Some time ago Wouter visited Smartphoto, a company based in Wetteren, formerly known as Spector. Till the end of the nineties and the early nillies, this company was a renowned producer of analogue photographs. Just as Agfa Gevaert, Kodak and some other major players in the field, the company was disrupted in a blink of an eye when digital photography quickly gained popularity. Spector was not prepared at all to this major shift in the market, but they managed to survive and to turn the tanker into a new direction.
Nowadays, the newly branded Smartphoto Group is a European market leader in customised photo-prints on all kinds of objects such as coffee cups, mobile phone covers, canvasses and so much more. From a one product company, Smartphoto became a company that is now producing some thousand different products. From a store based company, it shifted to a major e-commerce player.
It was amazing to see how a motivated team, lead by CEO Stef de Corte, took some drastic decisions to close down some plants, refocused on product development and marketing and redesigned all the existing workflows in the company. After some very turbulent years of transformation, the company is now again in more stable waters, and growing again, both organically and through acquisitions.
Being number one in its sector in Europe is within reach. But becoming number one is not the major goal for the company. To be a sustainable company, ready to overcome new challenges in the market by always thinking ahead of the competition and creating new impactful solutions, that is the way to go for Smartphoto. And even more than that: having great fun with a wonderful team!