Rajand OÜ started with the idea to offer simpler solutions to printers. 10 years later Rajand is still going strong, and despite all the COVID restrictions that companies must deal with, the company is more successful and stronger than ever.
Finding and implementing automated workflow solutions are currently in higher demand than ever. Doing more, with less human intervention and saving on paper and ink waste are key elements to its success.
Kalle Rajand invites print production professionals, who don’t want to adapt to all-in-one, vendor-specific workflow solutions, to join the Workflow Automation for Printing Industry.
When did you start the company and what motivated you?
KR: I started Rajand OÜ about 10 years ago, after leaving my last job in print shop. I was working as prepress operator for a while which can be very stressful job. I am sure everyone who has worked in prepress room will agree with me. My motivation was quite simple, I believed that smarter and a less stressful way of working should be possible, and I started to look around for better tools. Because my employer wasn’t ready to make the necessary changes, I didn’t really have a choice. I decided to educate myself a bit and offer workflow development as a service to local printing companies. Leaving a well-paid job was quite a risky move and caused a bit of resentment on both sides, but looking back today, it was the best I could do at that moment. We have a good relationship today and I am grateful to my former employer for the opportunity and the decision made at the time. It has enabled us to help many printers in our region. We actively serve customers in Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
What made you decide to become an “ULTIMATE” Reseller?
KR: Anyone who understands what the Ultimate software does, will understand its importance. Smart imposition is standard in today’s printing industry, and without such smart solutions, workflow automation is not possible.
Post-processing devices must also be considered in the sheet layout, and the automatic setting of these devices is an important part of workflow automation. So, we had no choice, Ultimate’s tools are what our customers want, even if they don’t know it yet.
“Anyone who understands what the Ultimate software does, will understand its importance”
You are covering 4 countries. How do you reach your customers?
KR: We have developed a nice custom of organizing an annual road show of seminars where we visit several cities and introduce new trends and tools in automation. This event has become more and more popular, but in today’s world with Covid, unfortunately, it is not always possible to organize such events, and we have been forced into the digital world. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because through online meetings we can participate in several cities at the same time, but a face-to-face meeting is always better. We hope to restore our road show tradition later this summer.
Is Automation important for both digital and offset equipment?
KR: Yes, we have customers with offset and digital equipment.
Automation is important for both digital and offset printers. It may seem that offset printers have long run jobs and have resources for prepress, but that’s not really the case. In offset, it is even more important that everything is properly prepared for the first time because a small mistake that comes out only in the last stage can be very expensive.
For a digital printer, orders are small but require the same preparation as for the long run jobs offset workflow. A digital printer does not have the resources to prepare every job for so long, and the only solution is to implement automation.
“Automation is indispensable in every industry; the printing industry today has the best conditions and tools for it.”
“A common feature of successful printers could be a desire to change and grow.”
What do successful printers have in common?
KR: Beside more jobs and resources? 😊
I think that is the way of thinking and the vision. When you are satisfied with what you have achieved, you can live peacefully and relatively successfully for a while, but in the long run you will be overshadowed by others. A common feature of successful printers could be a desire to change and grow. The use of automation and digitization makes it possible more than ever before and more than any new printing press or device. This is what successful printers have in common.
How has the pandemic affected industry in your region?
KR: It is same everywhere I believe… I cannot list all the problems we have had during a pandemic but currently, the biggest problems are related to supply difficulties and energy of course. That’s why production optimization and automation are more important than ever.
What changes you have implemented that will remain in effect after the pandemic is over?
KR: We changed our training program to help companies better understand and also test automation before making an investment. The trainings have been very well received. We will continue with the pre-sales trainings even after the end of the pan-pandemic.
How has the printing industry evolved over the last decade?
KR: The printing industry has developed exponentially in our region over the last decade. More and more companies are realizing the importance of automation. This is especially true in the last few years, when Covid forced companies to find new solutions to work remotely and implement smart solutions.
What are the current trends in the printing industry?
KR: As I see it, without a doubt, this is automation and digitization. Increasing use of data in planning, prepress and production as a whole.
What can printers do today to grow their business with confidence?
KR: There is no better recommendation than to go with digitization and automation. Automation is indispensable in every industry, the printing industry today has the best conditions and tools for it, it is only important to start and continue automation even if the task seems to be overwhelming. When implementing automation, it is important to move forward in small steps, but each step taken gives you immediate time to prepare for the next steps.
How do you see the future in the short and long term?
I would like to use the statement of my good colleague Andrew Bailes-Collins, which he borrowed from Warren Bennis.
“The printing house of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.”
In the short-term vision, we are moving faster and faster towards the long-term vision. The sooner this is understood, the sooner you reach your destination.
Sometimes it’s wiser to just get off the old familiar train at the right stop and get on the new and faster train instead. The old train is very convenient, but spare parts are no longer made for it, and one day the train will just stand in the museum. It is too late to get on the faster train at the museum stop …
“It’s always a good idea to start with the right automation tools from the beginning.”
Do you have any last advice for new start-up printing companies?
Don’t be silly and don’t get on the wrong train at the beginning. It’s always a good idea to start with the right automation tools from the beginning.
For more information, please contact Ultimate TechnoGraphics representative in Finland, Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania, Rajand OÜ.