ECMA Seminar 2012
The Carton Industry at a crossroads: 'be strong or be gone'- ECMA Folding Carton Leadership Summit 21 June 2012, Brussels
All eyes in the package printing sector are aimed at drupa 2012, the four-yearly climax of the ‘Olympic cycle’ of the printing industry. This year’s edition comes at a time of business uncertainty. The twin crises of Credit (2008 – 2009) and Sovereign Debt (2011 – 2012) are having a prolonged effect on business and consumer confidence.
ECMA, the European Carton Makers Association, provides the European folding carton industry a dynamic Network of Business Networks. Aim of the Folding Carton Leadership Summit 2012 , held on 21 June in Brussels, was to engage into an industry wide dialogue on the strategic issues at stake for the folding carton industry. Which lessons could be learned from drupa 2012??
Drupa 2008 came at the beginning of the greatest global downturn in living memory, yet look at how technology has moved on in the past four years – at a pace that will only get faster. We cannot predict what drupa 2016 will hold for the carton industry, but what we can do is seize the opportunities that are now on offer, and grow our business into a stronger, more profitable and sustainable industry that benefits all.
When the doors of drupa 2012 finally closed on May 16th, the 300,000 or so visitors had witnessed the greatest display and demonstration of modern technology that the industry has to offer. For carton makers, perhaps more than any other sector of printing, there had been a raft of new technology and innovation that will change the face of the market in which we operate, as every element in the supply chain for printed packaging comes under closer scrutiny, and the pressure to perform and deliver continues to increase.
It is against this background that the Folding Carton Leadership Summit was organized. Away from the hyper activity of the drupa exhibition halls, the summit offered an unique opportunity to assess the current market situation, evaluate what drupa had to offer, and define the paths along which each supplier to this industry must tread, if a sustainable business is to be maintained. The carton industry finds itself at a crossroads. Changing market forces and innovative technology are demanding new approaches to carton manufacture, and whichever link in the supply chain you occupy, the message is very clear: ‘be strong, or be gone!’
The Folding Carton Leadership Summit was attended by carton makers, industry suppliers, national association representatives and other decision makers within the industry, and was moderated by Nick Coombes, Editor of Package Print Worldwide. Before the break he presented his vision on ‘Innovation and the future of packaging’. Key points to remember were: the industry should look at emerging markets, beware of rising prices, contain costs, add value, consider digital, and become greener.
After the break the participants engaged into an industry wide dialogue on 19 challenging theses. Which themes and challenges will dominate the industry for the next 3 years? Because customers tend not to express what they expect from the carton makers, a more proactive role from the carton maker is key. Carton makers should be more proactive and offer a wider range of services to their customers, when they are convinced their customers need those. Carton makers should be more creative, penetrate the organizations of their customers, and get themselves to be more favored than other suppliers.
Finally Nick Coombes concluded that the folding carton industry has an unique opportunity to improve their performance and role within the supply chain – and must grasp it!
The Summit was organized in collaboration with the newly established ECMA Suppliers Forum, the platform of the supplier community in ECMA.
|Download the programme.|