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Thursday, September 17th, I am going to speak about why a digital mindset at all is essential and whether it influences the printing industry. As usual, I would like to take the opportunity to explain why you don't need a digital mindset, and more importantly, why this is something that most printers shouldn't care about - at all!

Our Smart Factory - Learn With Us event is already in progress with articles - mostly from my dear colleagues Yves d'Aviau de Ternay's and Jacques Michiels's hands (and brilliant brains) - and the articles are SO good. Reading them will give you an amazing introduction to Industry 4.0, the elements, and why this is important. My speech and this article are a more 'philosophic' approach to what many think is yet another buzzword.

Before discussing whether you need a Digital Mindset, let's find out what it's all about. As with most terms - the meaning is multi-faceted, but to put it short, a Digital Mindset is not only about technology, but also how you see technology as an enabler to your business.

Join me in my session on September 17th, 10:00 AM CEST to get more details about what it is - but for now, let's focus on why you don't have to adapt this at all.

If your printing company is just fine and you don't need a higher profit, a higher revenue, more customers, and a more efficient operation, you for sure don't need a Digital Mindset. If you also believe that computers, software, automation, IoT, Robots will never be essential assets in your production, you won't need a Digital Mindset either. If you at the same time believe that technology isn't needed in your business to be more competitive, better, and in general, believe that the future is analog, you don't even have to read on.

Of course, nobody believes in the above, and most people most likely have some reluctance to face the above challenges because of fear. If you have a 25 years old family-owned printing company, pretty much up to speed when it comes to equipment and staff - how should a robot suddenly be part of your company? These and other questions are one hundred percent genuine, and this is why we have to face the problems, and maybe more important, understand how technology and a Digital Mindset CAN help.

When you hear about Industry 4.0, you may ask yourself what it is, and whether this has any relation to your business - and yes, it has. If your company is old, your predecessors have already experienced the changes from Industry 2.0 to Industry 3.0, and yes - of course, you can manage to get to 4.0. However, 4.0 is not an upgrade of computers and software, but an understanding of the generically changing mantras of operating your business. When the Internet came, when the Macintosh came, when Google came, these technologies dramatically changed your business, and now it's happening again. IoT - or Internet of Things, Big Data, 5G, Automation, Robots, Lights-Out production, etc. are terms that you will either learn or learn to use through the technologies you will invest in in the very nearby future. When binding companies like Horizon next week talk about IoT, it's not just because they want you to have the newest and the latest, but because all vendors soon will deliver IoT enabled devices. They must deliver IoT devices, and if you are considering investing in technology that isn't IoT enabled, you will lose. IoT devices - for example - will allow your device to communicate with your vendor, exchange data that you in the past would never have shared. The reward is higher productivity, better and more efficient equipment - and your relationship with your preferred vendor will change.

The Digital Mindset will change everything. Whether this becomes an active choice or not, you will be influenced more than you can imagine.

So to get back to my headline. You don't need a Digital Mindset. It will find you. It will find its ways into your company, and at some point, you will be a 4.0 printing company with all the blows and whistles that a Digital Mindset is all about. You will never go back. You won't be able to go back.

Most printing companies will NOT be able to survive without.This and other exciting things are the topic of my session Thursday, September 17th, at 10:00 AM CEST. 

See you?