Managing director Tim Hage about trends and the future
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Managing director Tim Hage about trends and the future

  • 10 May 2018
  • By: Nicole Cordewener

To be a successful company for 50 years, you must have more qualities than just doing what you are good at. You must also look ahead and capitalize on trends and developments. ‘And you must know what the market needs’, thinks MULTIVAC managing director Tim Hage. ‘When you know that, you can make matching business models and success will be within our grasp.’ He gives us an insight into his expectations for the future.

Only fresh food in the supermarkets

He sees a number of general trends, for instance around healthy food and organic products. ‘That is really growing and requires biodegradable, renewable and recyclable packaging. Plastic-free supermarkets are on the rise already. I also see more and more often that producers try to skip the supermarket channel and sell directly to customers. Ordering your groceries online is common nowadays. I therefore expect that supermarkets will only sell fresh products in the future. Products such as coffee, cola and detergents will be sent directly to customers from large distribution centres.’

Creative business models

He expects that food producers will come under increasing pressure. ‘They will get contracts for ever shorter periods. It is a considerable risk to invest in new or used machines. We can respond to that with creative business models. Producers no longer buy a machine but rent it for a certain period of time. Or start paying per package. If shorter contracts become the standard, we must think along with our clients and introduce creative business models.’

Senior citizens and paper packaging

Fortunately besides challenges Tim also sees opportunities for food producers. ‘The target group of senior citizens will only grow further. You must consider that in your choice of packaging. Think of easy sealings for senior citizens, and one-slice packages of cheese or meats. We are already making this possible at MULTIVAC. Another trend is that of craft products, for which consumers are often prepared to pay more. A paper wrapping (paper look and paper feel) contributes to the traditional appearance. And the developments with our MultiFreshTM system are also really hot at the moment, especially in the fish branch. I see many opportunities for our clients there too.’

‘Success is within our grasp if you know what the market demands’

Quick service in the event of malfunctions

He further emphasises that completely unburdening clients will become even more important for MULTIVAC. There already is a shortage of technical staff for performing preventive maintenance and solve malfunctions, and this will only increase. ‘Each machine needs maintenance. We make sure this is arranged for our clients. They need not search for the right people – we will do that for them. It is reassuring to know that the problem is solved as soon as possible in the event of a malfunction.’

Every machine its own specialist

Subsequently, he remarks that clients not only want to be unburdened, but also want a comprehensive solution. ‘We work with specialists per type of machine: from traysealer to metal detection and from labelling machine to robot or slicer. MULTIVAC has been transformed from ‘better packaging’ to ‘better processing’, which in my opinion can only be successful through specialisation. When we have an appointment for a new production line, we sometimes show up five men strong. After all, each has his own specialism. Clients appreciate it that we work in such a way and really know everything about our machines.’

Innovation at MULTIVAC

Though lots of things are bound to happen in the future, Tim knows that MULTIVAC is part of a strong mother company. ‘Innovation has high priority there. In Germany, for instance, they developed a thermoformer which builds its own parameters. That is really revolutionary, because it works much more efficiently. This one is 10% faster than regular machines. My outlook of the coming years is positive already, but this type of innovations give my confidence in the future an extra boost!’

Photo: The new award-winning MULTIVAC X-line

Source: © James Media