Tilia Labs announces growth, North America expansion, new executive roles

Key appointments and new US Office reflect growing demand in digital printing and packaging

Tyler Thompson (left) joins Tilia Labs Inc as solutions director and George Folickman becomes director of sales, North America.

Tilia Labs, a leading developer of planning, imposition and AI automation software solutions for the graphic arts industries, has launched 2019 with two new executive roles and a new North American office to support global growth and expansion. The appointments will help meet rising demand for its AI-driven planning and imposition solutions across the entire printing and packaging industry, including labels, cartons, flexible packaging, corrugated, commercial print, signs and wide format.

Joining Tilia Labs are George Folickman and Tyler Thompson, who bring with them extensive experience in enterprise sales and technical consulting and support, particularly in relation to business systems integration and implementation.

With a track record in supplying solutions for packaging printers and converters, Folickman was most recently director of business development, Digital Finishing for Esko. In this role he focused on emerging technologies and opportunities to boost productivity and profitability across finishing processes in the printing and packaging supply chain. Joining Tilia Labs as director of sales covering North America, Folickman’s experience is a timely addition to the company as it continues to develop strategic industry partnerships and broaden its portfolio to include intelligent planning and decision-making for downstream finishing activities.

Folickman says the latest developments in tilia Phoenix 7.0 convinced him that he wanted to get involved. He said, “I’ve watched Tilia Labs with great interest for some time and have been blown away with their use of artificial intelligence combined with the open-API approach to planning and imposition – certainly, nothing can touch the speed of the Phoenix Imposition AI engine.”

“The new levels of integration and flexibility, and the intelligent ganging and estimation made me really excited. After working in the digital finishing space, I know the industry is facing several challenges with digital manufacturing and converting shorter runs. I’m convinced that Tilia AI technology has the power to tackle many of these challenges head-on,” added Folickman.

Thompson combines a deep knowledge of the printing and packaging industry and computer science with a focus on web application development, a direction Tilia Labs is moving in with its award-winning AI planning and nesting algorithms. Thompson holds an M.Sc. degree in Information and Communication Technology and has both taught and studied at Clemson University where he earned his B.Sc. degree in Printing and Packaging. Thompson’s extensive experience in developing tailored software solutions and services for a variety of printers and converters stems from his previous seven-year tenure with Esko in Applications Engineering and Sales Account Management roles. He joins Tilia Labs in the position of solutions director with special responsibility for North America.

Like Folickman, Thompson has been impressed over time with the development of Tilia Labs’ unique technology offering. “What I found most compelling about Tilia Labs was its ability to completely disrupt the market by pioneering best-in-class, AI-driven software that has become mission-critical for its customers. The Imposition AI engine’s plasticity and speed make Tilia Labs the undisputed leader in bringing AI technology to the printing and packaging industry. Phoenix is like a brain that you teach by modeling your unique production environment (presses, stocks, costing, finishing, etc.) so that it can make intelligent cost-based decisions to efficiently estimate and plan hundreds and thousands of orders. I look forward to helping take the company to the next level in its global dominance,” said Thompson.

According to Sagen de Jonge, chief executive officer of Tilia Labs, sales inquiries have risen sharply in the last year, as more and more print providers realize human planning is a bottleneck in the increasingly personalized and short-run print environment.

“North America continues to be a high growth market for Tilia Labs, so hiring key talent is essential to meeting our ambitious growth targets,” said de Jonge. “Tyler and George understand global sales, go-to-market strategies, and customer satisfaction profoundly, and they have a proven track record of driving efficiencies for customers through innovative technology. They both come on board with a wealth of specialist knowledge, they’re highly motivated, and very enthusiastic about the potential of our solutions to revolutionize the way companies work. More than anything, they share our passion for technology and our vision for the future of the industry with software automation. We are thrilled they have joined the team at the perfect time to help spearhead Tilia Labs’ international sales and operational expansion, and we know our customers and partners will benefit immensely.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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