The printing industry, like so many others, is enduring a severe test as a consequence of the long economic crisis. The distributors of the large offset machines seriously accuse the lack of investment. At this time, it must be of undoubted interest to know the opinion of an experienced professional.
For a long time, the printing industry has been the epicenter of a profound revolution in which technology, the economy and changing habits in the exchange of information are protagonists. All this entails a great deal of confusion, doubts and fears about the future of written communication.
As a representative of one of the most important distributors of printing machines, peripheral devices and consumables in our country, OMC, Michel Madoz, has a very clear vision of the situation and, although he has a definite optimistic profile, his feet remain firmly on the ground and analyzes reality without ambiguity from his position as Marketing Director, which he shares with the responsibility of directing the Consumables Division.
We are all aware of the problems that are affecting the printing industry, but we would like to know the opinion of those who live this problem very closely every day. How would you define the situation in the sector at the moment?
The current scenario is more than complex, derived from high uncertainty, low liquidity in a large number of companies, accompanied by a marked lack of credit granted by banks. All of this leads us to a situation of mistrust and extreme caution, which translates into a clear tendency to control expenses and investments and reduce economic risks.
Offset printing activity, whether it be sheet, commercial rotary or rotary press has fallen substantially, proportionally reducing the level of sales in both machinery and consumables. Economic and social uncertainty has restricted consumption and, as is well known, our sector is closely linked to the health of the country's economic activity.

Michel Madoz understands that the crisis has already passed, that the real crisis was something that came “suddenly” in mid-2008, altering the economic and social environment, and forcing an austere, deep and honest review of business. Remember the phrase that Machiavelli uttered: “There is nothing more asymmetrical than wanting to change the order of things in society. Those who propose a new order have the strong opposition of those who have done well in the old and the lukewarm support of those who can do well in the new. "

Are we prepared for these difficult decisions and to adapt to the new environment?
I have always thought that in any professional activity or in the development of any business we must have at least two of these three characteristics: Passion or Illusion, Commitment and Knowledge. If you have at least 2 of the 3, you can supply the third. Why am I saying this? Because in an age like today, the ability to solve complex problems depends on them. The other day I heard something very similar along these lines: "intrinsic motivation (I like what I do) and transcendent (I work for a cause) are the motivations of the 21st century".

If we internalized something else in each of us, we would realize that they are the 2 main engines of our professional life. We will always have to fight or work to achieve both. Fighting you can lose but without fighting you are lost.

Adapting implies undertaking and taking on new challenges. If the market changes, we have to try to do it, at least, at the same speed.

In our journalistic work, we come across quite conflicting opinions on the part of graphic entrepreneurs regarding the future of the sector. Some, optimistic, thinking that they will be able to adapt to change, and, others, pessimistic, who consider that the graphic arts have reached the end of their cycle. What is your position on this?
What I am clear about is that our sector, like so many others, is in an important reconversion phase, and perhaps not in its most active phase. Converting is necessary, and it is never a concept with negative connotations. Every business or sector must have very clear and defined its main strengths and weaknesses in the face of a more dynamic and changing environment than ever, where new threats are produced or appear but also new opportunities. In the business world, there is nothing static.

If we are aware that "something is changing", the change will not take us by surprise. Accepting that something is changing will allow us to move in a new direction and with effort and perseverance, a lot of perseverance, we find what we are looking for or need.

Perhaps with more enthusiasm than with reliable data in hand, we think that this critical situation has reached the bottom and that the recovery cannot take long ...
I think it has to come but in a gradual and staggered way. In these two years we have fallen sharply and quickly, and we all want to recover what was lost with the same speed, and that seems utopian to me. Unfortunately, building takes much longer than destroying.

Times of crisis are periods of much harder commercial activity in which companies are much more aggressive in each of their movements. Something that obviously forces us to maintain a high level of competitiveness to succeed or maintain our business stability in this difficult period.

To reach the levels we were used to, we will have to work hard and adapt our companies to the new reality. And that will take time and good work. And good work requires patience.

One of the great concerns that seizes the graphic sector are the new media that are used to exchange information or as a transport of advertising messages. How do you think these electronic media will affect the traditional graphic industry?
Examples that “things are changing” and that they are doing it at a high speed are businesses such as photography, music, cinema, fashion and even one as static and consolidated as it is. that of education.

As an example, and related to changes in education, today you can have information of great academic value just a click away. Before, this information was either not available or cost a lot of money. Today, you can attend a conference or masterclass on countless topics by many of the most recognized experts in each subject and, again, that knowledge, thanks to the mouse, is at your fingertips.
The particularity of this new medium is that it gives absolute prominence to the final consumer, allowing them to participate, share and interact, and this marks a new scenario.

Our interlocutor understands that his generation (the one that ranges from 30 to 40 years old) is called the “bridge generation”, since “we are not 'digital natives' nor the overwhelming volume of changes catches us retiring”. It assumes that there is a certain epochal change in which the Internet will play a leading role. Your generation will feel close, but also very distant, to "digital natives." “How many sectors will evolve, including ours, will not depend so much on ourselves, our or previous generations, but on them. For them technology does not exist, technology is. And they will live much of their life in 'total connection.'

Which suggests that digital media will predominate to the detriment of ink and paper ...
Those that directly affect our sector, the most aided perhaps are the example of the e-book, or digital media and tablets (Ipad, Galaxy ...). Its final penetration in certain markets is still unknown, but just as an example we can highlight that Amazon, in 2010, already sold more electronic books than physical books, although the influence that the fact of wanting to buy a novelty may have had to be weighed.

It is hard to see the future X years from now because we always see it with our eyes, our experience and our experiences. Perhaps it is time to try to see it with the eyes and the reality of these new generations.

Similarly, graphic communication must learn to coexist with (and complement) the new communication channels, mostly online, and this will force it to be more direct, personal and differentiated.

I do not like "apocalyptic" statements (style "The paper is going to disappear" and the like). We always have a pronounced tendency to polarize in the extreme. Or black or white. And we forget that between one and the other there is a wide chromatic scale. When TV appeared, Radio was "left for dead" and, despite the initial impact, time has placed each one in its place, coexisting as alternatives for communication and leisure. Everything evolves and in that evolution is where we must find our niche. And to find that gap, and in the face of a more than probable reduction in consumption (paper, printed product ...), it only remains to resort to greater specialization. What we cannot forget is that "something is changing" and you notice it in many little things from day to day. Consumption habits are evolving, changing ... but as they have done all our lives ... Or did they not change from our generation to that of our parents or grandparents? Everything changes but when change "catches you" and it occurs at high speed, it is difficult to find the right path.

This is where digital printing has a lot to say.
Taking into account that we receive more than 3,000 advertising hits every day, creativity and personalization will be your weapons. As I mentioned before, the lower the consumption; greater specialization. And this is where digital technology develops its potential.

Applied to our sector, the new media will imply less production but more differentiated and with greater added value. This situation is what powers the digital market. The offset printing market has already declined, except in Asia, while digital is experiencing sustained growth. Short runs, speed of service and customization will further this trend.

Until recently, digital was not taken into account because it did not give the same quality as offset and they were more massive productions, but now that shorter and more personalized, more select and innovative runs are being asked, they are betting more on digital.

Since it was founded in 1987, as a company dedicated to the sale of second-hand graphic machinery, until today, the path traveled by OMC has not been easy but it has marked a constant upward curve of improvement, which has led, thanks to the prestige achieved, to have in its portfolio of internationally prestigious represented within the graphic sector.

What actions is the WTO taking to overcome the onslaught of the crisis and maintain the status of recognition within the sector?
As a distributor of machinery and graphic arts consumables with a national scope of action, we are left as the main way to diversify products.

Perhaps, in the graphic arts sector, as in so many others, it is time to re-plant seeds and not so much to collect fruits. Undertake and take on new challenges with a more forward-looking approach. The present rules and the present is called digital. Therefore, at the time we value the need to expand our proposal to the field of digital printing. For years we have dedicated ourselves to the search for representations that would allow us to have a more global offer, always in the field of printing and finishing, whether analog or digital.

Being in good company always makes the trip more enjoyable and bearable. Hence the importance we give to the selection of our represented. It provides guarantee and peace of mind knowing that you are working and interacting with many of the most recognized and valued manufacturers in the international market. We always try to make them long-haul trips, as evidenced by our relationships with companies like Komori and Rollin with whom we have been working for more than 20 years.

Recently, we have expanded our activity to the field of digital printing thanks to new representations such as MGI, manufacturer of digital printing and finishing machinery; MTL Print, manufacturer of UV large flat format printing machinery and KIP, manufacturer of large format LED printing machinery (KIP COLOR 80).

The degree of satisfaction that OMC exhibits with its new MGI represented is understandable, since just over a year after the signing of the distribution contract, there are already more than a dozen multi-media and highly versatile digital printing machines, Meteor DP60 Pro running in our country. We have witnessed the launch of some of them, and we have been able to verify the degree of satisfaction of its users.

Obviously, we compete with big and recognized brands in the digital arena, but with totally different tools and means. Therein lies the greatness, fun and illusion of projects of this type. Competing with these large firms by enhancing those elements that make us different (flexibility, closeness, commitment to and for them, etc.) in which, to a greater or lesser extent, we can be better. Let's not forget that a large part of our clients are also SMEs like us and that, perhaps, gives us a greater understanding of their idiosyncrasies and their day-to-day life. Aware of our limitations (mainly in the media) with respect to multinationals, we must focus our commercial and communication activities in a very different way.

We have already consumed a quarter of the year 2011 which, for many, should mark a turning point in the graphics industry. From your position as a seller of the image of OMC, do you think that, indeed, we are going to start the comeback in the coming months?
According to all the forecasts and predictions (very common at the end and beginning of a new year), 2011 will continue to be a tough but key year to position and prepare for the recovery. Hence we believe that we should all be wide awake and with eyes wide open. As they say, necessity sharpens ingenuity, and we must accompany the imagination with action so that it does not remain a mere fantasy. Improve our marketing and communication strategies, reduce expenses, offer differentiating advantages to our clients; promoting our brand, being innovative, creating a great and optimistic commercial spirit… these are some of the keys to leading this era. In this way we will be able to see or detect the opportunities that are presented to us. We are an active part of our destiny and we cannot let any of them escape.

Only innovation provides the added value that allows us to achieve a greater competitive advantage, understanding innovation always as a medium / long-term bet, which, if properly implemented, can radically change the competitive landscape of the company. Therefore, we must view 2011 with confidence.

Finally, Michel, we would like you to convey to our readers the philosophy by which the WTO has been governed in order to reach the summit, and which we assume will continue to be valid in these difficult times.
Technological innovation is the only possible way of differentiation. Finally, technological innovation is what will allow your company to compete in costs and / or differentiate your proposal. Every business project must weigh the correct balance between both variables (costs and differentiation) to give its proposal solidity and viability in the medium / long term.

We are aware that the formula for our clients' success to increase their performance is the sum of 2 variables: technology and service. And that is precisely what we always try to do. Because from OMC we want to talk to you about the future, about dreams, about projects ... but also about realities, technology and innovation and, above all, about a continuous desire to serve.

We try to apply this company philosophy to all our products and we always look for products with "that something different" that can provide real value to our customers.

We hope that the mark we have left in these almost 25 years of activity is as close as possible to the one we have tried to create and transmit. A serious company, with a clear desire to serve and always ready to be the best link between our clients and our represented.

Likewise, working with prestigious and recognized brands in our sector requires us to improve our service and offer more personalized attention. This allows us to offer our clients greater security and tranquility in uncertain times like the ones we live in. Good service is one of the main loyalty tools available to a commercial company such as OMC.

I like to sum it up in a verse of a song that launched Frank Sinatra to fame, “My Way”, and that reflects the spirit and philosophy that Salvador RiGola (one of the founders of OMC and soul of the project) tried to convey to us: “I've lived a life that's full. I've traveled each and every highway. And more, much more than this, I did it my way " ("I have lived a pleme life. I have traveled each and every one of the roads. And more, much more than that, I did it my way").

There is no doubt that OMC, traveling the difficult roads "in its own way" (with seriousness, a human team and a vocation for service) has achieved the well-deserved prestige that is recognized today. Thanks, Michel.

Michel Madoz was born in Pamplona 36 years ago.
He has a degree in Business Administration from the Ramón Llull University - IQS.
Master in Marketing at ESADE
Postgraduate in Online Marketing at the University of Barcelona - EAE.
In 2002 he joined the OMC team occupying a position as an assistant in the Consumables department where he was forging himself to achieve higher goals.
He currently holds the position of Marketing Director, which he combines with that of Head of the Consumables Division.