He’s back in the world of online print: Dr. Michael Fries is the new Senior Vice President Physical Product at Vista, the new master brand of Cimpress, under which the services Vistaprint, Vistacreate, 99Designs and Vista x Wix have been combined just under six months ago. In his new role, he will thus be responsible for everything related to the product range of the brand family.
„At Vista, I will be responsible for everything that has to do with the print products we offer“, Dr. Michael Fries tells beyond-print.net. „So with my team, I’ll be designing the range on offer, the presentation of the products on the website, the workflows into production and the production itself for both North America and Europe. That’s an extremely exciting task.“
He wants to pay particular attention to offering the widest possible product range and comprehensive service: „We want to offer our customers a broad product range that they can easily find their way around. From inexpensive entry-level products to particularly high-quality variants, we want to offer our customers everything. Fast delivery, high quality and reliability of production are of course just as crucial.“
Fries starts his new position as senior vice president of physical product at Vista against a backdrop of paper shortages, rising energy prices and the pandemic. „More than the pandemic, I’m currently concerned with the war in Ukraine, which is bringing unimaginable misery to the people of Ukraine. VistaCreate and Depositphotos have 450 Vista employees in the Ukraine, and the Vista team is working to ensure their safety and supporting them as much as possible. I hope the madness there will stop soon”, says Dr. Michael Fries.
„The challenges on the materials side are significant. As part of Cimpress, Vista still has a comparatively good situation despite all the difficulties because purchasing teams around the world are taking care of procurement and can tap into many different sources, so availability is assured, even though the price increase on the procurement side is undeniable.
In terms of the pandemic, we can slowly assume that things will return to more normal, that people will meet again as usual, and that print products will therefore grow significantly again. We want to accompany our customers on the road to opening up, to inspire them with great print products and services that are relevant to them“, says the industry expert optimistically.
Before joining Cimpress, Dr. Michael Fries was most recently Managing Director for Sales, Marketing and IT at Waskönig & Walter, an energy cable manufacturer. However, he has spent most of his professional career in the print industry:
For example, he was Managing Director at Onlineprinters from July 2014 to June 2019, during which time he drove the company’s internationalization strategy through acquisitions such as Solopress (UK, 2017) and Lasertryk (Denmark, 2018). Prior to that, he was a member of the Executive Board of Cewe Stiftung und Co. KGaA for ten years, during which time he was responsible for building up the online printing business with the Viaprinto and Saxoprint brands in parallel with the core business of photofinishing and photo book production. The postgraduate electrical engineer has also held positions as project manager at the Boston Consulting Group and head of prepress and printing at Bertelsmann subsidiary Mohn-Media.
Experience with the big players in online print
As a long-standing member of the board at Cewe and CEO of Onlineprinters, Dr. Michael Fries really knows the big players in online printing and brings a wealth of management experience to his new position. What appeals to him about Vista in particular and what makes the company special? „Vista is a technology company with a lot of expertise in tech, data, online design, marketing, production workflow and production organization. In particular, enabling small batch sizes as needed for smaller companies is highly developed at Vista as one of the pioneers of mass customization.“