Page 37 - Packaging News Magazine Jan-Feb 2019
P. 37

January-February 2019
of all packaging has had at least some Esko input in its creation and production.
The drive for connection is com- ing because, according to Esko, on the supplier side the premedia stu- dios, trade shops, printers and con- verters are hit with more frequent and shorter print runs. Many find it difficult to obtain all the correct in- formation needed to run a job, or spend far too much time waiting to get final approvals. Archaic enter- prise software systems, manual pro- cesses and too many quality checks leave suppliers unable to deliver jobs at the rate of the brand and con- sumer expectations, and on the brand side, the big brands struggle to compete with start-ups who win share thanks to innovative prod- ucts, agility and e-commerce execu- tion. It is these issues that Esko is seeking to address with its Packag- ing Connected strategy.
Stoffels says, “Using an e-com- merce platform, we are building connections and creating dash- boards. The aim is to eliminate time wasted in duplication and errors, and to enable maximum efficiencies from the digital solution.”
Packaging Connected is also about connecting the physical package to the online world. According to Esko, a quarter of product returns are be- cause the physical packaging did not match the online representation.
Udo Panenka, Esko president says, “Brand owners see a shift in their go- to-market strategies inspired by e-commerce and internet activities. This calls for a strong connection be- tween the physical package on the
The aim is to eliminate time wasted in duplication and errors, and to enable maximum efficiencies from the digital solution.”
– Jef Stoffels, director of corporate marketing, Esko.
shelf and its online representation and promotion.
“Packaging is becoming a gateway to online content related to the prod- uct or brand, as a two-way commu- nication tool between the brand and the consumer. This also calls for a faster time to market, feasible if the entire supply chain and the various stakeholders work in sync on a con- nected workflow platform. Esko’s future will be to continue to inno- vate the industry, to make packag- ing connected.”
The company has a large team of in- house developers at its futuristic headquarters, and where beneficial it will acquire what it needs. Three years ago it bought DAM outfit Me- dia Beacon, then it bought label and artwork management developer Blue Software six months ago and merged it into its WebCentre packaging management system. Stoffels says, “Already 12 of the world’s 20 biggest brands use WebCentre; the integra- tion of Blue Software’s expertise will make WebCentre even more benefi- cial to the big brand owners.
“Esko works with the entire sup- ply chain, which means our colour management is developed to be standard across platforms, media, and output units, with the same quality and consistency. One brand will likely have multiple different products on multiple media using multiple production units, but wants the same colour on all of them. Esko delivers.”
Esko’s colour management has come through its integration into the
same Danaher group that owns Pantone, X-Rite and AVT. Geert De Proost, director of Solutions Marketing at Esko says, “Be- tween them these three enable us to digi- tise the value chain. One of the biggest frustrations of printers is colour, and now we offer digital colour management based on the numbers.
“To companies looking to make a new entry into the market, such as Aldi and Lidl for instance, brand colour is crucial, and to have scientific measurement pro- vides accurate reproduction.
“Being able to measure and score leads to a closed loop system, where the colour is managed automatically according to the numbers, rather than the look.”
Esko’s production innovation continues unabated; its Store Visualiser, for instance, is hugely popular, enabling brand owners to see exactly what their packages will look like on the shelves of the store. Esko is enabling brand owners to speed up and multiply the introduction of new SKUs.
Stoffels says, “Esko is a leading supplier to the packaging industry for a good reason: it works hard to understand the market, to understand the needs of brand owners, and to develop solutions to bring the two together in the most efficient way possible. Packaging Connected is for sure the key to exploiting the opportunities of the digital age.” ■

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