The Belgian software giant, Esko’s product portfolio supports and manages the packaging and print processes for brand owners, retailers, designers, pre-media and trade shops, packaging manufacturers, and converters. The Esko solutions consist of an extensive suite of software and two hardware product lines: CDI flexo computer-to-plate imagers and Kongsberg digital cutting systems, complemented with professional services, training and consultancy.
Esko, a Danaher company, has an extended family with a few renowned members with their respective expertise. Enfocus, with its PDF quality control tools and automation solutions, Media Beacon, with its digital asset management (DAM) solutions and BLUE Software, with its SaaS label and artwork management applications are all part of the Esko family. Headquartered in Gent (Belgium), its sales & service organisation keeps constant touch with customers globally.
Esko solutions are used in packaging management, asset management, artwork creation, structural design, prepress, 3D visualization, flexo plate making, workflow automation, quality assurance, sample-making, palletization, supply chain collaboration and/or the production of signage and displays. We, at Sign & POP World, met Arnab Maiti, the company’s Sales Director for South Asia, to know how the company’s solution helps the signage industry and the PSPs. Edited excerpts are here to follow:
How would Esko’s packaging solution help signage industry stakeholders?
Esko helps signage specialists reduce waste and improve efficiency with solutions focused on streamlining their end-to-end sign production workflow. Our software solutions help our customers in many ways by making the whole process smoother than anticipated. In short, production is enhanced, and operational efficiency is increased with software that delivers faster approval cycles, eliminates file errors, reduces idle time, improves workflow control and simplifies complex manual steps of digital finishing equipment.
What specific solution do you have for Signage industry?
Esko’s versatile range of digital finishing solutions help sign-makers to work on an extensive range of substrates and applications to cater to the needs of the industry. Also, sign-makers these days are looking for ways to optimize their businesses for which they need to keep up with the demands of their customers for shorter runs, faster turnaround and more options to choose from. Our Automation Engine is capable to address all of these.
How does a mere software can transform the business?
We, at Esko, believe that software and automation are rapidly changing the way businesses are done around the world. It’s up to us as how we want use that to make things better for our customers and help them realize the potential of their businesses. With this objective in our mind, we introduced the concept of ‘design to finish’, wherein we play a very important role of connecting the dots.
From where does your strength come in?
A very strong history of innovation in engineering of digital cutting table called Kongsberg, tightly integrated software solutions that increase the efficiency of the cutting table and our overall understanding of the requirements of the signage industry.
Is it feasible for a startup entity?
Our solutions are modular and can be fit into requirements of various complexity and magnitude. What is important for us is to understand the customers’ requirement and suggest the right return on investment.
Why do you think people would invest in this automation system?
Automation adds to the bottom-line of businesses by increasing efficiency of systems and processes, reducing wastes and optimising utilization of manpower.
What’s the latest addition in Esko’s portfolio of solution?
We have introduced Automation Engine QuickStart for signage industry. It was launched in FESPA this year, received a very impressive feedback, and has been gaining traction from the world over. As the name suggests, it is implemented in just five days, the turnkey solution that grows with the business, immediately boosts a company’s production capacity by automating the complete process from order to design to finish. Pre-configured, proven workflows for sign and large format production make it very easy for repetitive tasks to be quickly executed.
We offer highly versatile Kongsberg X series cutting tables, which are the industry benchmark of performance and quality. These stand for value, durability, reliability, precision and ease of use at an attractive investment level. Structural and graphic design with hyper-realistic 3D mockups is delivered by Artios CAD Enterprise, an online central database that allows users to save and retrieve all assets, and Studio & Store Visualizer that show how packaging will look on store shelves through 3D simulation; while our i-Cut Suite is capable of tackling all the bottlenecks in sign & display workflow.
What made the company to up with this solution?
This has been designed after getting lot of feedback from the users across the world to cap the time & efforts that our Automation Engine takes in the process. Also, it requires a very deep understanding of the customers’ workflow, based on which the designing is done. At the same time, we also realized that not many companies have the internal expertise as well as time and resource available to get in to that consultative mode of setting. So, together all this made us to develop the solution Automation Engine QuickStart, which can be easily deployed. As I said, it comes with a 5-day training & implementation package for basic understanding after which anyone can start. It doesn’t need very big setup and even small business owners can go for it.
With such invaluable solution, how does Esko present in the market?
Predominantly, we have direct sales force which is very experienced, and we have good partnerships in the market mostly with printer manufacturers and that helps as both go side by side.
Where does Esko plan to see itself in near future?
We want to see Esko as a company which helps its clients to make the best packaging for billions of its consumers. At the same time, we would focus on simplifying packaging and lead our industry with the most comprehensive, innovative and user-friendly offering to become a partner that customers love to work with.