"Powering Growth. Driving the Future.".This was the theme of the first European Business Leadership Summit recently hosted by Kodak for customers in the printing, media and packaging industries.
Industry leaders from all over the Europe, Africa and Middle East Region (EAMER) as well as several high-growth threshold countries in Latin America accepted the invitation to travel to Lausanne (Switzerland). Interactive presentations and discussions touching on many of the aspects that are crucial for the future prospects of business enterprises were on the agenda of the two-day Business Leadership Summit: market, marketing, and innovation trends; continuous innovation as a strategy for driving growth; the potential that lies in the future for print and much more besides.
Antonio M. Perez, Kodak Chief Executive Officer, introduced the new Kodak at the first European Business Leadership Summit
Kodak encouraged attendees to look beyond the limits of their traditional business segments. The event was also intended as a platform for international participants to engage in personal networking both with one another and with Kodak representatives.
Focused on innovation and high-growth B2B markets
Antonio M. Perez, Kodak Chief Executive Officer, gave an introduction to the new Kodak in the wake of the company's successful reorganization. Kodak’s business today is focused on the development and supply of products and solutions for B2B markets with high growth potential. According to Perez, Kodak is excellently placed to serve the packaging, graphic communications, and functional printing markets with solutions that power both end users and Kodak to sustainable, profitable growth. The interdisciplinary use of unique Kodak technologies and innovations is a key criterion here.
Philip Cullimore, Regional Managing Director, EAMER, Kodak, emphasized the importance of partnerships for Kodak's future activities in high-growth markets
Another crucial factor that will contribute to Kodak’s future success was outlined in a presentation by Philip Cullimore, Kodak Regional Managing Director, EAMER. Cullimore discussed the importance of partnerships with other manufacturers to collaborate on the development of solutions for specific markets, for instance for producers of flexible packaging or corrugated and folding cartons.
Kodak also embraces partnerships with innovative clients such as Tom Fenske, one of four brothers running the family-owned Fenske Media Corporation in Rapid City (South Dakota). Fenske Media is a leading provider of direct response marketing services utilizing digital, workflow, and CTP technologies made by Kodak. Tom Fenske was not there to speak about the technical side, however; instead he described how his company systematically tracks and analyzes email responses to score campaign profitability. Using smart tools, many of them developed in-house, he helps his customers increase their response rates, boost their sales with each new campaign, and generally enhance customer loyalty.
Unconventional ideas – vital for innovation and success
Will Gompertz – renowned arts editor, author, and creative thinker – was another of the numerous prestigious speakers mobilized by Kodak. In a compelling presentation that included plenty of references to major upheavals and paradigm shifts throughout the history of art, Gompertz urged his audience to be just as unconventional as many famous painters in their ideas. He postulated that a radical change of thinking and a readiness to overturn fundamental assumptions are essential prerequisites for success – in art as well as in business.
Tom Fenske of Fenske Media described his company's strong focus on customer needs and explained how direct mailing campaigns are systematically optimized to maximize the response rate as well as profitability for customers
Lee Cronin, Professor at the University of Glasgow, took Business Leadership Summit attendees on an exciting trip into the world of 3D printing, which he explored from the perspective of its future potential for print. Cronin showed how the interdisciplinary use of innovative technologies – similar to the Kodak strategy – could in the future enable drugs in tablet form or contact lenses to be printed directly onsite in 3D.
This is just a small selection of the presentations and panel sessions that made the Business Leadership Summit a valuable event for more than 50 participants. “We were delighted that so many top-flight entrepreneurs and high-ranking executives from among our customers took the time to attend this event,” Cullimore concludes. “The inspiring atmosphere on both days was very conducive to personal communication on a high level, and I think everyone there – including all of us from Kodak – gained new insights that will help raise their awareness of future opportunities and put them firmly on a sustainable growth trajectory.”