Optimism Runs High at Digital Packaging Summit’s Return
The mood was celebratory as the 2021 Digital Packaging Summit returned to luxurious coastal Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Senior managers and business executives converged to learn how digital production printing technology, software and solutions can elevate their businesses.
The strategic insights began with a opening keynote on the state of the industry by Marco Boer, vice president, I.T. Strategies and the conference co-chair. Boer began his presentation with an analysis of the supply chain issues strangling everyone from print service providers to OEMs. Boer emphasized the importance of discussing, analyzing and managing the situation because “the instability is not going away.”
Boer also noted that situation could deliver some unexpected collaborative growth between printers and their buyers. “Perfect storms. Storms are bad, but they clear the air,” Boer remarked. “The opportunity is there to open the door to conversations you haven’t had in a long time.” These supply chain conversation could open up conversations and clear away some assumptions made on both sides as far as supply availability, pricing and turnaround expectations. These conversations are especially important because sunny days are ahead for print service providers who provide digitally printed products, Boer noted, because “there’s pent-up demand.” This, Boer explained, means “growth is coming back far faster than we expected,” which he conceded was a good problem to have.
After his opening keynote presentation, Boer introduced fellow co-chair
CEO of Karstedt Partners, LLC. Boer and Karstedt conducted a multimedia panel discussion that encompassed both live and video interviews. Panelists included Brian Cleary, category manager, HP Indigo Label Solutions, HP Inc.; David Ellen, global divisional director, Domino — Digital Printing; Dean Kenan, digital packaging solutions, Screen Americas; Eric Steinwachs, director of sales and marketing at CDigital; Jim Priebe Executive VP, CTO of Lithotone; John Abbott, president of Abbott Label; Rob Daniels, president of QTL, a Fortis Solutions Group; and Todd Blumsack, director, sales, Xeikon. Although the panel came from a range of industry backgrounds, they all agreed that the agility afforded by digital printing can be transformative for package printing businesses.