In the ever-evolving landscape of the print industry, individuals often find themselves navigating diverse paths that lead to unexpected destinations. Michael, a seasoned professional with a background that intertwines art, film, and print, shares his unique story from running a Multilith to becoming an integral part of the PrintVis team.
From Film to Print: A Surprising Turn of Events
Michael’s journey into the world of print began in the 90s when he sought a day job that could infuse his life with art and creativity while attending film school. Starting with the basics of running a Multilith, Michael gradually moved on to operating Kluge foil stampers, Heidelberg cylinders, and windmills, specializing in foil stamping and embossing. His proficiency with the Kluge opened doors to various print finishing roles, providing him with a diverse skill set.
However, the economic downturn of 2009 led Michael to a crossroads. Shifting from print finishing to customer service and sales, he gained exposure to the print estimating process and different software systems. Despite the challenges, this period of transition laid the foundation for his future roles and expertise.
His journey took an unexpected turn when he joined AT&T as a consultant and copywriter during the shift from traditional Yellow Pages to digital platforms. Yet, it was a classified ad that eventually led him to PrintVis, a company based in Denmark, marking the beginning of a transformative chapter in his career.
PrintVis: A Danish company on a Global Scale
Reflecting on PrintVis, Michael emphasizes its small, family-like atmosphere that has remained consistent throughout the years. While colleagues have come and gone, the company has expanded over time. The most significant change, according to Michael, has been the continuous improvement of the product itself, aligning with Microsoft Dynamics’ evolution.
“Business Central just keeps getting better and I’m happy to say that because it’s easy to take pride when talking about PrintVis as well. Believe me it’s no fun marketing, selling and supporting a product you don’t believe in. I had a stab at that with a brief stint selling credit card processing machines – a very shabby experience.” says Michael.
A Global Network: Working in a Multinational Team
One of the most rewarding aspects of Michael’s role at PrintVis is the opportunity to work in a multinational team:
“Before PrintVis, I didn’t even own a passport and never had the opportunity to explore Europe. Now I go several times a year and even play shows (I’m a singer/songwriter) in cities like Budapest, Prague and Krakow – bookending the workweek whenever I can. And the people, well, what can I say? The nicest, smartest bunch of friends one could ask for. Colleagues from Germany, Norway, Romania, Sweden, Poland, even South Africa and of course, Denmark.”
Denmark vs. the US: Contrasting Cultures
Frequent travel to Denmark has acquainted Michael with the nuances of Danish culture. The most striking difference he observes is the pace of life, reflected in the size of the country and the tranquility of the North Jutland region where PrintVis headquarters are situated. Compared to the constant hustle and bustle of Atlanta, Denmark offers a quieter and more serene lifestyle.
Despite the cultural contrasts Michael even got a taste for Danish specialties:
“I like the food; of course being in Scandinavia the fish is excellent. The bread and bakeries are wonderful – I love to have the freshly baked Rundstykker in the morning with smoked salmon from Norway. I must contend that the U.S. has Denmark beat on the beer side. The explosion of craft ales here is mind blowing.”
One thing though was definitely not a gourmet experience:
“It’s not Danish but the weirdest thing I’ve tried was Surströmming from Sweden – fermented fish that smells like a rotting corpse. No, I haven’t grown fond of it. At all!”
Finally, when asked about advice for his younger self on the first day at PrintVis, Michael says:
“I would tell myself to actually learn the software as much as possible from day one. I don’t really come from an IT background so that’s been an uphill climb. The various terminologies, concepts like ERP and MIS, formulas, coding and development were all new to me. I still have much to learn in that regard.”
Michael’s story encapsulates the essence of adaptability and continuous growth, embodying the spirit of individuals navigating the ever-changing landscape of the print industry from a software perspective.