November 25, 2022
By Highcon Marketing
Highcon CEO Shlomo Nimrodi spoke to Jan Bottiglieri, host and editor of the Paper 360 Better Together podcast, at Corrugated Week 2022. The inspiring interview discussed what it takes to be a CEO of an innovative company aiming to transform our industry and the impact of Highcon’s technology on digital transformation.
Bottiglieri began her interview by inquiring about the requisite qualities needed to lead a technology company. Nimrodi replied that a CEO must have, first and foremost, a clear vision for the future. “The future is formed in our minds, in our dreams,” he explained, then emphasized that we are a backward-looking society. In practice, we move toward the future, while facing the past, using history as a guide.
He went on to say that some have the vision, to create the future. To be a good CEO you first have to make sure you have a very strong vision, that different stakeholders can relate to and follow—whether it’s employees, shareholders, customers, or different vendors in the industry.
Vision, he said, starts with a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens that believe they can change the world and “are crazy enough and willing to pursue their belief. Margaret Mead, the famous anthropologist, said it many years ago.”
Nimrodi noted that Highcon operates in a conservative, risk-averse industry. “I think the industry is spending a ton of money on capital equipment, but not necessarily for buying the right equipment for the right type of jobs.
“The good news is that you cannot fight innovation, and you cannot fight change. Barnes & Noble tried to do that against Amazon and look what happened.”
A meaningful aspect of Highcon’s vision is adapting sustainability to the packaging industry. Currently, analog die production methods produce significantly more emissions when compared to Highcon’s cutting and creasing technology. “Analog produces ten times the emissions,” said Nimrodi. He added that with Highcon’s non-crush digital finishing systems, “you can reduce the thickness of corrugated substrate by 10-30% without compromising on quality or box strength, which is a win-win for everyone.”
Sustainability is also achieved by production on-demand, which creates a virtual “no-MOQ” (minimum order quantity) capacity and allows converters to run multiple jobs quickly and profitably. “Our technology will allow you to improve your bottom line and expand your customer base simultaneously.”
Nimrodi stressed that future generations are concerned about the health of the planet. He mentioned his own grandson, who, at eight years old, is well-informed as to the importance of environmental responsibility. Currently, converters in the United States are moving to sustainable production, but lag behind their European counterparts. Bottiglieri pointed out that “Europe is far ahead in [adopting] sustainability.”
Nimrodi emphasized the good news that multiple companies are driving digital innovation in printing and the post-press arena. This includes well-known companies like Westrock, Schumacher, Pratt, and many more, which are already utilizing Highcon Systems, both in corrugated and folding carton.
“Today, digital printing is almost everywhere. If you are a plant manager, and you have already made a decision to buy digital print, the natural evolution will be to buy digital finishing because then you have an end-to-end digital process. Our technology is indifferent. If the print is flexo or digital, our system will cut and crease it all day long, regardless of where it’s from.”
When asked about his work-life philosophy, Nimrodi said that every day should be tackled with an attitude toward obtaining progress. Highcon is working to achieve its vision, by transforming an analog world to a digital world driving sustainability, profitably—one where future generations will look back on this era and appreciate past strides and accomplishments.
He mentioned that Highcon’s contribution to sustainability is derived from multiple areas of its technology. Highcon systems’ benefits are not limited to reducing emissions via digital plates versus analog plates. By producing on-demand, converters can increase efficiency and reduce working capital for their customers. And there are a lot of benefits that digital manufacturing can deliver immediately, such as its agility, elimination of the traditional MOQ, and its production flexibility.
Nimrodi sees an industry, now emerging from the pandemic, which values sustainability and on-demand capabilities. “For us, our goal is to identify the people that have this vision, and want to take this opportunity, to realize this vision. To adopt and drive change.”
Jan Bottiglieri inquired, “From your perspective, as CEO, how would you like them to think about the value of innovation?”
His reply: “Every morning when I wake up I ask myself, why? I believe in living a life with a clear and strong reason for being.”
Now, having just turned 65 years old, Nimrodi vocalized a raison d’etre which holds that regardless of the size of the company, leadership means sharing that reason for being.
“In my opinion, you can make a difference and also make money. My hope is that more and more people will exert effort to achieve this difference and leave a better world for the future.”
In conclusion, he expressed his belief that more business leaders will take chances and risks to transform society for a better future.