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Embracing Change to Continue Moving Forward

June 20, 2022

Intrigued by photo imaging opportunities in his country, Marco Perlman began attending industry conventions and meetings in the US, Europe and Israel. He established the company in late 2004, using minilabs to make prints for consumers. But he already recognized the need for digital printing, and acquired his first Indigo 5000 in 2005. Digipix´s mission is “To lead the Brazilian digital print eCommerce market, leveraging an industrial operation specialized in ultra-short runs: Mass Customization.”;

Digipix has been a consistent early mover in the photo space in general, and in Latin America in particular. In 2012, it became the first company in the world to produce 4x6-inch prints made on the HP Indigo WS6000p web press, marketing the 4x6-inch prints as “Ecopix” to assuage customer concerns about environmental aspects of printing technologies. In early 2015, Digipix added the first Canon DreamLabo installed in Brazil, becoming the exclusive producer of all the Canon HD Photo printing. In 2018, Digipix installed the first Indigo 12000 in all of the Americas..

In 2017, Digipix merged with Indimagem, its greatest competitor in the pro photo segment, and the entire production was concentrated in one, state of the art, facility in Joinville. Marcelo Isleb joined the company soon thereafter to oversee operations, and has since added the responsibilities of becoming a director while Marco remained in São Paulo as executive chairman.

As the new company structure began fueling expansion, Brazil, like so many other countries, was plagued by the arrival of COVID. Business quickly declined rapidly. Digipix had experienced recessions before, and it was time for careful strategic planning – especially not knowing how long this pandemic would last.

While this was not the right time for major capital expenditures, bookbinding on one of the production lines needed upgrading. After extensive evaluation, a Layflat LF600 All-In was chosen in 2021. Despite delays due to COVID issues, the new bookbinding system has been successfully integrated into the production line

The pandemic created new opportunities for Digipix. Most Brazilians have been vaccinated – they are accustomed to receiving “jabs” against different diseases – so production continued. Lockdowns forced people to work remotely, changing the work environment, and Digipix now has many customer support associates working remotely.

The Digipix business has consolidated along three major lines.

1). Consumer photo imaging. After strong performance in 2020, this activity declined in 2021 as people worried about keeping safe and withdrew from photo-taking occasions. Yet the business has remained above expectations.

2). Professional photo imaging. Following eighteen months of very slow printing, the business is returning. There is a pent-up demand for merrymaking at postponed events such as weddings. Digipix is optimistic about 2022 business being strong, and even added equipment to relieve potential bottlenecks.

3). A new line of business has emerged thanks to the pandemic - 3rd party fulfillment. In 2018, Digipix developed a robust API for end-to-end personalization of photos, photobooks, party decorations, wall décor and other products. Digipix is certified by Fama (required by top content licensors worldwide) and ISO9001.

Fulfillment includes logistics. For international companies with Brazilian customers, finding delivery companies to complete “the final mile” of fulfillment to customers is a daunting task. With its national customer base, Digipix has a network of delivery companies able to deliver anywhere in the country. It has invested in its shipping capabilities, including package tracking. International companies are also paying for local deliveries in expensive dollars, whereas Digipix pays in Brazilian Reals which have depreciated in 2022.

As 2022 evolves, Marco Perlman and the rest of the Digipix team continue to remain upbeat that business will not only return to pre-COVID levels, but will exhibit exciting growth.