Chuzpe: Great discussion about Heidelberg. Thanks to #INKISH!
By Andreas Weber
It is quite rare in the print industry to have constructive discussions on social media. Morten B. Reitoft shows that it can be done differently. His provocative POV on INKISH.News inspired by my current interview regarding the resignation of Dr. Ulrich Hermann, Chief Digital Officer at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, sparked a global debate. And that’s exactly what we need. Bravo!
Some stats for the very first 24h shows the importance:
- a couple of thousands of readers for the full stories
- more than 10k viewers plus many hundreds of interactions in real-tme on LinkedIn
- around three dozend qualified comments which will be the bases for further sories
Here are excerpts from the current discussion on LinkedIn.
You should read the latest INKISH.News post by Morten B. Reitoft. It’s very valuable. It’s about: What if Heidelberg went out of business?
Morten actually posted on LinkedIn: “When almost the entire board has stepped down, a new board will most likely have to take an in-depth look into the strategy, and a new board rarely decides to adopt the previous board’s strategy without alterations. So it is not just about implementation – it is about developing a strategy that can be implemented and show it’s strength.” And attached a Link to his full story.
Here is my comment. Pls. feel free to comment on your own.
Appreciate your POV, dear Morten. And hopefully its a real wake-up call 🙂
Some input from my side:
- The board was downsized with a view to the future, not replaced.
- The strategy is and has been approved by the Supervisory Board and its new chairman, a profound expert in corporate strategy, and is fully supported.
- The CEO and CFO must now implement the strategy, supported by a newly established executive committee with solid experience in business operations. The motto: execute!
- Subscription fully relates to offset printing. This is not about a new sales model, but about digital business model design options that help customers to focus on an improved go-to-market in partnership. Heidelberg takes on the risk and takes over the complete technology, supply and service management to increase the value and profit of the print shop — all based on IoT / Big Data, AI and automation.
- It is doubtful that subscription customers go bankrupt because business management is highly transparent and verifiable in real time. It could hardly be better.
- The target is of course to establish a new eco-system for print shops. That is why Heidelberg has purchased Crispy Mountain, puts its IT on cloud solutions and in the future relies on AI.
- You are right: Ink-Jet Printing is a main topic for the future. Heidelberg’s clear statement is that they generally rely on partnerships in digital printing. And Heidelberg has a lot of catching up to do here.
- I wouldn’t say that Heidelberg marketing is poor. Right now it’s different. Talk to the people at Heidelberg Digital Unit, headed by Sonja Mechling. They are amazing. But of course there is still a lot to do…
- At least: You are right, we need a new communication approach. Therefor it’s great to see how INKISH makes progress. Heidelberg and others could and should learn from.
- The real problem at Heidelberg is: Too high costs for factories in Wiesloch/Germany that are too large. This results in drastic measures that everyone wants to avoid. And this is associated with a cultural change, since you don’t have to stay a mechanical engineer but become a digital solution provider for print in the digital age.
PS: The market capitalization of Heidelberg went down (currently <200 m €). So the company is totally undervalued. — Sounds cynical, but could become a real scenario: Maybe HP or Xerox or even Koenig & Bauer or who ever will achieve Heidelberg (in the worst case to shut it down). Who knows?
A lot of others commented as well. This is great and exactly what we need to push things forward in the print industry!