I remember feeling very confident that we had a strong proposition around compact printers – where indeed the most notable progress has since been made. I also remember feeling that, together with our team and with our partners, we were well placed to start to build a strong market position. Argentina, the UK, Colombia and Turkey might at first glance seem an unlikely combination of first phase markets but we knew we would be able to build market share there rapidly and would be well placed to withstand any challenges that might emerge.
Looking back, I think the Fachpack trade show in September was a key moment for us. It was there that it became evident to us all – new to the industry as some of us were – that there was a very positive reaction to our proposition and that people wanted to talk to us. It was there that I first felt that we were able to show our strengths as a great company to work with and a strong product.
A key aspect of that product has always been its ease of use. A few years ago, industrial equipment tended to be immensely complex and hard to use; now, there is a much greater emphasis on simplicity. Our customers often tell me that their own industrial processes have so much complexity in them that they are looking for something at the opposite end of the scale. They want something that straightforwardly fulfills their needs, is intuitive to operate and doesn’t require a 5-year service agreement.
That ease of use has become even more critical amidst the discussions around Industry 4.0 in recent months and what increased automation might mean for us all. For me, the most important task will be to look at our customers’ businesses and base our big decisions upon what is important to them. That is the reason for not rushing to expand our portfolio of products too quickly. As we grow the business, I believe our customers value the fact that, rather than offering a wide range of mediocre products, we have concentrated on developing a smaller number of products of unbeatable quality, ease of use and connectivity.
This will stand us in good stead for next year as we aim to penetrate our existing markets more strongly and look to expand, in a second phase, into new markets like France, Benelux, Spain and Poland.
I am confident that next year will be an even bigger success. As an agile, dynamic company we are in a good position to bring new products to market quickly and effectively. I also believe we have a strong and multi-talented team who are eager to innovate and to explore the new opportunities that are emerging. The future is looking very positive as we continue with the success of our printing business and look to build on some other very exciting developments in the pipeline.