Bruno Vermeulen
About: Bruno Vermeulen - EMEA Marketing Director

Over the years Esko has developed a long-standing expertise in these markets an in-depth knowledge of each of these individual target audiences. As a result, it has developed segment-specific solutions, tailored to the needs of each customer in those arenas.

1. Being responsible for planning, development, implementation and ROI of all marketing, and public relation missions for Esko in EMEA, how do you ensure improved business productivity while also maintaining a good customer service?

For us, the key is communication and collaboration supported by local expertise and knowledge. This is something our parent company agree with too as it believes that “Customers talk, we listen” and “Innovation defines our future”.

Supporting this is more than 1,500 associates comprising of 45 nationalities, working with more than 12,000 customers in 132 countries. In fact, 62% of our staff is customer facing. We have a global sales network of more than 300 direct sellers and 120 resellers plus 4 regional headquarters providing global coverage in EMEA (Belgium), Americas (US), Southern Asia (Singapore), Northern Asia (China)

We also have seven software R&D centers in India, the UK, Belgium, Czech Republic, Chain and two in the US and three hardware factories in Europe.

2. Can you please throw some light on ESKO’s marketing strategies that attune you to the present industrial landscape?

We have developed our Packaging Simplified approach with that latest market trends and opportunities in mind.

This is because the packaging, label, signage & display and converter world is getting more complex. We are seeing more print production runs and increased demand for faster time to market, combined with a lack of skilled operators. To tackle these issues operations need a more simplified approach.

They need a complete packaging production process, from idea to shelf – to help them master today’s challenges and remain successful in the world of tomorrow

That is why we have created a comprehensive, innovative and user-friendly offering. This enables us to be a partner customer love to work with.

3. What specific marketing strategies you apply to market Packaging Prepress, Digital Flexo, and Digital Print products?

Over the years Esko has developed a long-standing expertise in these markets an in-depth knowledge of each of these individual target audiences. As a result, it has developed segment-specific solutions, tailored to the needs of each customer in those arenas. One example is Automation engine QuickStart for Sign or for Labels. Another is WebCenter QuickStart for Brands or for Corrugated.

These have been supported by targeted, segment-specific messaging, communications and marketing mix that helps customers understand their market pressures and find the best solutions that address them now and support their future growth.

4. Can you please throw some light on the event ‘EskoWorld 2018’ (27th annual conference) to be held on June 5-7?

EskoWorld 2018 is our 27th annual user conference and our theme is “Packaging Connected.” This annual conference is our most important event of the year- where attendees learn about Esko products, enhance their user knowledge, exchange experiences and share and learn best practices.  Complete with Texas-sized roadmap sessions, more networking opportunities, and a complete buyout of the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, we know this year’s EskoWorld will be the biggest and best yet!

New this year, Esko and its partners will share their thought-provoking vision of the future of the industry in a half-day session. In the “Packaging Connected: The Event” presentation, attendees will be enticed by the story of a program manager at a large CPG brand who’s launching a project with the aim of updating existing packaging of a consumer product.  Participants will witness the future of how such a packaging project will be executed – from ideation to finished product – through the eyes of the key stakeholders, including the brand owner, converters and premedia trade shops.

There will also be a combination of presentations, live product demos, background movies, complemented with an interactive debate between market leading technology suppliers.

5. ESKO is going to participate in FESPA Global Print Expo 2018. What would be your key showcases at the event?

At FESPA, we displayed solutions that support improved productivity and profitability with the focus on supporting the sign and display and corrugated sectors with integrated hardware and software solutions that address the requirements of a company’s business strategy. Our solutions can dramatically boost production capacity without the need to invest in additional headcount. They also eliminate human error at every step by standardizing processes. We were especially excited to present Automation Engine QuickStart for Sign and WebCenter QuickStart for Corrugated converters. Esko’s QuickStart solutions, offer companies out-of-the-box, proven and expert workflows for sign and wide format production, as well as the digital workflows required to speed up the time to market of corrugated products. The implementation of the QuickStart solutions, only takes five days. And once they start down the digital path, it is easy for them to continue to add features and functionality to continue improving productivity and profitability.”

For sign and display graphics businesses, the analog-to-digital transformation is well underway. But while today’s wide format printers are more efficient and deliver higher throughput, there are still often bottlenecks in other parts of the design-request-to-shipping workflow. To help companies overcome these challenges and shorten time to market while improving productivity, Esko showcased Automation Engine QuickStart for Sign – a turnkey workflow solution that automates prepress, enabling companies to handle more jobs faster. This easy-to-implement solution will have companies up and running with improved Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) in five days, to immediately begin benefiting from the investment. It comes preloaded with proven workflows for sign and large format production, giving companies the possibility to eliminate repetitive tasks. It also includes a direct link to Kongsberg cutting tables, significantly increasing workflow automation with less waste in the most expensive step of the process – finishing – since setups are automatically loaded into the Kongsberg workflow. It automates a wide range of tasks from product creation and preflight to approvals and production. Its customizable dashboard and reports ensure everyone involved in the process has immediate access to all information required to speed work through the plant and make fact-based business decisions for continuous operational improvement.

In finishing we showed how Kongsberg Automate aids increased productivity; it offers a broad array of impressive innovations that boost the performance of digital finishing operations to industrial levels. This includes the ability to add robotics for loading new materials and offloading finished materials for increased productivity and reduced operator interaction.

We also ran a Kongsberg C64 cutting table equipped with a Feeder and Stacker. The Kongsberg C64 is a multifunctional, super wide digital cutting table for signage and display applications and delivers the ultimate 24/7 performance and is designed to keep up with the faster, wider digital printers of today. With stack height at 915 mm/36 in and quick automatic load cycles it is the optimal solution for short run production on all typical packaging and display materials. It’s an investment in future-proofing sign and display graphics businesses.

Also on display was a Kongsberg X20 entry-level cutting table together with a wide range of specialty tools. Offering the ultimate in versatility, these tools deliver speed, power and flexibility to handle a wide variety of materials, such as corrugated, folding carton, solid board, foam, coating blankets, wood and a long list of plastics.