Brother UK at your side at 50

businesses. Once one of these printers is installed in a factory, and as long as we keep servicing our machines well, the customer never goes away. NT: What technology trends in the print and document workflow areas excite you most? TK: Printing technology always being connected through wireless and IoT. Even our labelling products can now be connected via Bluetooth or WiFi. That’s becoming mandatory so that users can, for example, scan a receipt to the cloud or send an image from a smartphone to a printer. Connectivity is very important. Improved connectivity also lets us monitor our printers more closely. With a customer’s permission, we can access their machines, check ink/toner levels and deliver a replacement before a cartridge runs out. That keeps the users happy and helps us maintain contact with an existing customer. For us, it’s far better to deal with an existing customer than to have to find a new one. NT: Are acquisitions like that of Domino Printing Sciences part of your growth strategy? TK: They are important because organic growth takes years and acquisitions are a good way to acquire a new channel, new technology, new manufacturing. At Brother, we have lots of ideas, but doing something on our own can take time and involve lots of mistakes, so bringing in a business that has its own channel and expertise can be good for business. NT: What do you think will be the most important markets for Brother in the future? TK: We still maintain there is good business to be had in office printing. We do almost 60% of our business through printing and labelling and we are trying to gain more market share from competitors, so our production is increasing, not decreasing. That’s most important. But while we are making profits we need to invest in the B2B customer, including printing, machinery and industrial printing. Those sectors are sure to become more important in the next three to five years. NT: What sort of business do you think Brother will be 50 years from now? TK: All I can say is that we currently do about US$7bn of business and only about 10% comes from the original sewing machine. Now, the printing business is almost 60%, but this could fall to 20% to 30% in the future as our business becomes bigger and we continue to react to market changes by diversifying into new areas. Brother and Labelling A labelling system capable of editing and printing labels via your smartphone anywhere, anytime, as well as from your PC. With the ability to print labels up to 24mm wide, the system enables you to create stylish labels with a logo or image and labels with a QR code. It charges via a USB cable and it is truely mobile as it doesn’t need an AC adapter. Brother and Domino This coding & marking equipment, developed by the UK-based group company Domino, is used for printing expiration dates etc. on to plastic bottles and cans in factories. Brother expects industrial printing to become its next pillar of growth. Brother UK – Celebrating 50 years in business 7