Honestly, this visit was quite a surprise. Most companies in the world aim for growth and fortunately, there is not one single recipe for success. Buchs is from a medium size town in Denmark, Randers – and is a quite old company. It used to be a traditional printing company but the current partners have turned Buchs into a diverse business focusing on communication from A to Z. They have acquired Internet companies. They have acquired signage companies and what is also quite interesting is their business in Vietnam where 55 employees produce pre-press for magazines. Actually almost EVERY magazine from the larger publishers in Denmark. See, Like, Get Inspired by seeing this quite unusual company from Denmark.
0:13 You’ve come to Randers to visit Buchs, and we’re an old company from 1879, and I’m one of the owners today, and we are two partners working within the graphic industry in Denmark.
0:49 Like 10 years ago, we made a plan for developing this company. We grew out of traditional offset printing, and my partner and I, we are from this line of business, and we like it. But, looking forward, we would like to work more like a communication house. So, we made a plan of how to make offset printing just a part of what we sell. So, we started developing the advertising agency, part of it, and the online business as well, and then open the business in Vietnam, as well. We’ve got to 55 local employees and a Danish manager doing all kinds of graphic stuff. Only products that you can transfer on the internet. We don’t do any physical printing or anything that has to go back by voltage. It’s all done digitally.
1:51 Are the acquisitions part of a strategy or did it happen spontaneously?
1:54 It’s a bit of a mix of it. We had a plan of what kind of business we would like to develop, like the online and the advertising, and of course also the printing and the signage and so on. And, it somewhat happened that, you know, some of the companies that we have acquired were suppliers to us, and then throughout this cooperation for many years and the way the business is going, it ended up with some acquisitions of these companies.
2:24 Do you see growth through acquisitions as a part of your future?
2:28 I definitely see that, and the way the whole industry is developing, I think that’s quite an important business for us. Also, it’s a way to get new competencies in the house that we can offer to our customers. I think if you’re in one particular line of business, then size matters. But, the way we work and the kind of clients we have here, it’s more important to being to offer them a lot of different products. We don’t claim to be the biggest, the fastest, the cheapest, the most creative or anything, weíre just able to deliver the whole package to our clients, and that’s been one of our successes the last couple of years.
3:21 We knew that if we wanted to be in like, offset printing, we need to invest a lot to keep up with the competition in the market, and you also need to focus on that, and you have to be interested in it. But, we must admit that we are mainly interested in the whole business, from delivering the concept and until the production. If it’s all the in between, if it’s done in-house or at a supplier, that doesn’t matter that much to us. It’s more the whole business that’s interesting.
4:04 If we open a new door for a client and bring them in as an online client, of course, we try. If they have any business within the printing, we try to sell that as well, but it’s not our main goal to do that. We do have clients where they come here as an advertising client, and then we don’t talk about printing at all, and it’s more campaigns, strategy and online, instead.
4:28 Some of the companies that you acquired were your subcontractors. Does that make it easier to merge the cultures?
4:33 It definitely has. Then, you could go straight to discussing the cost and where to stay, and all these more hardcore discussions. If, you know, we’ve known each other for many years and we know how we work, we know the values of each company and so on, and then in the end, it’s a matter of the bottom line and how much it’s going to cost them, and so on. When we start the discussions, it’s always a matter of how we can make it more efficient, and have these synergies from looking at their clients and our clients, and how can we sell our new products to them. And of course, we only know about bringing the companies here and running them here. I don’t know if we could work on two locations. I’m a bit unsure about that.
5:35 Considering your experience in acquisitions, do you have any advice what to look out for when you approach companies both as a buyer and a seller?
5:38 We only know it from the buyer side. There have been interests for us that we declined. But, you mentioned the culture, and I think culture is very, very important to have all these soft discussions. You tend to start discussing all the technical things, the economy, and everything. But, to make a successful acquisition, you need to bring in the company successfully, the employees, and especially the clients. And, you need to keep the employees, and the sales we do is based on relations. We don’t have a workshop where we select it. So, it’s all the people working for us, that’s the most important part. So, we need to look at the values and the culture and so on, to have that in focus. And, I think many, they skip this part.