High Definition Television is a reality. The high definition image gives HDTV an extra dimension. Don’t be surprised to see paper offering a kind of ‘HD quality’ – with extremely good image reproduction – on the market in the not too distant future.
The people whose job it is to speculate on the paper of tomorrow are Tommy Wiksand, sales and development director, and Jan Andersson, technical sales & product development manager.
Looking ahead, the duo see today’s standard paper being replaced by other types of paper. Some of them will have top-class image reproduction and a feel that underlines the message that the sender wants to communicate.
New and more refined
Holmen VIEW can be seen as a step in this direction. Compared with traditional standard paper, the newly developed paper has excellent image reproduction and a silky feel.
Keeping a product range in step with the market is not just about launching new additions. Existing products with low demand must, of course, be weeded out. It is also important to take existing knowledge in one segment and see if it can be applied to others.
Tommy Wiksand comments: “We’ve refined the surfaces of our directory paper, for example. This has allowed us to reach other segments of the market that need this type of paper with high opacity and good print surfaces.”
Across the market, more and more players are also realising what an even more effective collaboration between different message-carrying media can lead to.
“The paper catalogue is very important for online trade, acting as a tangible reminder that the company exists. Combining media thus helps to secure more business,” states Tommy Wiksand.
With refined segmentation and greater knowledge about customer preferences, large-scale print runs are no longer necessary, suggesting that the pace of development is likely to accelerate.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Tommy and Jan are convinced that paper has its place in tomorrow’s media mix.
“But don’t think we’re just some kind of narrow-minded paper nerds. It’s all about making smart use of paper in different communication situations. And paper doesn’t have an automatic place in the media mix,” says Jan Andersson.
It is necessary for the producers to keep a close eye on customer wishes and work their way up the value chain, an approach that forms an integral part of Holmen Paper’s overall strategy. The company has been working for a number of years now on migrating its mills from standard to specialist products. In this respect, the company has an important competitive advantage in its access to virgin fibre and what that means in the form of bulk and scope for bleaching.
Another strategic move by Holmen Paper is to get even nearer to its customers. A close dialogue often provides a good idea of what products customers really want.
Naturally, not all wishes can be realised, but in the majority of cases any wishes are carefully analysed to examine which segment a new/adapted product would fit into and what potential exists.
“If the analysis suggests that it feels right and that we have the resources to take it forward, we then carry out a more extensive customer survey,” explains Jan Andersson.
If the response is positive, an internal development process is launched. When it comes to the initial test-runs, it is often necessary to work on site with the customer. This is an excellent way to build up experience, in order to further fine-tune the product, creating a win-win situation for both parties.
Product development in practice
Holmen VIEW, Holmen XLNT, Holmen PREMIUM and Holmen BOOK – four examples of new and improved products from Holmen Paper.
The latest example is the uncoated paper that feels like silk, Holmen VIEW, which was developed as an attractive alternative to LWC and SC paper for magazines, supplements and product catalogues. The well established Holmen XLNT has also broadened its range in recent years. The paper is now available in a brightness of 60 and in four grammages. Customer demand for wider reels – over 3.8 metres – has also been satisfied.
In addition, a larger range of the SC paper Holmen PREMIUM is now a reality. There were many requests for brightnesses of 72 and 80, which have given rise to Holmen PREMIUM 72 in four grammages and Holmen PREMIUM 80 in six grammages.
This is an article from the customer magazine "Holmen's paper".