Launch of IM GROUP brand

Launch of IM GROUP brand

April 22, 2021 Off By Sebastian Reisig

On 22 April Inkmaker Group will become IM GROUP. The official launch—in the planning for approximately two years—was filmed on location, at Inkmaker’s Headquarters in Turin, Italy (now also the headquarters of IM GROUP). It will be screened for private viewing on 22 April and public viewing thereafter on You Tube, the media globally and the group’s brands websites.

The Group has been evolving on many fronts—both internally; from its systems and processes, its software, the technology it uses and how it uses it to its global teams around the world.

Most significantly externally too. After acquiring several companies—since 2019—combining expertise, intel, technology and hardware Inkmaker’s strategy was to consolidate all its brands under a single holding group brand, originally known as Inkmaker Group. From 22 April the group will be rebranded as IM GROUP, with its own distinct identity, to better compete in the marketplace as a Total-Solutions Provider.

Logo Rationale:

“The logois made up of a symbol, a logotype and its credo.

“The Symbol: Is a face created from a series of triangles (inspired from the Inkmaker logo) in blue to convey trust, confidence and high-technology. The triangles converge, like the many brands and skills of the Group, to form a strong whole—a distinct ‘human identity’—depicting a technological engineering leader with a ‘human touch’.

“The face is embellished with a crown, representing the Group’s determination to maintain its leading position in the industries it serves.

“The Logotype: the symbol is flanked by the words “IM GROUP”, in a custom designed font to communicate the Group’s various fields of business such as paint, coatings, ink, speciality-chemicals, adhesives and much more.

“Credo: Below the logo, in steel grey, the Group’s credo and positioning line; “The Colour of Trust”, a result of its core values of being Truthful, Responsible, Understanding, Safe and Tailormade to ultimately position the group, as the leader you can T R U S T.” — Silvio Cimenti, Global Director of Branding, Marketing and Communications, IM Group.

Reason for rebranding Inkmaker Group as IM Group

“The decision to rebrand Inkmaker Groupas IM GROUP stems from the group’s VISION, which is to Evolve   our technology to expand in our fields and adapt, the advantages of our products, to new markets.

“Since October 2019, Inkmaker has made large investments, on the acquisitions of the businesses of Rexson and Valtech, in UK; Tecnopails, in Italy; and most recently Swesa, in Germany. The driving strategy behind these acquisitions was to create a reliable complete supply chain—serving predominantly, but not only, the ink, paint and coatings industry—to sustain our core businesses.

“This meant restructuring our brands into various specialities, yet to still be one strong force, hence the need to rebrand the existing Inkmaker Group brand, to havean identity of its own, as an autonomous holding brand­—this is the evolution of Inkmaker Group, which is essentially that of Inkmaker.
“Due to its acquisitions, Inkmaker grew by 25% globally. Taking into account the current challenges the pandemic has caused; this is still on track with our vision. Now having the holding brand, IM GROUP—to steer all our speciality brands—we foresee all our brands to grow exponentially.” —Christophe Rizzo, CEO EMEA/Americas, IM GROUP.

Reason for naming the holding brand IM Group:  “The name “IM”, has a historical meaning for us. The ‘I’ and the ‘M’ are acronyms deriving from the name Inkmaker”—the founder of the group, and it meant a lot to us to remember those who, in 1987, founded Inkmaker… Carlo Musso, Luciano Longobardi and—especially for me—my father, Giuliano Cigna. He would have been very proud of this moment.” —Valentina Cigna, Global Director of HR and President of IM GROUP.

How this evolution is affecting operations in Asia Pacific: IM GROUP, is evolving on all fronts and in all our locations globally. “We have expanded our premises in Malaysia, to house our Tinting and Engineering brand, Teko together with Inkmaker. We will be opening an office in Thailand. We are gaining market share in Philippines. The big one of course is China, suffice to say that due to our larger premises we can now double the number of standard machines we ship monthly, from an average of 5 or 6 units to 10 units. More importantly, the real added value for us, is the capability to build more complex units, which is where IM GROUP’s R&D is investing a lot of resources. Smart factory and Industry 4.0 are driving our growth and when you build complete production lines for a paint and ink company it’s important to have enough space to work in total safety.” Roberto Guerra, CEO Asia Pacific, IM GROUP.

An evolution in safety and a commitment to social responsibility and sustainable practices:  A safe work environment is certainly high on IM GROUP’s agenda, along with technology but the Group is also evolving the way in which its products are impacting the environment, its carbon footprint.  

“Which is precisely the reason that we chose to launch IM GROUP, today on “World Earth day”! We are making a global statement of our commitment to further our social responsibility and sustainable practices.To action this, IM GROUP is partnering with Deloitte to create a roadmap to reduce our eco-impact—the current resources we use and waste we create—so we too can do our part in reducing environmental pollution. And to align our ethical principles for a safe work environment with those of the United Nations’ Global Compact.” —Valentina Cigna, Global Director of HR & President of IM GROUP.

The formation of an IM GROUP Foundation:          Additionally, the group has some special news to coincide with the launch. It is forming an IM GROUP FOUNDATION, to be ready by end of this year, which will be followed by, IM GROUP’s goodwill ambassador, Alice Guerra, as foundation chairman.

It will have 2 scopes:

1. to bring social activities, to members of the local communities, where IM GROUP operates and
2. to offer career development, and growth opportunities, to the youth in those communities.

“On a private level, we have always been active in this field, especially in South-east Asia, working closely with children with special needs through workshops and activities—now we will be bringing this activity to the next level and into our IM GROUP.” —Valentina Cigna, Global Director of HR & President of IM GROUP.

How this evolution is affecting operations, in China:   In Shanghai, we have already brought forward our IM GROUP expansion plans. “In April 2020, we were in the news, when we expanded our facilities to double the size of our previous production area. At the timeit was at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, but we had to do it to meet theescalation in demand. The move has resulted in being hugely beneficial to us. Bigger premises means we can manufacture more machines and can now offer a greater variety. We are already offering customers the entire portfolio of our brands. So, for us the new IM GROUP brand will certainly impact business positively, in China. It creates a platform for us to promote all our brands individually, or working in unison with a single focus, as a “Total Solutions Provider.” — Lau Kar Seng General Manager, Inkmaker Shanghai and Board Member of IM GROUP.

A Total Solutions Provider:  “Being a “Total Solutions Provider” is our MISSION, and this is precisely why we acquired the brands that we did. Our strategy is to create “areas of excellence” dedicating each of our brands to a specific expertise, that can come together—like our logo—to form a strong force. Each brand can still work individually with its existing clients in its own markets and when required share their expertise—offering Total Solutions—for example on large turn-key plant engineering projects. This guarantees resource optimisation and high flexibility to manage projects of all sizes. This was one of the key reasons for forming the holding brand, IM GROUP, in the first place.

For example; Rexson and Vale-tech had their own unique technology, now, that we are one large team, we are consolidating each brand’s strength and combining, resources, technology and software and we can take a tremendous advantage in the integration with Inkmaker to offer state of the art solutions.” Gianluca Incerti, Global Commercial Director, IM GROUP.

With the restructure of our brands—Inkmaker will focus on ink dispensing and software design; Rexson will be predominantly for paint as well as liquid ink, Vale-Tech will focus on narrow-web and paste-ink dispensing—so UV flexo ink and offset inks; Swesa mainly for; food, pharmaceutical, corrugated packaging, cosmetics and more; Teko will remain in POS Tinting and R&D Training and; Tecnopails for Filling Solutions.

 “Externally, we believe this decision, makes it clearer for our clients to differentiate our brands, and their purposes. Internally, for us, we can focus our R&D attentions on developing that brand’s expertise.” — Continues Incerti.

Dividing the market-sectors across each brand, was one of the main reasons for creating the IM GROUP brand and will be an important advantage, to differentiate the GROUP, in the market. Another such advantage, which has been playing a major role since the acquisitions, is Inkmaker’s legendary software.

Inkmaker’s Software, the brain behind IM Group: “A significant investment has been made into the Software & Automation division purposely to ensure, not just a smooth transition with our new brands in the family, but also to increase the level of our technological capabilities. Inkmaker’s software, is the essence of our systems and by incorporating them into our newly acquired brands’ machines, we elevate the productivity and performance, of those brands, to a much higher and more energy-efficient level.

“Inkmaker’s software—now known as IM GROUP’s; “IMAESTRO”—was designed inhouse by our Software team and has always defined us as a leader amongst our competitors, therefore it plays a major role in the operational execution of IM GROUP’s global strategy. We have since expanded our software line to another one, called IMPRIMO, which we recently released with our Ink-transfer/supply system, Inktrasyst, and another three are under development, planned for release by next year.”Francesco Nesti, Global Director of Software & Automation, IM GROUP.

On a customer service level, earlier this month the Software & Automation team launched a new training programme for customers called ASIST—Advanced Software Intelligence Systems Training—which combines IoT automation and artificial intelligence, with the skills of IM GROUP’s experts, to boost the training level of our systems.
The programme consists of four certifications, known as CMYK, and covers many new features from the group’s basic machine structures to in-depth workings of its software and offers techniques to improve efficiency, reduce costs and shorten response time to market demands.”

Machinery developments in the advent of IM GROUP: “Our global strategy is to offer “Total Process-Engineering” to our clients, worldwide. Therefore, our acquisitions are part of that strategical plan—to reach that goal—and consists of re-organising and roadening our product range, to ensure our Group’s growth sustainability for the next 10 to 15 years.

“With my technical team, we have been studying the various machines, of our brands, their capabilities and performances and their related market positionings.

“In order to meet this—market-segment distribution—several machines were removed others have been re-designed to meet higher standards of mass customisation, reliability and performance and to give wider and broader solutions to our customer’s needs.

“One such example is that we are integrating and upgrading the whole Rexson and Vale-tech product range to improved versions. Others are planned for upgrades throughout the year. The most important feature of this re-engineered and integrated range of machines is the synergy with our IMAESTRO software that, as Francesco explained— will greatly benefit our clients.” Enrico Mattiazzi, Global Director of Engineering, Production and Supply Chain, IM GROUP.