INKISH hosted for the first time ever our NON-EVENT. The Non-event is celebrating the people that have been in front of the camera, or been supporting INKISH during the past years. This is a new recurring event, and the idea is to give space for the people we have featured to connect in a new way. We invited 150 people, and 32 decided to join us. Our guests came from Japan, Canada, USA, UK, Belgium, Sweden, and Denmark – and we are confident that next year, even more, will come.
We asked most of our participants to talk LIVE during the dinner – and here is Lode Vlayen from Belgium. Lode Vlayen used to be the CEO of VIGC in Belgium but is today operating a consultant company.
Great to see you.
Great to see you.
Thank you for coming in on a last minute though.
Well that was a kind of challenging.
Was it challenging to get a flight ticket or?.
Well not a flight ticket. I had to match the flights with my activities, so-
Uh-huh (affirmative), Okay. So, he’s playing hard to get man.
No. Not really. But it’s a-
So, what do you do?
I’m basically into consulting. I have my own consulting business and I worked with certain partners to do automation for example in workflows to-
From a technical perspective or from a business perspective?
Also, from a technical perspective, but also from a business kind of perspective. Also, looking into how can you develop, for example, new products out of the existing equipment that you have. What can you do? Is there a new customer base where you could look at. Or even what I’m doing now for a soap screen printer is moving his business from a real printer to a business clothes selling company. So it’s a complete different business model where we still use this as printing as added value to the sales of his clothes that he’s doing…
So that’s a complete different approach to his business now.
Is it fun?
Is it fun?
That’s really fun. Because the-
And a challenge because you have to not only convince the owner about certain techniques, but you also have to get the people onboard because they’re changing from a printing company to a completely different company. I go to extremes. It’s almost like a shop in the street where you sell clothes, and the printing is becoming secondary business to that business. But still…and the mindset is also different. So, you have to change basically the way they think, they approach a business, they approach the customers. But I think it’s still good also for printing business to take a look at what are the opportunities as a company, maybe not directly here around the corner in my printed business.
You’re obviously working on Belgium, do you? I mean,
You have been working, as I mentioned in my pre-introduction to you, it was like you worked as a CEO of the VTC before.
So guests that you have very good understanding of the industry in Belgium.
Yes. I could say that.
Benelux area, yes, Belgium. The Netherlands for sure.
How is the market developing in your opinion and invent looks this year, these are years?
But what you see is that there is a lot of,
I know was jumping a little bit, but I’m just curious about that part because first, I wanted to establish who you are. And you obviously have had all the space to, to draw from. Now I just want to, I’m just curious about, if you look at the industry and I think that, you know when I went to India a couple of months ago, it was just fantastic was everybody was poof. And I think it’s in Europe it’s more like textile decor. My former is going like this, so commercial printers going like this. So how, I mean…
It’s the same, it’s the same in Belgium. So basically what you have is that the normal classic way of printing of doing business in the commercial is not really picking up. You’ll see that there is also [crosstalk 00:03:48] bankruptcies, but what you see is that the big guys are buying the small guys, and then it’s [crosstalk 00:03:55] a lot of mergers going on, acquisitions going off, but what you also see on the other side is that like large format like packaging, like labels. It’s picking up so it’s, and you’ll see that some of the larger groups are doing a lot of, of, of general printing but also going into these markets so they’re doing, they’re becoming like a mix of, of, of, of, of packaging, commercial labels.
So you are saying that they are combining two scenarios where the groves are?
Yes. That’s right to look into different areas where they were not active before and try to make business there.
The difficulty is of course if you’re not familiar with packaging, if you’re not familiar with label, it’s another business where you just jump into and say, “Okay, I’m making labels and I’m doing packaging.” That’s not the way it works. [crosstalk 00:04:55] Yeah, of course. Yeah. But you’ll see with the new technologies and with the online shops and all that, you see that this business is moving and that also what we see is that even packaging companies are going into the online business. I’m trying to go to the more personalized business and so on. So you see movement-
So being a consultant in that mix things, is that a hotspot for you? Is that good? It should give some opportunities where.
It gives opportunities, but it’s also a challenge because it’s, it’s not so evident to to just say, okay, I’ll, I’ll move my business in that direction, move my business in that direction. There is all kinds of elements playing there. You have to have the right equipment, you have to have the finances [crosstalk 00:05:47] to do it. You have to have people that can handle it. You have to get the knowledge in house to do this. So basically this is an opportunity for me to search for the right people, to help them, to put them into place and to get them on the road and get the ball running. Basically.
So this is how first monument have you met new people? Have you got anything out of this then?
Well, I must say when I came here it was like, okay, it’s a non-event. What the heck do I have to think of non-event? What is it? Fine. It’s a casual event. Fine, looks good. Meet people. And I, I must say I’m, I’m enthusiastic. I met some people, also investors, people that are doing completely other things than I’m in. And we made some contacts, and I’m sure that for even for my business and the consulting and in Europe and also for English, that there is opportunities there.
And I’m really glad I came.
I appreciate your time. Thank you for joining us.
Thank you for inviting me.