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Heidelberg extends usage-based contract portfolio

As it continues to pursue its digital transformation, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is setting out to rapidly and consistently extend its usage-based contract portfolio and expand its digital business models with repeat sales. Customers that have previously signed a subscription contract with Heidelberg are benefiting from clear improvements in their value-added processes and significant performance gains. Heidelberg has therefore started to launch additional versions of the subscription model onto the market so that even more customers can benefit from the advantages the portfolio offers.

Subscription customers benefit consistently from improved performance

“Heidelberg Subscription” is exactly what the industry has been waiting for. To date, Heidelberg has signed contracts in the mid-double-digit range with equal numbers of customers from the commercial and packaging sectors. The customers who have opted to take out a “Heidelberg Subscription” have to one extent or another recorded a clear improvement in their overall equipment effectiveness thanks to some significant performance increases in terms of makeready times, printing speed, paper waste, and the overall productivity of their processes.
To ensure even more print shops can benefit from the portfolio’s advantages, Heidelberg is further extending the appeal of the program. For example, for a monthly, usage-based fee, print shops with a subscription contract can acquire the Prinect software functions that they actually need, without having to purchase individual licenses. The same applies

to machine maintenance and consumables supplies for both pre-existing machines and new machinery purchased in the conventional way. There are also freemium offerings that Heidelberg customers can use without having to pay anything, such as certain basic functions from Heidelberg Assistant. Under the top configuration level of the portfolio, Heidelberg supplies customers with all the necessary equipment, software, and consumables – such as printing plates, inks, coatings, washup solutions, and blankets – as well as a comprehensive range of services geared to availability. Customers pay for the sheets they print. If they so wish, Heidelberg will also take care of all aspects of logistics operations for consumables as part of a subscription package (“Vendor Managed Inventory”). The terms of the individual contracts are variable.

“By extending our subscription offerings, we are going to ensure virtually all print shops can benefit from the advantages of a pay-per-use approach in one way or another,” explains Professor Ulrich Hermann, member of the Management Board responsible for Lifecycle Solutions and Chief Digital Officer at Heidelberg. “Regardless of which package a customer opts for, they always pay for the actual benefits they enjoy. Through this approach, we aim to significantly improve performance for our customers – the interests of both the customer and Heidelberg are aligned under this model.”

Portfolio proving very popular in eastern Europe

During an international media event hosted by the Klampfer Group in St. Ruprecht an der Raab, Austria, Heidelberg highlighted the successful launch of “Heidelberg Subscription” in its eastern European sales region. The portfolio has already been successfully introduced with customers from various market segments in Austria, Poland, Slovakia, and Turkey and is underpinning the strong order volume in the region. It also covers all the press formats offered by Heidelberg, including the very large format being used by a Turkish packaging printer. “Our subscription portfolio is generating a great deal of interest from customers in the growth markets of eastern Europe. That is why we are planning to extend the offering step by step to other countries in the region and are anticipating continued strong demand from customers.

It is becoming increasingly clear that these new digital business models are helping us to compensate ever more effectively for fluctuations in order volumes that are linked to economic developments,” continues Hermann.

Contract business is a central pillar of the company’s digital transformation

By consistently and comprehensively expanding its usage-based contract business, Heidelberg is accelerating both its own digital transformation and that of the industry as a whole, thereby reducing its exposure to economic fluctuations. In the future, contracts like these are to set to account for around a third of overall net sales. Heidelberg will also be showcasing additional digital contract model innovations at the upcoming drupa 2020 trade fair.