Today I’m writing on my own behalf, as (chief) accomplice, strategy consultant and friend of Max Spies. The order doesn’t quite match the chronology of our life together, but I’ll get to that now. Don’t worry, all is well in the end.
I’ll gladly tell you how the story with Max and I began. After completing his training and working in the printing industry for several years, he became an editor at Deutscher Drucker. That was back in 1999 and the millennium year was just around the corner. A great time, with invitations to the trade journals around the globe. Everything had to be futuristic and so the Klingons came as a promotion team to a convention that we both attended. As a real Trekki fan I couldn’t help it and asked a Klingon for a “professional” talk. Max Spies photographed the scene and used the picture as the front page lead for Deutscher Drucker. Of course, the conscientious editor wrote to the picture of me with the Klingon, Bernd Zipper (right in the picture). A classic and the beginning of a friendship that continues to this day.
After his time as editor, Max Spies soon went to Switzerland and brought an ERP software solution to numerous print shops. Regular meetings were held at a wide variety of industry events. There we often talked and discussed at length beyond the official end of an event. I, the speaker with the ideas, and Max, a listener who implements what he thinks is right. It is this mixture of profound professional knowledge and the direct Allgäu way of getting to the heart of things, with which the compositor-printer (Schweizerdegen) often surprises me.
In 2019, I received a call that I had not expected, but which came in a very good time for me. After about 18 years under the sail of ERP software, as presales consultant, product owner and head of the user academy, Max was looking for a new port and an agile and fast ship. To stay in the language, I was missing a navigator through the adverse ERP sea and I didn’t hesitate for long. Max joined zipcon as a senior consultant for ERP systems.
His main task was the process analysis of all operational, conceptual and strategic activities at our international clients in the areas of online print, digital commerce, mass customization and process controlling.
Max always looks at the entire process along the value chain in the companies. Starting with the head of our clients’ customers, through CRM/ERP and output management in digital or analog media to controlling.
Based on this, we develop the recommendations for action in the team, in the implementation of which Max actively cooperates with all stakeholders. He is an agile coach, a source of inspiration and a sparring partner for teams, department heads and management. Essentially, he is concerned with accompanying and supporting the organizations during the change. He does this brilliantly and I can hardly believe that three and a half years have now passed.
Once again, the wind of change is blowing around the traveler’s face and he is not tired of setting out once again to tackle something new. I’m a little sad, but of course excited about the opportunities that await Max in his new position.
The multi-talented man has now been in the industry for 38 years and I would have been very surprised if he decided to try his hand at growing roses now. Those who know him know that Max loves the printed product. He has knowledge of the entire vertical range of production, mass customization, and is not afraid of disruption and putting his horsepower on the road. So I am not surprised that he has found a new role as Business Development Manager at Ottweiler Druckerei in the OD-Data unit. As a strategy consultant, I congratulate Petra Krenn and Dominique Paul, management of Ottweiler Druckerei, on the decision to bring Max Spies into the team as of 01.03.2023.
Ottweiler Druckerei employs over 140 people and is equipped with modern machinery. In 2019, the company launched into high-speed inkjet printing from the press roll. This was followed by entry into marketing automation with its own platform. In 2021, development began on a core hub to connect customer marketing systems for Programmatic Printing.
Together, we could have continued to move into endless expanses and unknown galaxies, but Max Spies found a world in which he could live out his life as a practitioner. He proved himself in all situations, bringing mind and heart to his projects. The zipcon team loses a reliable, go-getting and loyal teammate, but we keep the friend, because the Allgäu is not soooo far away from the Ruhr area. Good luck, my friend!