Pamex 2023: DGM highlights the strength of the local presence
The industry should respect local presence with strong service and spare part support system, says Puneet Aggarwal of DGM Automation, in an interview with Rahul Kumar, as the company showcases its flagship SmartFold folder-gluer
29 Mar 2023 | By Rahul Kumar
Rahul Kumar (RK): Can you share an update on the latest that you will be showing at Pamex 2023?
Puneet Aggarwal (PA): At our booth, we displayed our flagship product SmartFold 1100SL automatic folder-gluer, which is fully loaded with all features available in the market. The machine is also future-ready and can be retrofitted as and when required.
RK: What are your sales numbers in the last 12 months (March 2022 to March 2023)?
PA: The last financial year went very well, but it could have been better. The last quarter was slow for our customers and many projects got delayed. However, we have invoiced 30% plus in terms of turnover in comparison to the last financial year. The best part was the repeat orders, as 50% of our sales came from our existing users.
RK: A little ahead, we have the big show – Interpack, Labelexpo Europe 2023, Drupa 2024. Would your company be part of these shows?
PA: Yes. We will be there in Drupa 2024 with many new launches to be showcased at our booth.
RK: During our interaction with packaging companies, it is observed that run lengths have shrunk and capacities to have multi-product portfolios with quick changes are desired. Lower inventories have or will become the norm. Do these sentiments reflect in your interaction with the packagers?
PA: Yes. This is obvious now that run lengths have reduced with SKUs rising. Plus, the turnaround time has shrunk. Our machines are capable of handling such requirements.
RK: Also, technologically, have you been required to make any changes to your equipment to suit the changing packaging market demands?
PA: Yes. We will soon launch machines with more automation and higher speed.
RK: Producing good quality products is of the essence… If you could share some pointers – for example, the importance of understanding the packaging market or the need for training and education in sales, production, and customer service, for those looking to diversify?
PA: As per my experience, our customers need more capabilities these days. To provide training, we have a local demo centre and a local team for hands-on training for the customers’ crews.
RK: Most print-packaging companies PrintWeek/WhatPackaging? meet, and talk about growth but also say it’s essential to keep the machines running with wafer-thin or no-margin jobs. Isn’t it a risky strategy – a low profit margin leaves little room for error and may struggle to sustain itself if it encounters unexpected challenges or market downturns?
PA: It is important for print-packaging companies to understand their real cost of production before entering into any bid. The business should be sustainable with appropriate margins to pay their vendors and staff well on time and invest a portion in service support and R&D.
RK: The number of levels in a factory almost always directly correlates to more bottlenecks. One simple step that everyone should follow in their factory that can benefit our audience?
PA: We should make departments more transparent and common-goal oriented. The problem arises from different goals. So, setting up a common goal within the organisation is important.
RK: Recently a few print companies informed us that there’s a spike in the cost of spares. An upward revision of service rates followed this. It’s become a cause for concern. How would you explain these hikes as a print/print converting equipment/ software supplier?
PA: These costs should be reasonable and should be mutually discussed with customers for better understanding. Neither party should feel cheated or blackmailed.
RK: How is your company better placed than its competitors?
PA: Every company tries to prove that they are better than their competition but we as a company like to hear it from our customers and think that it is a continuing process to become better and better.
RK: And finally, the market is changing. Commercial print runs have declined, but it still offers better margins. The other good news on the packaging front is nothing is going to replace packaging as far as we know. But, with change, inevitably come challenges. How should the print and packaging industry prepare itself for 2023 and the foreseeable future?
PA: The industry should respect local presence with strong service and spare part support system. Also, it should consider the supplier as a partner and discuss the problem as a family for mutual benefit.