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Interview With

Dave Gully

Jo Golding speaks to Dave Gully, group product marketing manager, production print at Konica Minolta, about the manufacturer’s ‘customer centric’ approach

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Dave Gully is group product marketing manager of production print at Konica Minolta

Focusing on the customer

Can you tell me about the history of the company and its ambitions for future growth?

First established in 1873, Konica Corporation has a long history of innovation and is credited with bringing a number of world firsts to market on a global scale. These range from the Cherry Hand Camera, Japan’s first brand name camera in 1903, and the launch of the company’s first copier in 1960, through to developing the FD-9—an auto-scanning spectrophotometer capable of measuring a standard colour chart. This is commonly used for profile creation, at among the fastest speeds in the world.


The Bizhub Pro C71hc has an A4 print speed of 71ppm



We entered the production print market in 2004 and have since become one of the leading industry vendors. We have established a firm foothold in the light- and mid-production workspace, and have made significant inroads into the high production print arena with devices such as the Bizhub Pro C1100 and MGI Jet Varnish 3DS, the industrial inkjet print space, as well as the labelling sector.
 
Under its mid-term business strategy, Konica Minolta plans to increase total revenue in the production print business to ¥360bn (£2.5bn) by 2020, driven largely by growth in the industrial label and package printing markets.

We are operating in a constantly evolving landscape, and in a world where digital and print are converging as key communication tools. Innovation is integral to reaching our business goals and for us, innovation is not an intangible concept, it is a core business function that operates out of four major regions around the world.

Fostering meaningful innovation, developing new technologies, and growing creative ideas that deliver real business transformation, is tightly embedded into our global business structure.

Our goal is to leverage the future opportunities that inkjet and other new technologies will bring to this market and significantly increase our share in this segment. We are continuously aligning our business, our people, and our technology, to ensure we remain well positioned to service this sector.

What is your own personal history in the print industry?

I joined a print dealership, an authorised reseller for another OEM, back in 1984 as a technician. I quickly progressed to area field service manager, then I took a year out to find myself in Australia and Japan. I joined Ricoh Australia as a technical service supervisor, a year later I was promoted to technical product manager, and after about 13 months, I progressed into product marketing, a position I held until 2015.
 
I then moved back to the UK and joined Konica Minolta, covered office products for a couple of years then moved onto production, controllers, software, and IP products.

How has Konica Minolta’s partnership with MGI Digital Technology given Konica a stronger presence in the professional digital printing market?


(Above & below) Konica Minolta has made significant inroads into the high production print arena with devices such as the MGI Jet Varnish 3DS
 

Konica Minolta has had a financial and strategic alliance with MGI Digital Technology (MGI), since January 2014 and in April last year increased its stake in the company to 40.5 percent.




 
The alliance means we can offer a more rounded offering across print production and finishing, as well as ways to add further value to print. We have products in the MGI portfolio that we believe place us in a unique position when it comes to meeting customer requirements. MGI’s hot foil stamping and embossing equipment, as well as products for commercial print, labels, and packaging, have been added to our existing and growing portfolio for example.

We are also harnessing MGI’s research and development power to accelerate initiatives for application development in areas such as labels and packaging. The partnership undoubtedly gives us a stronger presence in the digital packaging printing market and is helping us to drive forward expansion in commercial printing.

Which areas of the print market do you see as filled with the most opportunities for print-service-providers (PSPs)?

Innovation is at the heart of our business and since last year’s show, we have made significant inroads into areas such as industrial inkjet, label printing, and marketing automation—all of which we see offering huge potential for print-service-providers to expand and grow their businesses.

Innovation is integral to reaching our business goals and for us, innovation is not an intangible concept, it is a core business function


Our approach is customer-focused and we see marketing automation, software, and crossmedia services having the potential to take print applications on to a new level.

We see marketing automation, software, and crossmedia services having the potential to take print applications on to a new level


We also see a huge opportunity for PSPs to leverage the full benefits of the MGI Industrial products within our current portfolio.

Konica held its first Power of Prokom conference in May. How did it go and what was the response like?

Prokom is an essential part of the Konica Minolta strategy, which includes adopting a more ‘customer centric’ sales approach.
 
The inaugural ‘Power of Prokom’ conference in May exceeded our expectations; almost 170 delegates attended and the feedback was really positive.

We created the event to give members from all over the globe, including virtually every European country, a ‘hands-on’ opportunity to network, learn, and grow their business in a multi-channel world.

Importantly, we had significant interest from the US, with over 30 registrations, and we are actively looking at how we can expand into other regions of the world, creating a truly global community.

What new technology will you be bringing to The Print Show and how will this technology help print-service-providers?

The focus on our stand will be production workflow automation. We will engage with visitors to demonstrate how we can identify key areas within their production workflow, where improvements can be made around the effectiveness of document production from job capture and preparation, through to colour management and finishing, to save time and increase profit margins.

We will also showcase some exciting new additions to our production print hardware portfolio, including the soon to be launched Accurio Press C6100 series, which includes a higher closed loop colour management offering and registration management, to provide excellent output.

Finally, what is Konica Minolta’s company ethos that sees it continue to succeed and grow?

Our focus is on forming mutually profitable partnerships with our customers, we are committed to driving growth for our customers—after all, if they grow their businesses, then so do we.

This is why we have our Digital 1234 business development programme in place. Digital 1234 is designed to encourage print businesses to focus on the opportunities to save money, increase profits, add new services, and to improve productivity.

We firmly believe that it is essential that we all work together to bring print to life and ensure that it remains relevant in an increasingly digital world. Our investment in The Print Show is a tangible representation of our commitment to both the production print market and to our customers.



Key Company Stats

  • Konica Corporation first established in 1873
  • First copier launched in 1960
  • Almost 170 delegates attended Power of Prokom conference
  • Entered production print market in 2004



For the full interview go to www.printmonthly.com and search ‘Gully’
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