David Zwang talks to Julie Watson, CEO of Ultimate TechnoGraphics, about the post-pandemic uptick in interest in workflow automation, the factors driving that interest, and Ultimate’s portfolio of automation solutions.
Hi, this is David Zwang from WhatTheyThink and with me is Julie Watson, the CEO of Ultimate TechnoGraphics.
DZ: Julie, as always, it’s great to see you.
JW: Great to see you too.
DZ: Thanks for sitting down.
So here we are at Printing United (2022), a very busy show, this is day two, what are you seeing at your booth in terms of volume of people, interest etc…?
JW: First of all it’s nice to be here in person and to meet our partners and customers in person and having that faco-to-face again. For me, it’s my first tradeshow post-covid, so, very happy to be here. And I think a lot of other people are also happy to be here.
a lot of interesting conversations, it’s been very busy. We’ve seen different types of customers. Some smaller customers looking to start their automation journey, and also some existing customers wanting to persue it all the way down to finishing, So, we’ve had a lot of interesting conversations.
DZ: Have you noticed, post-pandemic, that the interest in automation, I mean that’s one of the beauties of your product is that they are all about workflow automation. Have you noticed that there is an uptic on the desire, are more people reaching out to you?
JW: We’ve definitely been very busy even before the show and at the show because I think definitely, customers realize that they want to implement end-to-end automation. It’s a reality and we offer tools to do this you can start small and build up. These are all the conversation we’re having here. It’s how to handle a large quantity of short-run jobs quickly, get as many jobs out the door as possible, having the flexibilty to deal with different types of presses, different types of technology and then also linking to the post-press proces because once those pages/sheets are printed you have to do something with them.
It’s about getting the product out of the door so that you can invoice the customer and make more money.
DZ: It’s interesting because of your combination of products. You have Ultimate Impostrip®, imposition stuff up front and you’ve got Ultimate Bindery® in the back which really helps drive the data and the instructions from the beginning of the process, thru the process, to thru all the equipment that comes there. I think that’s incredible.
This show, one of the things that is interesting, is that there are not only a lot of different customers, as you said earlier, small printers, bigger printers, but there are also a lot of other types of printing that is going on here. There is flat-bed printing, fabric printing and so on.
Are you seeing interest from those types of verticals?
JW: Well, we are seeing more and more conversions, so customers that are producing more than a single type of product or a single type of workflow. So they need tools that are a little bit more sophisticated and offer the flexibility to handle all of this.
DZ: Do a lot of your customers actually do their own integration or do they work with integrators or do you do it? How does that work?
JW: That’s an excellent question. Actually, we see a little bit of everything. We have customers that work with integrators, so we also have a network of integrators who know our solutions well, who can help customers implement and integrate it with other systems. We have customers that have their own (IT)departments who do this internally as well. We have customers that can achieve some automation without extensive programming so they can start small and then build up as well so it’s a variety of things. We are all about being an open solution, we are all about connectivity, being able to easy that connectivity upstream as well as down-stream. We really try to help our customers but if they want to go a little bit further, they can definitely rely on integrators.
DZ: I know that Impostrip, and I know Impostrip from back in the early days, was really designed around commercial printing. Are you seeing people using it now in packaging as well?
JW: We are definitely having more projects in different spheres also as well as labels and wide-format and so on and so forth. But the workflow for us is still primarily where our strength is which is handling a lot of short-run jobs, job-of-one, VDP, digital, that flexibility, the speed, that quickness of just being able to get the jobs out the door. They typically will set up an e-commerce site, they want to deliver for tomorrow, or same day. So despite that the number of products are changing or evolving in terms of what they want to produce, those needs are still very similar.
That’s why our solutions are a very good fit.
This video is owned by WhatTheyThink and was published on November 3, 2022 on WhatTheyThink.com