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Commentary & Analysis

Former Xeikon CEO Wim Maes Lands at Summa NV.

People seem to move around a lot in our industry, and sometimes it is hard to keep track. In this edition of “Where Are They Now?” we share Wim Maes’ thoughts on his new gig at Summa NV.

By Cary Sherburne
Published: June 23, 2017

Earlier this year during Xeikon Café at Xeikon headquarters in Belgium, Wim Maes announced he would be leaving the company after being associated with Xeikon and Punch International since 2007. He served as CEO of Xeikon starting in 2009, and subsequent to the acquisition of Xeikon by the Flint Group in 2015, he took on the additional role of President, Flint Group Digital Printing Solutions, which includes Xeikon.

When executive departures are announced, you never really know whether they are amicable or not. In this case, it was amicable. I spoke to Flint Group CEO Antoine Fady, who told me that they had looked for ways to encourage him to stay on, that they had been very pleased with his work in getting the new group up and running, and that he would be missed. It was sincere.

As for Wim, he was looking for a new challenge, something more entrepreneurial, and he found that with Summa NV. The company manufactures cutting tables and plotters, both roll-to-roll and flatbed. Summa is #1 in Europe for roll-to-roll with 60% market share, according to Wim, and building share in flatbed, a newer product line for them. Their biggest challenge, and the one Wim signed on to address as Executive Member of the Board, is building a greater market presence in North America.

“We have extremely reliable products,” he said, “made in Belgium, and I am impressed with the engineering team. We’re not the cheapest, nor are we the most expensive, but we go for reliability. Printers want their cutting tables to work all the time without any compromise in quality, and that’s what we give them. Our tables are also easy to use and maintain.”

Summa is building a dealer channel in North America, and Wim’s first stop was the ISA show in Las Vegas earlier this year, with the sign and display graphics market being a key target for the products. He reports that they are making progress in building a Boston-based organization to support the company’s new dealers, so watch for news on that in the August timeframe

In addition to building market share in North America, the company will also be working on growing its flatbed presence in Europe. I’m sure Wim’s energies will help with that as well!

Summa is seeking both partners and dealers to help in accomplishing its goals. This includes software providers that can help complete an end-to-end solution as well as printer manufacturers who wish to integrate with Summa’s open architecture approach to create more customer value.

Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

Please offer your feedback to Cary. She can be reached at cary@whattheythink.com.

 

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