Vistaprint Parent Renamed to Cimpress N.V., Plans Major Investment in Mass Customization Platform
VENLO, THE NETHERLANDS—November 17, 2014—The parent company of Vistaprint and other Web-to-print brands has changed its name to Cimpress N.V. The company plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years in the development of proprietary software and production technology, in order to evolve its operational capabilities into a shared mass customization platform (MCP). The Cimpress MCP will aggregate the production volumes of the Cimpress portfolio of brands, each of which empower customers to make personalized, tangible connections in ways that matter most to them.
Investing in a Mass Customization Platform to Transform an Industry
Cimpress intends to make this technology investment to greatly advance its proprietary computer integrated manufacturing technologies, which enable the company to mass customize personalized and unique physical products in small quantities at an affordable price.
“We have a two decade history during which we have started a major market transformation, yet the next 20 years promise to be even more exciting,” said Robert Keane, president and CEO, Cimpress. “Businesses and consumers are still too often forced to choose between the ease and flexibility of digital communications and a more enduring tangible connection with their audience. We are changing that. Our mass customization and computer integrated manufacturing technologies empower customers to make real and tangible connections with the simplicity of personalization that people have come to expect from today’s digital world.”
Founded by Keane in January 1995, Cimpress and its subsidiaries have been leaders in transforming the apparel, printing and photo merchandise industries. The company has built its foundation on the belief that software and production technology can be harnessed to aggregate enormous numbers of small orders into a high-volume production flow and, in doing so, break the tradeoff customers traditionally have had to make between the benefits of mass production and the personal relevance of customized products. Cimpress today employs over 400 software and manufacturing engineers and more than 5,300 team members across 16 countries.
The improvements to the Cimpress mass customization platform will be founded on the company’s existing technologies and production operations. Every year since 1999, the company has invested at least 10 percent of its revenues into technology and development, including $176 million in its last fiscal year. Over the past decade, the company has invested over $1.3 billion in technology, development and capital investments.
“Over the next five years, we anticipate directing a significant part of our technology and development budget in support of our platform strategy in order to build intrinsic value per share,” noted Ernst Teunissen, CFO, Cimpress. “This level of investment is consistent with the company’s previously issued financial guidance for fiscal year 2015 and its longer-term intent to continue to expand margins and free cash flow per share.”
From Vistaprint N.V. to Cimpress N.V.
Changing the corporate name to Cimpress clarifies the distinction between, on one hand, the corporate entity and its technology and operational mass customization platform and, on the other, the company’s growing portfolio of customer-facing brands. These include popular Web-to-print names such as Vistaprint, Drukwerkdeal, Albelli and Pixartprinting. These brands will continue to serve as the identities and the user experience under which Cimpress provides businesses, graphic professionals and resellers the ability to create customized marketing products to grow their business and delivers to consumers personally meaningful customized products like invitations, announcements, photobooks and photo merchandise. The stock ticker symbol for the parent company has changed, effective with the start of today’s trading session, to Nasdaq: CMPR.
Don Nelson, COO, Cimpress
The company also announced that it has named Don Nelson as COO for Cimpress. In this role, Nelson will be directly responsible for building and advancing the mass customization platform and will oversee several corporate functions.
“The future of mass customization is very promising for those companies that can combine world class capabilities in software and manufacturing,” relayed Nelson. “The key is to have massive scale, yet produce in small quantities. The old paradigm of job-shop production of orders one at a time simply is not able to compete with technology-driven mass customization.
“Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to develop our talented corps of engineers and software developers and to make the investments necessary to ensure we remain a world-class engineering organization,” added Nelson.
In support of the multi-year technology plans, Cimpress is actively increasing its recruiting activities at its main development centers in Lexington, MA, and Winterthur, Switzerland. This will expand its already strong foundation of engineering and software development expertise in the fields of graphics processing, mass customization and computer integrated manufacturing.
Cimpress N.V. (Nasdaq:CMPR) is the world leader in mass customization. For 20 years, the company has focused on developing software and manufacturing capabilities that transform traditional markets in order to make customized products accessible and affordable to everyone. Cimpress’ portfolio of brands include Vistaprint, Albelli, Drukwerkdeal, Pixartprinting and others serve many customer segments across many applications for mass customization. The company produces more than 80 million unique products a year via its network of computer integrated manufacturing facilities.