Gerd Finkbeiner, manroland AG Chairman of the Executive Board, provided the industry with a poignant moment on May 4. Speaking during a session of the Web Offset Association’s Offset & Beyond Conference at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Finkbeiner challenged other industry leaders and the audience to find ways to strengthen the business.
In a 35-minute session Mr. Finkbeiner discussed past, current and future situations on “Raising the Bar on Performance”. In reviewing the global economy and its effects on North America, he examined the state of the industry and offered statistics and examples on advertising, as well as the impact on various markets including newspaper, retail, commercial, books and directories.
When he indicated that printers, customers, suppliers and vendors all need to work together to build a better industry, Mr. Finkbeiner challenged the PIA to adopt and promote his message. In referencing state-of-the-art manroland equipment and the impact it has made on customers as examples, Mr. Finkbeiner implored how technology through investment in research and development plays a major role in the health and vitality of most industries.
Calling on everyone to find ways to improve efficiencies, Mr. Finkbeiner reminded attendees to better service customers not only by monitoring but by responding and solving problems in a timely manner. With such production efficiencies as larger formats at higher speeds, shorter makeready times, lower press manning, substrate cost reduction, energy savings and workflow integration, the call for improved service is an absolute requirement based on the statistics Mr. Finkbeiner used to support his findings.
“Clearly, Mr. Finkbeiner’s speech expressed a message that key people in our industry need to be looking at ways to be more innovative,” said Vince Lapinski, manroland Inc. CEO. “You simply can’t only cut costs anymore and there must be a commitment to continuous innovations.”
Craig Faust agrees that Finkbeiner’s message makes sense. As President and CEO of HGI Company in Burlington, Wisconsin, the company offers a diverse range of print products and services through its four operating divisions.
“Gerd Finkbeiner’s call to action for all press manufacturers to join in the cause to raise the press performance level and efficiency was a timely message given these unprecedented times in our economy and industry,” said Faust, who also serves as President of the Web Offset Association.
“The industry is looking to our supplier leaders like manroland and others to raise the performance in our press rooms by focusing beyond efficiencies and cost savings. In addition, it is all of our responsibility to provide proactive solutions to our customers through service. Manufacturing efficiency and excellent service will keep strong companies successful in tough times. Mr. Finkbeiner captured the challenge well in his remarks at the Offset & Beyond Conference.”
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