An interview with Jakub Rawecki Managing Director at Promonotes has appeared recently in the media. The interview was conducted by the editor Jaga Kolawa and was published in the online edition of OHH Magazine, the translation of which we present below. Enjoy reading!
“Passion and commitment” is a motto that has been defining Promonotes for the last 25 years. How has this sentiment motivated your work and development over this time?
I believe that without these two values, we wouldn’t have managed in any business and we wouldn’t have achieved such a long presence on the market. After all, Promonotes is a family business whose origins date back to the 90s. Like many other businesses, we started out in a small garage at a housing estate in Poznań. It was this passion that pushed us forward from the very beginning. With time – it pushed us towards new technological solutions, development and expansion into new markets as well as towards building a competent team. On the other hand, the quality of the goods and service, which we’re striving to increase at every step, has always constituted a kind of commitment for us.
The company headquarters is in the small town of Suchy Las in Greater Poland. Was it easy to win over clients with the quality of the products manufactured at the Promonotes print shop?
I’ll put it this way: it’s not the size of the location that matters, but the attractiveness of the products, and how their quality compares to the price. The company is based in Greater Poland, which Polish people associate with virtues that are prized in business – diligence, reliability and… thriftiness. Daily work with these values is the best method of obtaining clients’ trust not only in Poland, but all over the world. 😊
In the beginning, you only supplied the Polish market with customised sticky notes. Since that time, your company has gone through an enormous transformation, becoming one of the most important suppliers of promotional paper products. What were the major breakthrough moments during the 25 years of Promonotes?
When the Promonotes company was founded in 1994, we started with a few basic machines and a personnel of several people. Today, after 25 years we have a rich stock of machines, we employ 200 people and we can proudly present our broad range of promotional paper products. The company’s development and its international success are a result of many decisions that we’ve taken in the last 25 years. Some of the most important ones were to start selling our products on European markets, and then open an office and a “daughter company” in Germany. We’ve recently introduced our notebooks under the new Mindnotes brand, which already achieved 30% of shares in sales in 2018. This was an important step for the development of Promonotes.
Currently, you have over 300 products in your catalogue. Which of these have gained the most of your clients’ confidence?
Apart from the already mentioned fully customised Mindnotes notebooks, which currently form the biggest share of the products we sell, the title of our flagship product continues to belong to our sticky notes in different variants: whether they’re in the form of simple blocks, or come in sets or with page flags.
The Mindnotes series of notebooks is your flagship brand. What makes them so exclusive?
The secret is in the near-unlimited possibilities for customisation. Each notebook is designed by the client and manufactured from the ground up. Each element of the notebook can be changed and adjusted according to the client’s expectations. The chief traits of the Mindnotes notebooks are primarily the enormous selection of cover materials, accessories, formats and finishings. Our production capabilities, which we increase all the time through automation, are yet another advantage.
You print not just standard products, but also unique patterns supplied by the clients. An interesting offer can be seen in the new form of print – VividPrint. What can you say about this solution?
First, a small correction: we only print unique patterns supplied by the clients, and we don’t offer finished products – we only produce items for specific orders.
As for VividPrint, which is our own printing technology, it consists in preparing adhesive paper for printing. This lets us eliminate the problem of peeling off the paint in the area of the adhesive strip and allows us to fully manage the colours. Thanks to this technology, we obtain a sharper and more intensive depiction of the print, with much better attention to detail.
You have been presenting your offer at the September FestiwalMarketingu.pl trade show since 2016. How will you surprise the visitors this time?
If I say too much, it’ll be harder to surprise anyone during the festival (laughs). We’re surely going to come there with our new products, the metallic Milano line of cover materials, and we’ll also proudly present the winner of the Promotional Gift Award 2019 – the gold and silver Mindnotes in the Verona line of cover materials. As for the remaining surprises, I suggest waiting until the festival starts.
You are successfully involved in the life of the promotional product sector, and you are also an active member of the most prestigious communities in this business in Europe and around the world. Is sharing your knowledge and experience with others profitable?
We treat our involvement in the development of the sector as a natural commitment. After 25 years, we’ve become the leader of the promotional paper product branch, and sharing our knowledge, conducting workshops or attending various business events is our duty. At the same time, it’s a chance to establish new business contacts, continue mutual cooperation and expand to new markets. We’re of the opinion that involvement and passion are always profitable.
The company introduced the “Code of Responsible and Ethical Business”. What CSR activities do you conduct every day?
Truth be told, they encompass every aspect of our activities. Starting with production, where we use recycled materials, through customer service, where we value transparency and close cooperation when carrying out projects, and ending with charity work. As a member of the Club of Notes, we’re involved in helping one of the most important children’s homes in Thailand – Baan Than Namchai.
When it comes to increasing the competitiveness of the company, you must not forget the staff. What role does the Promonotes team play?
It’s an interesting mix of experience and youth. There are people with enormous experience in our team, particularly in the product quality department. Thanks to our cooperation with universities in Poznań, we’re striving to attract young people to our company and give them an opportunity for development. Really, everyone benefits from this, and our clients’ trust and satisfaction can only confirm that.
Many promotional product suppliers dream of creating the perfect promotional article. Does Promonotes have a formula for that?
The perfect promotional articles are made at our place (laughs). Our recipe for success is the close cooperation with clients already at a very early stage. By designing an individual notebook, we begin our talks by gathering information on the intended purpose of the product, we discuss the texture of the cover and how to refine it, or the selection of additional accessories that will increase the quality of the product. The broad range of cover materials and accessories like closing bands, pen holders, satin ribbons etc., the selection of tens of types of paper and the possibilities of embellishing the notebook edges mean that, at Promonotes, we are able to produce the highest quality product practically for every occasion.