‘How can we help you thrive in print?’ It’s a question central to Douwe Pieter van der Galiën and Jordy Silva de Jong from Probo. Their mission? “To establish the future of print together with the chain. Our role in this is to facilitate future-proof entrepreneurship.”

In this article, they share their vision of the future of printing, the role of Probo and the power of partnerships like the one with Prindustry.






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Stronger together!

At the end of March ’24 the two men are bubbling with positive energy at FESPA in the RAI. Together with several partners, Probo is present at the ‘Netherlands Square’ during this international large format print expo. Douwe Pieter sends a message to Jordy that perfectly illustrates how they see their position:

“We are frequently asked at trade shows what Probo’s secret is to keep expanding every time. That’s because resellers keep growing and we have a crucial role in being allowed to facilitate that. We can only do that by making every Probo person better, from customer service to assortment to automation to our machines. Grow together, toast together, print together!”

Douwe Pieter (left) and Jordy

Print together: What problems do you solve?

A large format digital production house in print for resellers. Or: a partner that facilitates everything this reseller needs to add value to its end customer. “Because adding that value: that is exactly what the reseller does,” states Douwe Pieter. “In my (sales) vision, you should always think according to this question: what problem am I solving for the end customer?”

Jordy adds: “It’s also about the right analysis of that. What is the bottleneck of a particular customer? We see success among entrepreneurs who solve a concrete problem. Consider a closed ordering platform for the customer with ready-made communication products, or rather a particular product in the niche, or a sustainable interior decoration for retail. Print is evolving. Print was first only visual (flat), then functional (acoustic, leveling, insulating, coating to protect) and now circular (Sign Again). We are also seeing the first prints that are phygital; print and digital communication are going hand in hand.”

Growing together: Success across digital and logistics roads

Probo maintains a clear corporate vision to serve their resellers. Everything is centered around two missions: Probo has a 100% reseller model and 100% in-house production. They execute that with a smart combination of online and offline services. All orders from resellers come in through the online platform. These orders must then be delivered offline to the resellers who trade, advise and assemble locally. Douwe Pieter: “Both the digital and physical roads need to be in good hands to be future-proof. On the one hand you have the online route with the order flow and on the other hand you deploy logistical roads to deliver the product to the right place on time.”

The foundation of this model was laid by Erwin Postma. “Then the packaging, the positioning, of Probo was further developed by René de Heij, and now Leon is taking the next steps in automation, robotization and process optimization, which benefits performance.”

These are successive steps that ensure continued growth. A growth that is not only limited to Dutch borders. Jordy explains, “After the Netherlands and Belgium, Germany is a major market. Germany did not yet have a type of company like Probo. This makes us a valuable addition. Moreover, it also makes it easier for Dutch print professionals to do business across the border.”

Growing together: The power of partnerships

Growth is not something you do alone, but, according to the men, mostly done together with the value chain. Jordy explains, “Those are print professionals such as sign makers, exhibition, interior and event builders, printers, advertising agencies and webshops/AI tools in print, but also manufacturers, suppliers, trade associations, trade media and governments. We can make each other better. Innovating together is essential to get a healthy ecosystem where we all earn healthy money.”

This is also done through partnerships such as the one with IT partner Prindustry. Prindustry offers a flexible webshop in which the entire Probo assortment is connected. This means that the range and prices in the webshop are always the same as those in the Probo platform. As a reseller, the webshop owner can resell (part of) the Probo assortment, in addition to the assortments of other producers and possibly his own product range. The reseller decides if he wants to make adjustments in things like the margins or the options offered.

Jordy: “I challenge the reseller to think about the next step. Webshops that make a clear choice for a niche and are very good at it, I see being successful. Those that offer everything across the board, I see struggling. More assortment does not mean more turnover. Also remember that there are new demands from the next generation. Is it possible to move toward a sustainable future? Are you ready for a circular market? Despite the positive power of print and communications in general, the industry has a major impact on the environment. We believe we can enhance the communication power for people and brands, while lowering the footprint.”

Participants of the retail trip to Barcelona

Toasting together: Building strong relationships

To come up with the right answers for the future, sharing knowledge is important. And according to Douwe Pieter and Jordy, you do that primarily through live communication. “We like to take on an facilitating role that allows print professionals to learn from each other.” The men have many examples of in-person events they have worked on. A retail trip with customers to Barcelona, a print fest of unprecedented scale in-house with Printing Wonderland and many trade show visits – with sociable networking drinks. “Sales is hospitality in my eyes,” Douwe Pieter believes. “During our retail tour in Barcelona we see that entrepreneurs get to know each other in a different way. Precisely that social component is important. They inspire us and each other. That gives the right positive energy every day.” “73 percent of our new customers come in through word of mouth,” Jordy adds. “Building relationships creates opportunities. It gets you linked to ideas, partners and other industries.” Douwe Pieter concludes, “We see this coming back more and more at events like FESPA. Together we are facilitating the future in print.”

Curious to learn more?

We would be happy to tell you more about Prindustry’s partnership and software.

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Prindustry software team