Page 27 - Print 21 Magazine March-April 2019
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offering are providing them with unparalleled insight. For instance we can now use AI to direct the location of text and graphics on catalogue pages for maximum impact. We can also tell our customers the exact uptake of the products featured in the catalogues within a few days.”
Enhanced targeting
He highlighted the company’s new capability in data and analytics business, through its exclusive partnership with Quantium He said, “For the first time this will allow us to deliver enhanced targeting and measurability to
our print channels and campaigns, enabling our customers to see analytics and ROI metrics that are more akin to digital advertising. Quantium uses data analytics for transactional data and loyalty programmes, it is making a big difference in the catalogue space.”
Slaven is no bean counter, although he did come from the finance side of the company, he is out on the front foot getting close
to customers, talking to them
about opportunities and solutions. He says, “I spent much of year in discussions with the CEOs and marketing directors of the big retailers. Engagement and then measurement was at the forefront of their minds. They want to get close
to their customers, to prompt them into action, and that is what Ovato is providing to them.
“We are looking to partnerships, Quantium is a great case, as we know we don’t have everything, but there is no need to reinvent
the wheel when other companies are doing the development we need. We can leverage each other’s strengths and present a compelling proposition to the market.”
Supplying and manipulating data, using AI, sure sounds a long way from putting ink on paper and then folding it, the traditional role of a printer. Slaven says, “Yes, the business is evolving. Our customers want more, and we want to provide more. And we have to seek and exploit new revenue streams, offer added value solutions to our customers.
“Print is core, and we have
the expertise to exploit the
new opportunities that data is providing. Ovato is determined to use the best of existing and new technologies, we celebrate the past, and welcome the future.”
Slaven came into the hot seat
15 months ago when Peter George had to step away ahead of time, due to family circumstances. He came from the IPMG side of the business, having joined Michael Hannan’s empire in 2000, having previously worked in the finance and timber industries. “It was publishing that attracted me”, he says.
Value for clients: Kevin Slaven, CEO, Ovato
in market
For the print manufacturing side rationalisation has been the order
of the day since the PMP IPMG merger, and it is still continuing. A new manroland 80pp heatset web offset is due to arrive later this year, and when commissioned we can expect to see five or six older presses taken out. Slaven says, “There has
to be equilibrium in the market,
a connection between supply and demand, otherwise business becomes unsustainable. Our customers also deserve the latest technology, which can produce the highest quality in the fastest time.”
Slaven doesn’t see overseas printers as competition for the markets Ovato is in, due to the
time sensitive nature of the work.
He sees the realignment of parts of the business – such as Griffin Press putting in what is described as the world’s most advanced book printing line with a digital inline solution – as meeting the demands of the market. “Printed books” he says, “are not going anywhere. They fell by 20 per cent when kindle came, but have since plateaued, and in fact are growing in certain sectors, like children’s books, which augurs well for the future.”
PMP’s share price grew steadily for the five years that George was at the helm, then fell off a cliff on the day he left, which coincided with a release about missed targets. Since then it has been more or less steady, and followers of the market will have noticed that Slaven himself invested some $50,000 of his own money in the shares just before Christmas. He says, “It was a gesture of my confidence in the the business and its leadership team. We have a great blend of ex PMP and IPMG executives here, and we have brought in a couple of people who are experts in their field.
“As far as the share price is concerned, I do not lay awake at night thinking about it, my job is to deliver the strategy for the company and the value for the clients, if I do that then the share price will look after itself. As CEO I outline the vision, set the course, create the strategy, and explain that to staff and customers.”
The new Ovato business, with print and distribution at its core, has that vision alright, turning audiences into customers. It now needs to deliver, under Slaven’s leadership it seems to be well positioned to do just that. 21
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