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‘It’s not just about plates,’ . . . Steve Green.

Monday, 13 August 2007
By Print 21 Online Article

The Creo that Steve Green (pictured) has joined as new sales director for Australia is a radically different corporation from the one even 12 months ago. Yes, the Vancouver-based company is still is the leading supplier of thermal CTP; and it still sets the benchmarks for prepress workflow with Prinergy and Brisque. But it now also has its sights set on becoming a major printing plate supplier to the industry.

In the past 12 months it has ramped up thermal plate sales and production in two sites around the world, in the USA and South Africa. It has established international logistic systems to ensure the reliable supply of product and it has reported good uptake and acceptance of the long-run Creo Positive Thermal Plate (PTP) in the major markets of the world.

In Australia, Steve Green reports a good number of printers already using the plates and many more beta testing them. He flags a major announcement in the near future, but he cautions against taking a simplistic view of the market.

“It’s not just about plates,” he says. “It’s about providing good customer support. It’s not about supplying boxes, it’s giving our customers a complete solution for their imaging needs.”

He points to the fact that at a time when many companies in the industry are downsizing staff, Creo is increasing its complement in order to deliver the service infrastructure that he believes distinguishes the company from the rest.

The latest addition is Mark Whelan, (pictured) a media specialist based in Melbourne who is on the job to facilitate the development of the new plate market. “His role is to support existing sites, and make sure everything is working, as well as assisting customer with trials of the new plates. It’s a purely technical role providing support for our customers and sales people. We are looking for another media specialist to be based in Sydney,” said Green.

The media specialists take their place among a multi-tiered service organization. The company claims the largest support staff in the industry for prepress with over 30 service engineers providing back-up for the company’s sizable market share. In addition there is a line-up of local technical sales specialists as well as a 24/7 Customer Care Centre that makes use of Creo’s regional and global resources to provide first line telephone support.

Steve Green comes to the role at a time when customers are beginning to refresh their technology, to upgrade from their original CTP investment to take advantage of the latest developments. This ‘refresh’ cycle is good news for Creo, which enjoys 90 per cent of the installations of the VLF market (see the latest installation at Hannanprint in this bulletin –, over 50 per cent of packaging and newspapers and a healthy 30 per cent plus in general commercial printing since the company entered those markets.

“When people quote market share it’s fairly meaningless unless you are specific about the market. We are clear market leaders in many segments, but we are active across every sector,” said Green.

He believes the arrival of Creo plates will boost the company’s penetration as customers realize the benefits of using plates manufactured specifically for the Trendsetter and Lotem imaging systems. While most of the mid- to high-end customers have already made the jump to CTP, and are now starting to refresh, there is still a large market of small to medium-sized printers who are looking for simple and reliable solutions to help them enter the technology. This will drive market share in Creo’s four-up platesetters?

Creo has led the way in developing customer service contracts, with 90 per cent of its customers taking advantage of the offering. “Customers are happy to invest with us because they are seeing the benefits of genuine service in their business. Once they become Creo customers, they stay Creo customers.”

Now that the company is able to offer a complete ‘Creo package’ of plates as well as workflow and imaging engines, he believes many more customers will see the advantages of the integrated solution and service.

But he is adamant that it’s not just the technology that will win the day. “It’s more than products, it’s people too,” he says.

This article was brought to you by Creo Australia Pty Ltd

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