO by PO, PO line by PO line, what they have to produce. So They are very structured.
On the other hand, if I go to a large-format digital printer or a printer. I would even say medium format. Few have a product nomenclature. Rare are those who have in a structured way, in any database, the variables that allow knowing how a file should be printed. So this is. The customer must think about that, he must think about a product nomenclature.
They ask themselves: Which are the products on which the most times is spent in prepress processing and on which processes can be automated? So define, for example, when I’m printing a tarp, okay when I’m printing a tarp. Do I have several types of tarpaulins with a core at the four corners tied every x cm top and bottom reinforcement, etc.? That’s what I call a nomenclature definition.
And then, in order to be able to automate, we need to recover the production variables. In other words, how should the file be produced? I gave you the example of kakemono to know, so that the workflow knows that it must add 2 cm at the top and 3 cm at the bottom on a file to make a PDF of prod. It is necessary that the workflow, one must tell it, in fine, the final product is a kakemono which is mounted on such and such a frame. That it can’t guess. And that’s what I call nomenclature, having a product nomenclature, knowing that the different types of kakemonos, the different types of tarpaulin and also the metadata and this metadata, they can come from very different sources. If we take for example a client that is either a pure player in Web-to-print or a client that has a web-to-print site. When a customer is going to place an order on his web-to-print site, he is going to choose a product, therefore a product from a nomenclature because these products are defined on the website and production parameters. He’s going to choose the number of copies, the type of media, so the web-to-print is going to inject, is going to generate the metadata, so we’re going to retrieve them from the web-to-print output. If the customer has an ERP in which he has defined a product nomenclature for each order he receives and every order line, he has a precise description of what the customer wants and not a comment field saying: “Thank you Coco for printing me three tarpaulins, in triplicate for tomorrow morning 10 am.” That, a workflow doesn’t know how to manage. The workflow, it needs a delivery date, a number of copies, a type of support, the type of product and finishes, etc.
So the customer has to be in his ERP and in the majority of our customers, they don’t have that. They don’t have an ERP. So we, we have in the solutions that we set up, solutions that make it possible to inject ERPs. If we do, we have form solutions that allow the client to create their own. He’s going to take his PDF file and drag it into a form. He will select the type of product, the type definition, the number of copies, etc. And then it will make it possible to control the workflow.
So, even a client who doesn’t have an ERP, our metadata generation solutions, the famous forms I’m talking about. In fact, they make it possible to define the information that the prepress department needs, to automate this prepress department and the customer will have, will set up an ERP. He will know exactly what metadata he needs in his ERP system to be able to manage automation at the prepress department level since he will have defined this in his form. That’s why I say, I tell my clients even if you don’t have an ERP. If you have a project to set up an ERP, you can already automate the prepress part because it can be done in parallel. Or already, you’ll save a lot of time. Before implementing ERP, as everyone knows, it’s frustrating, it’s long, it’s complex because it’s addressed to all the services of a company.
Absolutely, but this is interesting because what we have put forward in the last few days, about the importance of interconnectivity between the different systems. It’s true, a question to which you answered Hervé: “should we start by addressing an ERP? And then, after thinking about prepress automation? Or can we also afford to automate in prepress without having an ERP? You say: “Yes, so it’s possible.” Namely in France, there is not a lot of ERP in any case, for printing companies, some solutions… Especially MIS systems as a system solution,
These are mainly MIS systems as a system solution,
I think of MIS systems.
Often, in fact, when you ask about a digital printer, he has EBP, Sage. And in fact, it’s not at all structured to industrialize the process in general. It’s quite rare for them to have a nomenclature. So in fact, often in the customer’s estimate, it’s a “comment field” with a price in fact,
What do you think? Well, for those companies that don’t have a set up yet, how long do you think it will take? Of course, it depends on the company, but generally speaking, on average. Because, well, it still takes a while to set up and to fill out your forms. And what I’m interested in is that for those who don’t yet have a trip like this that, it takes. How long does it take? To get an idea…
That’s what I tell my clients. Automation, it never stops.
I mean to start, to start
What I tell my clients, we will talk about how we sell our solutions. It’s the eighth commandment, but I tell my clients, is to says: “OK. what are tasks that you take the most time and which are the easiest to automate? Let’s start with that.” I have clients who tell me: “In fact, we make tarpaulins all day long,” let’s start with tarpaulins. At first, we’ll just check the tarpaulins. We’ll just check that, for example, the format is homothetic. When printing a tarpaulin, that is to say, the customer hasn’t not given you an A4 to make a tarpaulin that’s lengthwise. OK. And then, we will refine the processing by adding in our metadata entry form, parameters that will allow us to have more and more precise control over the client files and to generate a PDF in a totally automatic way. But at the beginning, let’s just start by preflighting the file and normalizing it, for example. After the generation of the PDF of prod, it can be a second step. And to bounce back on what you were saying, in fact, we already sell, when we sell our solutions, we have already integrated processing libraries into our solutions, functions related to large formats that are pre-configured. Of course, a customer, customer A and customer B printing tarpaulin. All do about the same thing on the tarp.
We’ve already prepared that. I’m coming to the sixth commandment 5. By automating you will sublimate. This one’s important.
And that’s the continuation of the thought we had at the beginning to say when we’re going to have a DTP team and tell them we’re going to automate your processes. In fact, it’s… The principle, I’m not going to do it. The last thing I want to do is push this because I’m gonna lose my job. In fact, that’s not at all what all of our customers at our company have implemented, on which we have implemented automation solutions. The DTP department, they’re thrilled. If you stop the flow to them, they’ll scream. What’s that all about? Because we do. They’re doing some pretty interesting work. I mean, they’re going to process the prepress files. There, one needs the human intelligence in the fact of taking a file, to save it and to put it at the place, with or without a name, a nomenclature with the name of the customer’s order. To file, to record, it doesn’t make sense. That’s not relevant. On the other hand. Processing what the stream can’t process by advanced corrections on the files because the stream will never arrive, it takes human, it’s not true. It’s a good thing it takes a human. That’s the first thing. So the tasks that people do in DTP, once we’ve automated, are much more interesting. And then, on the other hand.
She often sees these people in our clients. It is that the people who do exe tasks at our company, at our customers digital printers, are not trained exe people, they are graphic designers Crea, creative people, who love to create. In fact, they’re not interested in this purchase. In fact, what they like to do is create new products, invent new things, etc. And we have a lot of clients who, because they have offloaded their DTP services from repetitive tasks with no added value, have said OK. In fact, we have at all the customers, there is always a product that they have that makes their specificity, their kind of little jewels there, they will enter on the jewel, there, they will refine, they will, they will decline the range. They’ll find new products rather than manually sending sticks to a customer. Well, they may be working on defining a new product that will be a high-margin, high-value-added product, rather than doing repetitive tasks. That’s why I say automation. It’s not the robotization of a factory, it’s just to say we’re offloading you with tasks, offloading you with non-value-added tasks, and allowing you to do what you, what you’re interested in and you told me as well.
What interested me a lot is that your approach is really a transfer of skills when you propose a reflection with the teams precisely on each of the acts that need to be automated and the implementation of solutions is done by your teams and which set up a real transfer of skills to the company’s staff.
Thereafter, it is the 8th commandment. I call: On a Jedi master, you’ll lean on it. In fact, we’re a value-added reseller, we sell software, we don’t develop, so we’re a relatively small team in terms of flow. I have two people dedicated to training, deployment, and flow support. If these two people spend their time deploying flows, developing flows for our customers, I can no longer sell. Hyper-frustrating. Me, I love to sell, so. What we try to do is to tell our customers that we have sold you a solution, we train you to use this solution, so obviously, with our expertise, a certain history of the famous bricks we have already developed, the functions we have already integrated into the solutions we deploy will allow them to go faster. We train one, two, three people in the company and those people will be the Jedi masters of the flow, they’re the ones who will start to automate. Of course, with our media that need help setting up a feed. I don’t know how to take the problem, how to deal with it. We’re here to help them. We’re not here to develop flux. It works and. It’s a difficulty that we sometimes have in some companies, it’s that we don’t have the right person, we, the people we’re ideally looking for, are not computer scientists because computer solutions are not scripting. Actually, it’s very visual, etc.
A lazy person. I love lazy people. It’s a person who doesn’t like to do the same things twice. I’m not like that, actually. Cédric Chez-Nous, who develops, who trains and develops on the flow, and Pascal too are people who don’t like to do the same things twice. They’re automating how I’m going to do it. that thing I’m gonna do x number of times tomorrow, but I’m not gonna do it by hand. So it takes a person who’s that spirit. It is a person who is either not resistant to change, who wants to move forward, for whom it is done, who adheres to the principle of automation. And you need someone with an analytical mind. They say OK when I have to. What are the steps involved in producing or printing a kakemonos? What do I need to check on the file? What should I correct on the file? What should I add to the file information? Etc. In order to be able to define what is the treatment process? Because it’s a flow. How about this? What do I do step by step? So I need someone with an analytical mind and I need someone who knows it’s a PDF. When we talk to him about transparency, overprinting, standards, ISO 39 and Swap and Euroscale profits, we do not have our eyes wide open and very often we manage to find our interlocutors in companies. This is not always the case, because sometimes we have some clients. Some clients says here we are. I need a flux, we’re expanding the flux. The problem is, when they need the second stream, they need me.
You share, share resources and skills that will be of interest to your company in the future. To be able to continue with this automation approach?
What I have often found is that among the prepress teams there is often someone who has just arrived at the company who has a little advanced training in the Flu Pagoras bachelor’s degree style. For example, if you know this Goblin training, Estienne school, etc.. So these are the people who are trained for this. They have that training, they know what a flux is. They have that skill, that vision and often that person. When they first join the company, it’s quite rare for them to find a job as a digital flow manager. On the other hand, you can see when they see the solutions coming that we set up a solution based on a switch or Callas he loves, these people. he’s gonna jump at the chance because that’s what he likes to do.
It’s interesting what you say. That is to say that today’s schools and universities are in any case offering training courses on the market that are in line with the needs of the market.
Some I frame, not enough? I would be delighted if an engineer with a pagora d’Estienne or Goblins degree would be at all the digital printers.
Well, in any case, schools and one of my questions is what schools like Estienne or Pagoras, set up trainings within their school that meet the needs of the market? We find them.
After me, I’m saying the same thing. But afterwards, if my, if my client doesn’t have that resource, he should advise business leaders to recruit in that direction.
After a good search. Then, says a suitor from these schools, who will start to implement automation with a relatively lower cost for the company.
Exactly, and it’s very much in the news & applicable right now.
Seventh commandment: Thou shalt not change thy prospect’s customer relationship.
Often, in fact, we, the clients, yes, but me, that’s your thing, it’s totally automatic, but I don’t work like that with my clients. When there’s a problem on a file, I need the salesperson to call the client, which is strategic for me. I don’t want him to get an e-mail. Automatic your feed over Preflight, this guy won’t understand when he says voilà. Sorry, Coco, I can’t print what? What I explain to my clients is that I’m not going to change the way they interact with their clients. Yes, for example. For them, it is essential to keep a close business relationship with a customer, to pamper their customer, to have them on the phone to say so. We got your file. It’s underneath it. The flow. He’s not going to send the email automatically to the customer. He’s gonna send it to the commercial account manager. You want to say it careful, we have a problem. Thank you for calling your client to see, to review with him and explain that he needs to redo his file, this type of problem. The other point I often say is that I see myself in digital print, it’s the last wheel of the carriage. In fact, they have to print at the last moment, they receive the file the day before for the next day. And in fact, or sometimes they receive a file a fortnight in advance.
But since they’re so into Rush, they don’t have time to look at this file here. I’ve already said it. The advantage of our solution is that as soon as you receive the file we will pre-fly it and see if there is a problem. This will save you the trouble. The night before you feel like calling your client and saying I’m sorry? Actually, the file we received a couple of weeks ago. I’ve got a problem on it, the client doesn’t understand. Or the other way around, it’s to avoid those rusties. Because if indeed, we realize at the last moment that we have a problem on a file, what happens? How can we not dare to call the client to say ah sorry, there’s a problem with the file or we’ll fix it? We’ll fix it manually. We’ll figure it out. It’s someone at OTP who, in the rush, is going to try to fix the problem. When that’s what I mean by the relationship and your prospects, you’re not gonna change. I have no desire to change the business philosophy of my clients, they will continue to work. Their relationship will remain the same, but she will win. It will gain in fluidity, serenity and, above all, we will avoid the back and forth trips between the production and prepress departments at the last moment. Because the file we got a couple weeks ago, no one actually checked it out. The fux is the flow.
I understand what you’re saying, because in practice, we regularly see that, as you say, when customers receive an e-mail sent automatically by the system due to the automated flow often as you say, either they don’t understand exactly how to react. Either they don’t do anything with it or, as you say, I still have as much as the relationship that used to deal with their clients. I wouldn’t say it’s disappearing a bit, but it’s changing anyway, and it’s more impersonal now that there’s an email.
That being said, the flow can’t change that. If we take the example of the TAO that we were talking about earlier, online validation, etc., we can see that it’s a very important tool. There is nothing more unbearable for the customer to receive 12 reminders on a TAO. You can send a first reminder or even a second reminder. And then, if we realize that we’re very close to the deadline for printing, we know that we absolutely have to have the validation of the BAT before tonight, etc. The third e-mail won’t send the client. Send it to the salesman, he’ll call his client. Careful, you’re calling your client. Because if he doesn’t have the BAT, if he hasn’t realized that the BAT validation is blocking the process, call – the, that’s it, there’s a problem. There, that’s why for me, a flow doesn’t change the business relationship. He’s making it more fluid, this business relationship. And it’s just some kind of black box in the back. Who will treat and how do we interact with the client? That’s the client’s rebuttal.
It’s interesting to reassure by saying that the print shop or automated company keeps its hand in with them, as you say. Especially points that are identified and can be automated. It’s the company’s responsibility to say yes or no. Or to find alternatives according to the company’s culture and specific relationships with a particular firm. That’s quite important.
I tell customers, for example, they tell me, when I get a file that’s not good, I tell the customer. Period. That’s not my problem, that’s it. That’s his vision of business. I think it’s generally the people with high volumes, low margins who have to feed machines and manage as much as possible. That’s their business model. I’m not going to change their business model. On the other hand, I do understand that a client who works in luxury for a high-end client, etc., is a client who is not in the luxury business. Who needs interaction to be reassured about print quality, etc.? Yeah, the flux isn’t gonna replace this.
And also in the idea. Because, well, that’s like the subject we’ve been following this week in the Smart, the smart of printing. I think it’s like you say anything in Prepress or production or whatever. You don’t want to do that. You have to limit the touch points. That’s what you say, an e-mail or two, and, well, if it’s not fixed by then… Well, you have to avoid increasing the touch points, losing time and therefore for the efficiency of the solution and therefore in everything that is the smart factory, it starts with the files. I guess we can produce. So it’s still very important to have that vision. Well, you still have to, if you want to become, and stay competitive and get a little smarter. But hey, we have to start at the beginning and avoid all the keys everywhere and make sure it’s not too cumbersome.
And as Hervé says, it’s mainly the keys that don’t bring any added value. That’s really why often, when we talk about 4.0, what is put forward in the roadmap, and Hervé said it very well, is to have a lean manufacturing approach, that is to say lean is to map with what is called Value Stream mapping, mapping and value flows. If it decides to have a mapping of its flow and identify in its flow all the steps that really bring value and those that do not.
And if it does not bring value, some times others do not bring value, but are necessary. This is because, for example, correcting a correction is a correction to a photograph. That’s where, upstream, the operation was not done properly. But the fact of making these corrections is important and that’s why the lean, we say for certain keys, I think as you say Jacques, it’s important to keep. It’s like that relationship with the client. Does spending time on the phone with a customer or to inform them, is it valuable or not? It’s really up to the company. Only the company can answer that. It all depends on how strategically important the customer is on the phone. Concretely, it does not add value, but it is sometimes necessary. The client is strategic and he is an important client. This is an important element, in any case to advise what I advise to clients that I can accompany in their optimization.
It’s first of all what’s in Hervé’s mind. It’s about reflecting on all their flows and looking at what brings added value.
To ensure that when men and women after work really focus on what brings value. You said it very well in the different points and on the 8th. We talked a little bit about a Jedi master’s degree you’ll lean on, that. it’s important to me because it allows us to keep your 8th commandment. It’s true that this week we don’t have enough to talk about. This issue of the smart factories. Good as well, raises an important question. It’s the issue of training. The issue of competency management. The issue can also be vocational training. The reconversion for some in companies, the fact of automating. I think you must have some experience in this regard. The printing works, which converted each of the, some of the profiles?
Then maybe it’s a ninth commandment. What’s complicated in our business is that you’re going to see an executive, a digital printer. It’s easy for him to buy a machine. Actually, it’s a machine. What does it touch? It’s concrete. Me, I have certain clients who make monstrous investments in production machines at
500 thousant to a million. And when I tell them, I have a solution. 35 grand is a hell of a lot. No, it’s not expensive, you buy war animals, but you go, you can’t feed them, in fact, because you don’t have the right software, because you don’t have the processes in place, because you don’t have the thinking to feed them properly. That’s changing with a new generation and the new generations we’re seeing. We have business leaders who have, who have and are more sensitive to the notion of software. Well, we’re not so web savvy, are we? When you see people, I sell a lot of rip ub Rip, it’s expensive and that costs 4000 euros for a machine that costs. 70.000, 100.000, 200.000? It’s not a big deal actually. It’s changing and we’ve been thinking about it for a long time, we’ve had this process industrialization approach for a long time.
We’re always trying to move up the value chain with our clients and we’ve really felt for the last 23 years. That customers are, interest in authorization, and react. In fact, they understood that it was necessary to industrialize the processes that could no longer afford to work the way he used to work, etc. And that the transition from the graphic arts to the graphic industry is a necessity. Yes, and we can try to combine.
And that doesn’t preclude a move from the arts to the graphic industries. It doesn’t stop creativity. That’s why, with Jacques, we have put the latter forward, especially in terms of strategy and mass customization.
More and more customers are asking for unique and individualized products, etc. But in order to be able to respond to these individualized products, as you say, you have to automate to make sure that the creative input, but at an affordable cost, is really the issue today.
Hervé in any case, and Jacques, thank you very much for this interview which was for me fascinating. Really, thank you. Why Fascinating? Because what I like very much and every time to be able to share on a quiche and experiences from the field and this is what you have brought us, Hervé, a very big thank you.
Thank you. And I’ll see you soon. So, as I did with this interview broadcast on the INKISH platform, also subtitled in the different languages so that our colleagues and other continents can also benefit from your experience. Hervé will see you very soon, Yves in any case they will be able to translate gloubiboulga (the Swamp). We’ll put, we’ll put in brackets and subtitles, Thank you for your humor. It is thanks to you What might have seemed like a complex subject has been much easier to digest, in any case.
Thank you very much, Hervé. Goodbye for now.