KMP Print Technik AG will celebrate 25 years of the company’s existence. Despite the challenging market situation, the company, based in the southern German town of Eggenfelden, is optimistic about the future. Only recently, KMP invested in new warehouse management software, doubled their logistical capacity at the location in the Czech Republic, and concentrated their empty product collection centre there.
Constant investment in high product quality and optimized manufacturing processes are without a doubt the driving force behind the success story that KMP has been writing for two-and-a-half decades. When Jan-Michael Sieg talks about a high reinvestment rate, there is nothing vague or theoretical about his plans. The managing director of KMP can cite several specific examples without hesitation: just last autumn, KMP implemented a new warehouse management software package, at the same time the company significantly expanded the logistics at their production facility in Ckyne in the Czech Republic, and the Bavarian hardcopy brand manufacturers recently relocated their empty product recycling centre to the Czech production site.
The intention is to further automate this process and integrate it directly with KMP’s modern toner manufacturing – that too is one more piece of the puzzle in the daily struggle for optimized production processes. For they are imperative to hold one’s ground as a European recycler in unrelenting competition against cut-price Asian goods and against toners that do not infrequently violate patent rights. European products can only compete on quality – those who compete on price alone have nothing to shout about.
To quote company founder Heinz G. Sieg’s assessment, “There are three reasons why we have grown to our current position: firstly, it is the result of our unwavering quality strategy, secondly, we have never lost sight of the needs of our customers, and only then, in third place is price a consideration. We’ve never been the cheapjack.” Given the current MPS hype, Jan-Michael Sieg is also convinced that product quality is crucial. “We are making very certain that the standard MPS software solutions can read our chips.
So we can say with a clear conscience “KMP toners with our ‘MPS ready’ seal of quality are completely compatible with standard printer management solutions.” Jan-Michael Sieg thinks that the problem with the Asian toner clones, which have virtually swamped the European market in the last three years, is still “very dicey”. “Whatever the OEMs do about it will not be enough.
In the end, HP and Co. is now losing much bigger market shares to the clones than to all of the serious recyclers put together.” But here, besides the printer manufacturers he takes his own association to task: “Etira ought to be established as a quality brand of its own”, declares Jan-Michael Sieg, who was elected to the management board of the European recycling umbrella association at the last general meeting, instead of his father who vacated the position he had held on that body before. But this would require more restrictive regulations regarding accepting new members as well as tougher penalties for black sheep in their own ranks. The KMP managing director continues: “Regrettably, there are also competitors who advertise with certificates that they don’t have.”