PHOENIX, AZ--Records were shattered as 600 attendees—including 450 users—turned out for Eskoworld 2013. Mark Quinlan (pictured, middle above logo), president Americas, prognosticated that, ”Trendlines point to hitting 1,000 attendees in four years. “ The three day event offered nearly 100 sessions--70 educational sessions, 20 in Spanish, seven customer presentations, and two partner panels. Some 90 Esko representatives were on hand to offer instruction and encouragement in a no-pressure, non-sales setting.
Carsten Knudsen, CEO (pictured, top, above logo), told delegates, “Brand owners are passionate about packaging. That’s why we’re here. HD Flexo is becoming an industry standard. With 2,350 CDIs installed--500 HD—and 250 certified users, we’re making consistent quality possible across sites and from job-to-job.
Esko customers produce packaging for nine of 10 brands, according to Knudsen. “Innovation defines our future. We spend 8 percent of revenue on research and development. “ The company is focusing on helping its customers “Digitize, end-to-end,” Knudsen said. The strategy is to make the production process smoother and faster. “Full HD Flexo is a game changer.”
Discussing market dynamics, Esko’s CEO explained, “Integrated solutions drive profitability in the package printing supply chain. Revenues increased 8 percent in 2012 with 1,101 new customers.” Rattling off current demands and challenges, he listed, “Faster, better, cheaper, greener, increasing price pressure and regulatory compliance, mass customization and of course, globalization/consolidation.”
Helping to address those demands is management software, workflow automation, digital frontend systems, and online collaboration—cloud-based enterprise configurations designed to ensure print quality improvements and accurate brand color reproduction. Eskoworld delegates were exposed to current offerings, from Suite 12 to Full HD Flexo.
Bernard Zwaenepoel (pictured below logo), senior vice president, software business, noted that, “The packaging supply chain today finds 70 percent of customers in the digital flexo product ecosystem, which celebrates continuing innovation.” He further observed, “Color is of epic importance. Getting first time right color throughout the supply chain equals substantial savings. Expanded gamut ink sets improve speed by which it can be deployed.”
Partner panels saw representatives from Enfocus, EFI, Augment, Chili Publish, HP, MacDermid Printing Solutions, Meta Communications, The Quick Brown Fox, Western Computer, Storaenzo, X-rite, Tesa Tape, DuPont Packaging Graphics, Cape Systems and Southern Lithoplate encourage attendees to drive adoption of flexo through print quality and automation. Their collective message focused on ease and productivity, the move to become solutions architects and niches and necessities. The call to action: “Navigate. Collaborate, Integrate.” All partner firms showcased solutions in The Partner Zone on Monday and Tuesday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Eskoworld’s keynote address was delivered by Bill Capodagli, a noted author. It was entitled, “What Would Walt Do,” The presenttion focused on applying Disney philosophies to any business situation, including packaging. Four major theories were discussed: Dream, Believe, Dare, Do!
Capodagli suggested that, a shifting industry, managing complexities, change, turnover, wow facto and, customer loyalty, were driving today’s climate. He advised, “Don’t live for today at the expense of tomorrow. Be persistent and consistent. Fulfill your customers’ dreams.”
Eskoworld 2014 will look to break this year’s attendance records. It is set for June 15-18 and will take place at The Swan Hotel, Disneyworld, Orlando, FL.