We catch up with newly-minted managing director of Océ Asia Production Printing Products, Canon Singapore, Steve Ford, to discuss his new role, the renaming and streamlining of Océ, and Canon’s reach in the region.
On 1st July, Steve Ford takes over the helm at Océ Asia Production Printing Products, Canon Singapore as its new managing director. He joined Canon at an important time; just as Océ is going through the corporate name (trade name) change of Canon Group company Océ to Canon Production Printing.
“By integrating our products under the Canon brand, we will create brand unity across all areas of the Canon Group’s commercial printing business. Through this, we will improve synergies throughout the Group and strengthen our capacity to provide thorough support and open new markets,” said Ford.
After joining the Canon Group in 2010, Océ continued to develop and manufacture its printing products under the Océ brand name. Back then, Canon kept the Océ name to benefit from the value of branding. Since its acquisition by Canon however, the company has proceeded with initiatives such as joint product development in order to expand the commercial printing business.
“Océ has since come to be known throughout the industry as the torchbearer of the commercial printing segment of Canon’s new portfolio. Changing the company name represents the final level of integration with Canon. By integrating the company and brand names, we plan to create brand unity across all areas of our printing business and improve synergies. What’s more, as a fully integrated company, we will better benefit from economies of scale to further develop our products and core technologies,” Ford added.
The change of the company name will come into full effect on 1st January 2020. According to the company, any reference to Océ will be changed to Canon Production Printing globally, including the Asia subsidiary. The Océ logo will eventually be phased out, as all Océ products will gradually begin using the Canon logo.
Taking advantage of the integration process, Océ will be taking this opportunity to strengthen all of its divisions, including sales, service and strategic marketing and planning: “We are building new streamlined and segment focused teams across the region to better serve the market with dedicated resources.”
The Canon Appeal
To Canon, Ford brought with him 27 years of experience in the graphic communications industry. He has been present across multicultural markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, including Australia and New Zealand. Citing Asia as the most exciting region, Ford has been based here for the past eight years in management roles. Prior to his role at Canon, he was the general manager for Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific.
“For the past three months, I’ve been coming to terms with all of the products that we have, trying to meet as many customers as I can, and get around the region of all the countries that we cover,” said Ford.
“The products and the portfolio that Canon has are leaps and bounds in what we see in the market today. Canon is always looking to diversify their portfolio and looking for ways to open new markets with new applications. It’s exciting,” said Ford, on what attracted him to join Canon.
“The opportunity to lead with class leading products portfolio that Canon has, moving new markets and opening new business opportunities for our customers, is really the key,” Ford continued. “I look forward to a bright future with the Canon organisation. With our industry leading disruptive technologies rapidly scaling in the Asian market, I hope to help our customers grow in the region.”
Canon in Asia
Océ develops and manufactures high-tech printing products and workflow software for the commercial printing market. The product offering includes continuous feed and cut-sheet printers for high-volume printing and publishing and large format printers for display graphics and CAE/GIS applications.
“We have a fantastic footprint in Asia for continuous feed inkjet, as well as our cut-sheet inkjet - those products being the Océ ColorStream and the Océ Varioprint i300,” said Ford. “As that portfolio is growing in the region, we’re expanding our sales fantastically.”
Most recently, Canon made the Southeast Asian debut of the new Océ Colorado 1650 in Thailand. The roll-to-roll large format printer is aimed at print service providers that are producing high volumes of large format applications such as point-of-sales (POS) and interior décor. According to Ford, these applications are driving growth in the region for display graphics.
“The Océ Colorado 1650 printer has a set of features that really fits with the market requirement and aligns with the growth in the display graphics,” Ford added. “The Océ Colorado 1650 is a complement to the Océ Arizona, our flatbed printer which has a roll option.”
In addition, packaging is a growth segment: “For the UV inkjet segment, I believe we're going to see a growth in the packaging space with the complementary offerings that are adjacent to customer’s existing businesses. Both the Océ Arizona and Océ Colorado printers can go into the small folding carton space, which is a limited, short-run and highly profitable application for the customers. We’re hoping to see a bigger growth in the drupa year,” Ford said.
When asked what his favourite product in the Canon portfolio is: “I can’t just pick one to be honest. If you ask me today, it would be the newly-launched Océ Colorado 1650. There are certain times in your career when products get launched and there’s one that you get really excited about. That is the Océ Colorado 1650 for me, because it’s a game-changer.”
The Océ Colorado 1650 features the Océ FLXfinish technology, which enables users to print matte or gloss as the output without changing inks or paper. It is also equipped with the new version of Canon UVgel ink which allows for maximum flexibility by increasing the ‘stretchability’ of each cured ink droplet.
First published in Labels and Packaging Innovation Asia.