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 Mark Hinder from the UK. Mark Hinder has worked with digital inkjet for many years is a very experienced person. He is maybe most known for his work at Konica-Minolta where he was deeply involved with the KM-1 but has recently moved to Ricoh-Europe where he continues to work with inkjet.
You are the only one have ever met that’s coming from Ricoh Europe through Prague. Then you flew to Helsinki, then you fly to Copenhagen, because there’s free Wi-Fi onboard.
Exactly. And yeah. Well, what can I say?
Yeah, okay, well-
I can say a lot more, but I’m not going to …
Well, no, no.
You have to protect the innocent.
Yeah, that’s fine. You are actually very in a positive way experienced person when it comes to inkjet, right?
Because you used to work for Konica Minolta.
I did, yeah.
You have been really, really involved with KM-1 project from their side.
I led that business for many years, yeah.
And now, I think it was a big surprise for a lot of people in the industry that you changed to Ricoh, right?
I also think that the cultures of … Last time we spoke, we spoke about cultures-
I know, I know. I know.
And I just think that cultures in companies are always different and especially when you’ve been in a culture for some time and you change-
I’m not talking about the change itself because that is something that belongs to you, but I was just wondering, in a market space where inkjet is becoming more and more exposed to printers and something that a lot of people are relying on as a future investments, what is difference from your perspective, I mean, what is the difference from a customer spec to working with a company like Ricoh? Not compared to anybody, but what should they expect?
It’s a good question, Morten. It’s a good question. Let’s take a step back. Ink jet. That is first of all fundamentally look at inkjet.
Because there are many different types of inkjet as well.
There are, there are. And you’ve got water-based, you’ve got UV, you’ve got latex, you’ve got a whole host of different types of inkjet products for [inaudible 00:01:51]. You’ve got direct to garment as well.
I’ve been lucky enough to be in the inkjet business. I remember the very first Xaar print head. And I was working for Xerox at the time and they had a product, it was a wide format machine oil based ink, that was using the very first Xaar inkjet heads. It’s been an industry which has developed and developed and developed over the last 20 years, and I’m showing my age now. I think fundamentally the thing is, it doesn’t matter whether or not … I guess business is about one fundamental key thing. Can I make profit and can I show a return? And the company that you work with has got to demonstrate that it’s got the capability to show a return, that it can support you through that journey, and has the technology roadmap that has got the longevity as it moves forward.
And I remember talking to you-
But can I just interrupt you for a second, because I just got a little curious about that one. Because if you look at Ricoh, when I learned about Ricoh the first time maybe 15 years ago, something like that. That was more in the office segment, right?
Yeah, it was.
But then you actually acquired some companies that actually gave you the technical, technologically edge that you have today. But have Ricoh as a supplier, has that company been able to adapt and integrate all the acquisitions into creating platforms that are reliable for their future investments?
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
The reason I’m asking is not because I want to be picky. It’s more because, as I said to you when we met the last time-
I’m just curious about it, because there’s so many great offerings in the market right now and what should you choose?
Well, that was exactly my response to you would be, who do you choose? It’s a complex world. You have different inkjet head technology, you have MEMS, you have Piezo you have different ink sets, you have continuous feed, you have cut sheet. It’s a complex world. And I think from a customer’s perspective, sometimes we can confuse customers by talking too much technology without-
Rather than talking about applications-
The applications and the business. So my role talking-
We’re talking to Jacob from Heidelberg just after this one. I know that you have a professional relationship with him.
Yeah, we do. Absolutely.
But he’s talking about the Smart BI, we’re talking about the business analysis, et cetera. Are you actually saying that part of the importance when you select a vendor, for example, for inkjet, is that you have the right understanding of the business perspectives and everything in that perspective? Or what are you referring to in that … I’m just curious about how … do you get my point or-
I absolutely get your point, Morten. And I think it goes back to fundamentally the one thing that … If we take business, we are all in business to make money. If you cannot see a clear return, then why invest in the first place?
So to invest, you’ve got to analyze exactly who your endpoint customer is, what are their market needs, what’s your value proposition to that customer segment, how are you then going to take your value proposition and go market it? How are you going to then take your sales team on a journey that says, “Hey guys, you know what- ”
“We’re moving away from selling boxes to selling- ”
“We’re moving away … ” Exactly. Exactly. And-
And I guess you have staff also with Ricoh that’s been there for ages, right?
I think at the end of the day, we work in a dynamic business, and within a dynamic business, it’s all about agility, it’s about adaptability, and it’s about transformation. So we have a-
Is that terms that you believe that Ricoh and your team is delivering on-
Oh, absolutely. So we-
Isn’t that great?
Yeah, it’s fantastic. And you’ll see-
So why don’t you smile?
Well, we do smile a lot. I’m smiling more. I think the thing is, so when you come to Ricoh you’re going to hear a terminology called Henkaku.
It’s called what?
Henkaku. Now, Henkaku is a Japanese term that-
Okay, I thought it was something I was supposed to know. Okay, okay. That’s [crosstalk 00:06:02].
Right. It’s about transformation.
It’s about the ability to adapt and to move in a way which is agile, which is to learn and to be able to generate business very quickly which is profitable. And that’s what we’re about. We have a company which, you talk about me as an individual, I’m passionate about this print industry. I have been for many, many years [crosstalk 00:06:29]
I know you are, and when I refer to you as individual, it’s just because you are the … I mean, we spoke of that during the dinner-
That basically you have a company that have several thousand employees.
Yeah. And many more than that [crosstalk 00:06:42].
Yeah. And every time you meet a large corporate, it’s always, who are the face of that company? That’s the people you meet, right? That’s the salespeople, it’s the service people. I remember when I used to work for [Serex 00:06:54], the reason why I applied for job with Serex was because I worked in a printing company and I thought that the best service technicians were the Serex people. So you get your faces on a company from a lot of different kind of touchpoints, right?
Well, every company is based on the people that you employ. And if you have the same ideology, the same vision, the same people to share the same views … You know, we have a structure within Ricoh, which I think is more than capable of not just addressing the technology views and the technology needs of customers. Golly, yeah, we do that perfectly. Absolutely.
Everybody can, basically, right?
Well, some claim they can. Be proven to see whether or not they can deliver at the end of the day. But I think that the thing is that we are looking at it from a passionate point of view.
See … excuse me, spoiler alert. That is where we never get anybody to mention names, but that’s fine.
No, I know, I know. We never mention names.
That’s okay. We’re just having a good time here-
Exactly. We’re having a great time-
Because it’s live on Facebook, yeah.
It’s live, it’s live. But I think the key element about all of this is that what drives a company is the people it employs. And it’s all about people. I think if you look at what attracted me to move to Ricoh …
It must have been a tremendous challenge for you.
Well it was, because I was passionate. You know this. You know how I spoke about the product that I used to manage [crosstalk 00:08:19]
Yeah, that’s why I’m saying. [crosstalk 00:08:19] But the reason I’m saying is just because I know how passionate you were. I know how passionate you are with your companies, how loyal you are to the companies. That’s why I’m saying that changing from one company to another company must be like when politicians are changing parties. It’s not just something you do overnight, right? It’s something you have a lot of considerations.
No, it’s not. You have to think long and hard about the company, the people, the infrastructure-
[crosstalk 00:08:44] to know the terms well, isn’t it?
Exactly. And I think you’re looking at it from really, is the longevity. What attracted me to Ricoh was that they shared the same vision, the same passion, the products, the marketplace, the customer type. And at the end of the day they’ve given me a platform to develop customers in a way which I strongly believe customers should be developed.
And you know, what I like about that is also that one of the things that we’ve spoken about many times just [inaudible 00:09:15] , is that how can you actually deliver that kind of respect to the customers that they can actually make [inaudible 00:09:24] on their investments? And I guess, when you talk about a platform is that, you put your name and your company and your products, in relation to customers, where you want to face them again. So you should deliver something that they can make money on, right?
Exactly. Exactly. The brand that I represent is the brand that I feel passionate about and that I believe in. If I didn’t feel passionate about the brand-
You couldn’t do it, right?
Oh, I couldn’t do it and I wouldn’t do it. I strongly wouldn’t do it.
We have to stop now. Just a final note, have you enjoyed yourself tonight?
Okay. So will you be attending next year as well?
A hundred percent. A hundred percent.
Thank you very much.
Thank you, Morten.
Thank you very much.