In this ‘Over the Skype’ session, we this time visits Jean Lloyd from South Africa. Jean Lloyd has a deep understanding of Inkjet with years of experience. Today she works as an independent consulting with a focus on supporting her customers about Inkjet.
As with all our ‘Over the Skype’ interviews, quality is limited to bandwidth, web-cams, and ability to literally LIVE mix the conversations. However, it works, and with Over the Skype, we will bring you more than 20 exciting people, and angles on the industry as it is right now.
This is a Morten Reitoft from INKISH TV. As some of you may have known or know, we have been quite busy with these, Over the Skype sessions, for some weeks because of the Corona crisis. And today we are actually in South Africa, which is the first time I ever meet anybody from South Africa. So, that’s really great.
And I have the pleasure to talk to, she will introduce herself in a second, but I was just about to say that is a really globetrotter because she. Is out of the UK. she works in, in the middle East and she works in South Africa and, You are a world woman onto a team? well, let’s put it this way.
I’ll had funny my career. I’m living in working across the globe, so it’s been a very, very exciting time. Thanks. Hm. So, Jean Lloyd, which is your full name? you have. Being working with a lot of the vendors in the printing industries, especially with inkjet technology, but you’re currently working as a, as an independent consultant.
So how was that? So let’s put it, this, I’ve had a very exciting career and my career has taken me from life though, back in 99, when I joined Heidelberg first in the sort of first time in the industry, moved across when Heidelberg started with digital technology moved across to that division. I then joined up with codec.
And, you know, with my career at codec took me, I’d say around the world very exciting times. And, I went in, Jake was very new on the market, early stages of . I was in a marketing position, in Europe and we had to go around basically educating our. Direct and indirect, internal customers on inkjet technology.
So kind of hands on from the beginning, which was fantastic. And from there, I was asked to go and sit at this call at the ink tooth division, in, in London. So responsible for UK Nordics. And I was hangs on the first inkjet sort of one of the first entered beta sites, was under my wing. I was responsible for the division.
I ran, as I say, the inkjet, as well as the toner division, I had to build an NG team. So, you know, we had our Bita site and. As, as everybody knows with Beto science, I think, you know what to do and you know, what not to do, we had our challenges. but I’ve got to say the experience. you can’t, you can’t put a price tag on that and thank goodness we, eventually had a product that came to market and school extremely successful to this day.
So, yeah, it’s been an interesting, interesting journey. Hangs on right from the beginning when Egypt first sort of came out, they were no, sorry, no carrier. Yeah, no, no, no. I was just, I was just curious because, as a, as a, as an independent consultant to date, your role, is that mainly on the commercial side or is it more on the technical side, the, your role as how you, how you perform your business?
I guess it’s way customers need me. I am, you know, being in the corporate world, most of my life working for some of the top thing does, which has been absolutely awesome or then decided it’s time to have a career change and get out of the industry. I think I took a. A break for a couple of weeks before I started getting phone calls from print companies that I had relationships with, who was saying to me, if you’re on your own, can you not assist us?
We looking at to end, could you assist us in a consultancy role, advising us what to do, what to look for. And I kind of sat back and realized that I love this industry. And as much as we think it’s time for a career change and to start over. Those 20 years spent in, it would have all been a total waste.
And I think because of my knowledge and my experience that I’ve gained, I almost felt by assisting printers. I was giving back. And I think that was a big thing for me, because I could actually help people. I was confident enough and knew enough about ink chiefs to be able to I’d say, confidently, advise and recommend.
So that’s kind of how it started. and once the printer had, let’s call it a sheet, I was then asked to train these sales people kind of getting ready to go to market, I guess. with over time, a lot of the vendors started approaching and, you know, a lot of the areas that I was looking after it was.
the developing countries where they didn’t have expertise. So a lot of the members then approached me and asked if I would assist them and the sales people, the customers. So I had to be selective, obviously, you know, which have been busy and, you know, there wasn’t a conflict of interest. But I started working with a few vendors in the market as well as print companies.
So, one of the things that I am trying to figure out, and I’m pretty sure that you can answer this as a, so it’s not trying to be like a secret, but I was just wondering, when you work where you are a consultant for the PSPS and you at the same time, have the relationship with the vendors. Obviously you need to get that.
Knowledge and information from somewhere to, to seek you out. What is the best solution? I was just wondering, how do you separate that life? When I’m working for a vendor? I am naturally the vendor. Then whoever hires me for that particular project, I work with them and give them advice accordingly. If I’m approach first by the print service provider, I obviously need to turn the vendor down and I’m working for their print service provider.
To try and balance it. And I’ve gotta be very careful because, I, from day one, I don’t get involved when I’m working with vendors. I don’t get involved in talking about the actual print technology. So I don’t talk about the press if they’re trying to push to a customer, to me. All these places are got a place in the market at some marketing tool.
So when I’m working with vendors, that’s how I look at it. And I approach it very much. That way we I’m, you know, it’s what are you going to do with it? You know, what is, what is your strategy? What markets are you going to be focusing on? Where are we going to get volume? So it’s a whole different approach.
When I worked for a printer, I also try not to just say she has this box and this is what you should go for based on his needs. I give him options and I give him the good, the bad and the ugly as much as I can. Let’s put it that way. the honest opinion and what I find out and I’d give him choices and at least if he makes those choices, I’ve given him what I know to be.
Factual information based on, let’s say what I know from the markets and, and the context that I have, you know, we looked over the years. Yeah. Yeah. And if you look at, I was just curious about, maybe it’s a very simple question, but if you look at it from a PSP and let’s say that you’re a print printing company, you never had an inkjet devices in your, in your company portfolio before, and you’re going into this market.
What, what is the typical kind of. Questions you have on this, you know, to me, you’ve got to look at this as something tricky, different to what you used to. If you were a. Income paper company, which most of the college printers are. And they go into this market depending on the market segment, they’re going to be focusing on and driving and pushing. They have to have a totally new and different approach.
So I, over the years now put together a list of it’s probably about three pages and updates. Regularly and frequently as things in the market change. So that is a gene in advance FAQ, basically. Basically. And if you’re going to be looking at chase, these are three pages of key factors that you need to be looking at.
and as I say, they change probably quite frequently because of the market and what happens in the market. But I think I can confidently say I’ve been involved in inkjet where there were no case studies. There were no. Loads of sites, the winds, all the articles and information that’s available now. so I’ve been hands on throughout and I think I know the tricks of the trade.
I think I know, you know, what you look out for, what do you need to be careful of and what you need to put in place to get into this market? And it still amazes me today. How many print shops are walking to and. You know, some of them we’ve already made that investment and they don’t have a plan and they don’t have a go to market strategy.
So yes, priests and, you know, we’ve had discussions over the last weeks about printers being the worst marketers, and I love them to bits, but Brutus do not market themselves. Well, And I think a lot of them are, you know, we’re going to get an inkjet to make, tell everybody, Oh, we’ve just, we put it in the magazine, we’ve got an EG priests.
Great. And they think everybody’s going to be running to them, their customers and that cause they could even cheat. They advertise the benefits of what Intuit can do for whatever segment they focusing on and those benefits and. We’re not going to a lot of training. It’s kind of the first things I try and speak to salespeople about.
And it’s like, what are the benefits of the preset you bought? And it’s actually quite scary. How many of them can’t actually give you the benefits because it’s, they’ll tell you about speeds and feeds, but
that is, I think that is a legacy problem, right? Because if you look at. I attended a few sales meeting from that. I think I was one with clinic and power, and I have also, obviously with a Ciroc since I’ve worked there, it was, you know, the demand from the printing companies were often like, okay, how fast is it?
The. How beautiful are the callers and how smooth to the surface that, so, I mean, you, you, I mean, you can learn an old dog new tricks, right. But it takes a lot of times. So what should the meshes beef? I mean, how should they judge ELLs differently? Because they have never been in a situation where you look at.
The customer specs. Have you always like looked at, okay, how efficient is this price? Right. Cause that has been the competitive advantage, right? Exactly. I think, you know, as I say, when he’s putting a business plan together, if I’m advising and I give them a template to, you know, here’s a template for a business plan, Yeah.
One of the things in me is your go to market message and how’s it. How are you going to let everybody know what you have? And you know, you might not have the internal staff to be able to get the market and the industry excited, but I’m being find, I’ve got a lot of third party companies that I work with.
They will help with messaging and getting it out there and getting it on social media and. You know, getting that right message to market of the benefits of whatever I actually just booked. I do a lot of that in my training. and it’s important to educate the people internally, as well as externally.
Cause they, you know, wise markets, this expensive beast that they just bought. So June I think that that is of course everything you say is totally fair. And, and, and, and I think it’s also correct what you’re saying, but I also think to some extent that. shooting at the PSPS is one thing. I think it’s also maybe worth shooting a little bit on the winter side, because how do they sell these machines often?
You see that, okay. You have, you have this X press that. Produce a hundred seats per hour, eh, with the capacity that you have right now and the order volume. If you get this press, you can do it in half time, leveraging a lot of more work so you can make more money on it. So the meshes that you’re talking about right now, isn’t that also something that the vendors, at least to some extent are guilty in.
Hundred percent. And I think what, you know, most vendors actually do have business development consultants that should go out there and let’s call it, educate customers and salespeople. But, you know, when things get cut, it’s normally the business development, they know go flying or because they in, you know, different geographies or because of time constraints, they don’t get out there.
and I think when I speak to a lot of vendor and again, I’ve got relationships with all vendors, a lot of those salespeople, not everybody gets it. And, you know, they, the ones that are kind of got to get the message across, and that part of it is sometimes, well, a lot of time it’s totally ignored.
It’s obviously just about getting the sale. and assuming that the printer’s got that relationship with your customers. So, you know, they going to be getting the business, but it’s not that easy when you start talking about inkjet and the benefits of it. And I think that’s also, you know, the press is on being a lot of times, not all because I know some spots that could use a second or a third place, but the press has, don’t get you to last to the full potential.
and it’s kind of stick to what, you know, because dipping your toe in the water and starting to look at data and all kinds of other things are scary because you. You don’t have the knowledge. And I think, you know, a lot of the salespeople that are at let’s call it the vendor, sorry. At the printer, the printer salespeople, those guys are in comfort zones.
They’ve been selling ink on paper. Forever. They’ve got relationships. Now you start talking to them about all these wonderful things in jail. Can do you start talking to them about data? You start talking to them about VDP and all these scary words, and they just gain how I want to get involved in this.
I’m returning five years, you know, this is something that is a scary subject with these guys, and I honestly believe, and I’ve. Trained hundreds of people. And I can tell you within hours, you can almost be identifying who’s actually going to get it. And who’s not, I’m not saying people are I’m trainable, but it’s a comfort zone that you’re in.
And sometimes you’ve got to be realistic. And you’ve got to appreciate that those salespeople that have been selling income paper have got strong relationships. And you need to look at possibly finding, call it an inkjet champion. They can talk the talk to brand owners that can talk the talk to marketeers because they are, there’s all these buzz words you need to understand, you know, what the direct marketing association is pushing.
You need to, you know, there’s loads that you need to understand. And I think realistically find. Find a, an inkjet champion that can go out with the salespeople, but then again, it starts boiling down to commission and, and money and people stay in those comfort zones because it’s a quick, it’s a quick back and they can earn money there.
You know, when you start talking all this other stuff and getting lost, and if you don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re not going to get customers a board. So when you were putting your business plan together, You need to look at change management and you need to understand that internal resistance is going to exist if you like it or not.
Before, before we move on, because you are one of the few persons, I know that talk more than me. Which says no, I was, because you mentioned one thing that is a particular interest to me, because you mentioned the commissions as part of a, I wouldn’t say the property cause commissions are made to incentive, make, make an incentive for people to, you know, do something, but in specifically, right. And I think that if you look at, I.
You know, for example, when you say all these words about like, variable data and mass customization and personalization, and all the words where you see the, the five-year to retirement plan, they already, I was, I was just, I was just thinking that that may be one of the issues also, and that doesn’t relate to the, the permissions I want to talk about in a second, but it relates a little bit to the fact that, that if you look at the digital.
Print vendors from when it was a black and white sheet to, it was role-based sheet chewed, it was color sheets. It was color toner to India. It’s always been the same kind of metrics. Always use that. Yeah. Then you can make personalized, individualized, print. And that is the new black. No, I was just saying that that may be one of the issues is that if you look at, at the, at the past, Most print printers have actually found out that all the bus works that you’re talking about.
They didn’t, they didn’t pay the bills because basically did it’s all was used for short runs. So just replaced or offset printing machines to be more, financially viable, to do short runs rather than having all these things that requires a lot of education from salespeople requires a lot of. Data handling and a lot of skillset, a lot of printing companies don’t have.
So, so, so don’t just think as a kind of leading question, but don’t just think that it’s also to be fair, that, that the print vendors, they have also been telling the same story without really delivering on it. Honestly, hasn’t moved on. No, you know, as a, and I think again, from both sides, people stick to their comfort zones and, you know, we need you.
Putting together the due diligence of, of justifying an inkjet investment. You’d probably find a lot of vendors kind of stick to what the printer is not going to scare the printer. So short run work, you can move those volumes across and you know, a lot of that. Comes into a conversation where a lot of vendors are stay to bring that up because I don’t want to scare the printer away.
And I’ve seen quite a bit of that, but you know, to me, I look at it and I go, but there’s so many other opportunities beside what is being doing traditionally, but it almost becomes well, then we need to start introducing different types of software that we need to introduce X, Y, and Z. And you’re looking at Delania sales cycle, as it is, if you’re going to be invasive and inject, it’s a long sale cycle.
And then, and then we get, and then we get back to the commission side, right? So everybody’s looking for the short term gain gain, right? The, the, the printers, they want to sell print as they have done, always because that is easier than trying to invent something new because they can lose the customers.
The, the, the vendors, the, the there’s, the selling, the salespeople from vendors, they looking for the short term gain how to sell this machine because they are on a strict budgets and they may also be on the strict commission. Right? Absolutely. look, everybody’s on a commission and everybody wants to drop a box.
It doesn’t matter which way you look at it. you know, they want to put a box down, and. You know, so, print, let’s go to vendor, we’ll sit with a printer and they all have a list of things to go through and for, to justify your investment, you need to make sure that you’ve got one you, and, you know, it’s just easy to run around a print shop and go, you can move this so you can bring their chairs and you can bring their things because you want to try and close that sale.
And. Trying to avoid all those delays. So again, commission becomes a whole nother topic, of. You know, you’re sort of stepping on a lot of toes in that because all the vendors are going to say, no, you know, our guys know that they need to do X, Y, or Z in reality. Does that happen out there? I think anything to avoid delay sale cycles comes into play.
and they all vain. Does they play the game and they do it properly. But, you know, I’m just saying on average, I’ve been to a lot of sites. We, I think the ground work could have been. So it could have been a lot more groundwork done before you kind of get that sale and to the victory of the cruncher.
If we, if we look from that perspective, do you think that, do you think that, that when the day is over that if more people were playing by the books and being more honest about how things moves around also. Placing volume from let’s say, could be from offset to India or from Tucson or to India.
Do you think that would actually leverage a potentially lots of sales when it comes to number of units? I think it would, it would help let’s call it the reality of what happens on site and to give volume on site. You know, there’s, there’s lots happens in the presale side of things and from getting print samples sent out.
you know, a vendor wants to see what my job looks like on their particular priests. And they seeing that out there needs to be a criteria around that. And you know, what paper was it printed on? What profiles were used and important? What Steve was the press running to get that kind of quality? They are.
One of the things I’ve talked in the early days was that. Pipe 88 is all about paper. And I have to say, as people are finding out now, if he’s worried about paper, when you go to the trade shows, you go to a showroom, you get the best samples. In reality, you know, their paper is just far too expensive and too, you know, for a printer to print time and that doesn’t justify as investment.
So there’s a, has to be a tick box of things that vendors or. Making sure they covering and then the printer needs to make sure that he’s got all of those answers because he’s going to be sitting with a priest that to justify it has to have 20 million volume. And all of a sudden he’s only got 5 million.
So I think there could be a lot more work done on both sides of the things to be fair. I think, you know, I don’t think vendors go out there wanting a press that isn’t going to be. Printing and, and have volume, but, you know, the eject is still very new and very new in a lot of developing countries as well.
So they have knowledge and expertise isn’t there yet. you know, sending something and they don’t actually know what, you know, what to advise printers off. And I can maybe sometimes they don’t want you, but you know, there has to be a tick box of, of questions on both sides. That is a socket on its own, I guess.
one of the things that I would like to invite you for it’s, because, this session is all went out because we have to keep attention for what’s important right now. And I think that now we have established a, quite a few things in this conversation. So I am therefore inviting you to have a conversation with me in maybe a couple of weeks where we’ve talked specifically about commissions and moving.
Volumes between divisions within a company. Is that something that I can, can ask you to participate in? Absolutely. I think that’s one of my favorite subjects. you know, because you see the challenges out in the markets, and what, what happens in reality? So definitely yes. Yeah. Before we close the session here, do you think that.
and maybe that is a little tough question to put in a, in a, in a very short answer, but, but do you think that sometimes printers may end up in situations where the, where they are kind of strong, armed into decisions by vendors because of this division of that makes it difficult for them to make the right choices from a commercial perspective?
So I think, you know, one of the big things is when a company is looking at investing in inkjet, the whole company is excited about this because it does put your company on a map and, you know, everybody looks at this and goes, the reality is if we got an Egypt priests, our customers, the market. Everyone’s going to be so impressed with us and everybody assumes they’re going to just be getting all this new work, which they could, because they’re getting an injection, you know, the harsh realities or things that happen internally once their priest arrives, becomes a whole other discussion.
and you know, we’ve touched on this previously yourself and I, but you know, so. To the due diligence of, you know, you’re building your business case for Egypt is finding the volume in all divisions. And everybody’s open for you to come and look at. If you’re going into a publishing company, they printed for publishers, they they’ll give you.
And you know, all those different divisions will tell you, you know, how much volume they’ve got and. So when you building your business case, it’s like, you know what, we’ve got 15 million or 20 million. We’ve got enough to justify, or we’ve got 10 million, depending on which priests you mind. We’ve got enough to justify this kind of investment we make priests gets installed.
And the compliments later on it’s running that volume needs to come. She needs to come from all those different divisions where everybody agreed when they were building the business case. But then the whole commission story comes into play and I’m probably touching on the future of topic, but you know, you find all those divisions then that are losing those volumes and have to give those volumes away ongoing.
Hang on a second, you know, we’ve got a budget and we got to targets and we baked seed for the year. And all of a sudden, all the short run work has to go to their particular division. My commission, my performance bonus, my sales people are throwing the toys out the cop because they got to give that over to another division.
And the harsh reality is you’re going to start finding a lot of internal resistance and, you know, The inject divisions, the new division it’s called within that organization. And they are going to stop Suning and swimming upstream within the company, because all the other divisions, the head of those divisions and those sales people, everybody starts finding a reason why.
That volumes shouldn’t go to one particular division. So again, go back to putting a proper business case and a change management, you know, strategy together because how are you going to. You know, compensate for that. It’s so many times it’s called the head of those companies. Don’t even know they’re tapping internally, but it is, believe me, I’ve heard loads of stories on the golf course from both sides of things.
And, you know, there’s this internal politics and resistance that you you’re going to be swimming upstream and it needs to be looked at because it is a serious problem out there. Hmm. do you like, it’s been a pleasure to have you here on the first of our two agreed all the Skype sessions and, I appreciate your input.
And I think that, this should lead up to a very interesting part too. And, thank you very much for your time with the English here today. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for the time. And yeah, as I say, I’ll probably get a bit too excited, but I’m passionate about the industry and I can’t apologize.
Thank you so much. Cheers.