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EFI Connect 2016: What's Next

Gecht, Hanulec hint at production plans, new opportunities at annual users' conference.

EFI hosted its annual Connect user conference at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel in January, welcoming billionaire business magnate Steve Wynn himself as a keynote speaker. Wynn’s speech touched on his off-the-cuff customer service and corporate culture mantras, emphasizing motivation through enhanced self-esteem. (When other chains were doing layoffs, Wynn was buying his managers luxury cars.) His tip for printers? Be self-critical without being paralyzed by the possibility of failure; be the first to call your ideas failures when you don’t succeed.

Guy Gecht took to the stage, too, with characteristic optimism.

“Our goal is to get people more involved in their investment,” he said, and to that end the company has created its Imaging of Things online gallery, an interactive, searchable database of possible projects and techniques for EFI customers.

The CEO was bearish about 3D, calling it “overhyped,” and excited about textiles and packaging. He is keeping an eye on much-vaunted single-pass technologies, though he believes it will take time for these unforgiving machines to reach mainstream use.

In addition to a host of new wide-format platforms, inks, and coatings, 2015 saw updates to the company’s packaging suite, midmarket print suite, and multichannel marketing software, byproducts of last January’s expandable productivity suite. Many of the updates are operations-oriented, designed to ease estimating, planning, and layout optimization.

Ken Hanulec, VP of marketing, said the company is aggressively pursuing display graphics, ceramics, labels, and textiles. Although higher-ups were mum on new acquisitions for the coming year, production plans are anything but slow: PSPs can expect additions such as a Matan machine leveraging Vutek roll-to-roll technology at drupa in June, two entry-level dye-sub machines before summer, and inkjet platforms for entry-level thermoforming and road safety signage. And as always, Hanulec said, the company is eager to convert analog customers to digital.

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