It is said that the pandemic has driven digitization in German companies. But there is much more to “real” digital transformation than zoom calls or modern machines. Bernd Zipper explained why letting go is so important in the process, why the right “bubble” matters, and why you must never lose sight of the relevance of your products as a guest on the “Bigital Thinking Podcast” hosted by Eric Bradatsch, Managing Director of the Texsib large-format print shop.
In the past, life as a printer was simpler – at least from today’s perspective. Business was booming, even without too much effort, the Internet had not yet been invented, and innovation cycles in the printing industry were manageable. So predictable, so good. But then came DTP, the WWW and the new media – and turned these truths upside down. Today, change happens at an insane pace. Those who can’t keep up, whether technologically or strategically, will find it increasingly difficult to compete successfully in the marketplace.
The Corona pandemic did not trigger this trend, but it intensified it. And it has brought with it not only negative developments, as Bernd Zipper explains in an interview with Eric Bradatsch. On a personal level, for instance, he has learned to let go and trust, for example, “that it works when people work from home”. But that’s only one aspect, because being able to let go was and is still important from a business perspective, which is evident in the course of the podcast conversation. Why?
Because ongoing challenges will remain in the new year: Material shortages, for example, to name just one. “We see that the big companies that are well connected and have been able to ensure stable supply chains are growing and have good sales, and we see the small companies that are extremely specialized and are growing because of that. So there will always be larger companies on one side and the small specialized suppliers on the other side. In between, however, are plenty of printers who will find it increasingly difficult to survive” – perhaps also because they have missed out on transforming themselves digitally. This makes it all the more important to let go of individual vanities or the certainty that things that worked in the past will continue to do so in the future.
According to the industry expert, partnerships and company alliances can be one way to meet the new challenges. Another more important one, however, is to be closer to the customer, to immerse oneself in the “bubble” – i.e., the thought and value worlds of potential customers – to understand their wishes and to be present as a service provider, problem solver, idea provider. Social networks such as LinkedIn, Xing or Instagram can help here, because they are a quick indicator of emerging trends. Speaking of which: Have you noticed that many influencers are currently launching cookbooks, i.e. a very classic print product, on the market, and in handsome editions? Or that there are more really well-made catalogs again?
But let’s get back to digital transformation, because – as Eric Bradatsch and Bernd Zipper agree – it is the most important tool for a company to remain successful in the future. Why digital transformation is far more than just a task for the IT department, why CEOs need to say goodbye to their “lord of the manor” mindset and see themselves more as part of the team in order to achieve a sustainable digital transformation of their company, and why relevance always matters in the end can be heard – along with plenty of insider know-how and anecdotes – in the latest episode of “Bigital-Thinking”. The podcast is available on Spotify, as an Apple podcast or on the website of large format specialist Texsib.