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ValueCheckLensing ENG.001

“After four months using the subscription model, we can safely say we made the right decision!” — Robert Dembinski, Managing Director of Lensing Druck, Dortmund/Germany. — Photo: Heidelberg

 

By Andreas Weber, Head of Value  |  German Version

Can you instantly make a successful printing business even better? You can if you have the courage to try something new. “When I joined Lensing Druck in Dortmund in the fall of 2017, we were planning to invest in new presses. We ended up doing far more than that, though, and it was a good move,” recalls Managing Director Robert Dembinski. 

Lensing Druck had previously focused on maintaining its competitiveness for the benefit of customers, whose main criteria when ordering print products are delivery time and price. “When we heard Heidelberg had something new in the pipeline, we were curious but also somewhat skeptical,” Dembinski explains. “We found it hard to imagine what the subscription model from Heidelberg would involve and weren’t sure it would work,” he adds.

Dembinski studied business management, so the print shop business represents a change of career path. He was actually intending to develop a digital strategy with his colleagues, including new digital offerings to provide customers with a more comprehensive service and open up new business opportunities. The fact that the subscription model from Heidelberg provides new digital tools to transform both production management and business management step by step very much appealed to him and his way of thinking.

Lower costs and higher efficiency

Experts from Heidelberg started by analyzing the actual situation to evaluate the efficiency and productivity of Lensing Druck’s existing presses. This revealed that the assignment of presses needed to be optimized and also that costs were very high, especially for shorter runs. It therefore very quickly became apparent that an increase in efficiency and productivity was both necessary and feasible. The strategy adopted was to skip a generation when replacing the existing presses. A Heidelberg XL-106 9-P-L took over from two older presses – a Heidelberg CD 105-P+L and a KBA Rapida 106 8-P. At the same time, the company switched to the pay-per-use subscription model – including the Prinect Workflow and above all the Heidelberg Performance Plus consulting service – with a view to boosting efficiency and cutting operating costs.

“To be honest, no longer owning a press and being reliant on a single supplier for everything, including consumables, takes some getting used to,” Dembinski admits. “After four months using the subscription model, however, we can safely say we made the right decision! Even in this short space of time, we’ve significantly improved the overall efficiency of our presses and our production volume is already over 20 percent higher than the target level contractually agreed with Heidelberg,” he continues.

Heidelberg Subscription Model.png

Website screenshot to showcase the full range of elements of the Heidelberg Subscription model. 


 

Assistant ensures absolute transparency

Lensing Druck is impressed by the clear and neat structure of the subscription model from Heidelberg and also its absolute transparency. “As I see it, the Heidelberg Assistant is the key component and the brains behind the entire model. All KPIs can be accessed in real time, as can the service status, industry benchmarks, and much more besides,” Dembinski comments. 

The Heidelberg Assistant is used at various levels in the Lensing Druck hierarchy – from senior management to operations/pressroom managers and purchasing staff. Its webcast function is also utilized for monthly meetings with the Heidelberg team to discuss the project status. This results in further new ideas and optimizations being identified over time, the ultimate aim being not only to meet the joint productivity targets but to exceed them by as large a margin as possible. 

Another important thing in Dembinski’s eyes is that print shop staff have responded very positively to the digital transformation using Heidelberg Subscription. “Switching to the new press has motivated our staff, because it shows we’re committed to print despite a difficult market. Thanks to the data we obtain from the press and the monthly review, we can support our employees in all aspects of their work and enable them to make progress,” he stresses. Various charts showing the monthly data and statistics are also displayed right next to the press for everyone to see.

Robert Dembinski shared with a group of international journalist his passion for Heidelberg Subscription. — Video animation: Andreas Weber. Group photo: Christian Daunke.


“We made the right decision!” 

“After four months using the subscription model, we can safely say we made the right decision!” sums up Dembinski. Heidelberg Subscription enables him to incorporate the presses in Lensing Druck’s own digital strategy. And – crucially – the subscription model makes it easier to develop other applications such as dynamic pricing, dynamic planning and procurement, real-time information for customers, reliable and transparent costings, and predictive monitoring for optimum maintenance processes.

Dembinski is also hoping the digital transformation of the entire company will improve Lensing Druck’s image, especially with customers who have experience in digital marketing. End-to-end digital order processing is an absolute must for such customers. To raise the print shop’s digital profile and coincide with the new digital portfolio, the post of CDO (Chief Digital Officer) was created in September 2018. 


My take: When it works, it really works!

The example of Lensing Druck and Robert Dembinski proves that when something works, it really works! Print has arrived in the digital age and can hold its own – especially if decision-makers and staff at print shops accept, understand, and embrace the digital transformation and ensure its beneficial further development. Being one of the first to use Heidelberg Subscription very quickly paid off for Lensing Druck, and it will have a dynamic and stimulating effect on the company’s future development. What’s more, print specialists, commercially astute business managers, and digital marketing professionals are all impressed. What more do you want? 

 


Link to contact Robert Dembinski

Link for information about Lensing Druck

Link for the latest Heidelberg Subscription news


 

About the author

Andreas Weber has been a print expert and internationally renowned business communication analyst, coach, influencer, and networker for over 25 years. His activities focus on transformation for the digital age and include lectures, management briefings, workshops, analyses, reports, and strategic advice. – His blog www.valuetrendradar.com inspires readers from over 150 countries worldwide.

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ValueCheck Lensing.001

„Nach vier Monaten Erfahrungen mit Subskription können wir sagen: die Entscheidung war richtig!“ Robert Dembinski, Geschäftsführer Lensing Druck. — Foto: Heidelberg

 

Von Andreas Weber, Head of Value  |  English Version

Kann man ein gut gehendes Druckerei-Geschäft aus dem Stand heraus noch besser machen? Ja, wenn man den Mut zu Neuem hat. „Im Herbst 2017, als ich bei Lensing Druck in Dortmund anfing, stand bei uns auf der Agenda: Wir müssen in neue Druckmaschinen investieren. Daraus wurde sehr viel mehr. Und das war gut so“, erinnert sich Geschäftsführer Robert Dembinski. 

Bis dato stand bei Lensing Druck der Erhalt der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit im Fokus, um Kundenwünsche zu bedienen, die vor allem Zeit und Preis bei ihren Drucksachenbestellungen im Blick haben. „Als wir von Heidelberg hörten, es sei etwas Neues in der Pipeline, waren wir neugierig, aber auch etwas skeptisch“, erläutert Robert Dembinski. „Wir konnten uns ja gar nicht vorstellen, was sich hinter dem Subscription-Angebot von Heidelberg verbirgt. Und ob es funktionieren kann.“

Mit seinem betriebswirtschaftlichen Studium ist Robert Dembinski ein Quereinsteiger im Druckerei-Geschäft. Eigentlich hatte er im Blick, gemeinsam mit seinen Kollegen eine Digitalstrategie zu entwickeln, inklusive neuen Digital-Services, um Kunden umfassender bedienen zu können und neue Geschäftsmöglichkeiten aufzubauen. Dass Heidelberg durch das Subskriptions-Modell neue digitale Tools bereitstellt, um nicht nur das Produktions-, sondern auch das Business Management zu transformieren und dabei schrittweise vorgeht, kam ihm und seiner Denkweise sehr entgegen.

Runter mit den Kosten, hoch mit der Effizienz!

Zunächst wurde durch Heidelberg-Experten eine Ist-Analyse erstellt, um zu evaluieren wie es um die Effizienz und Produktivität der bestehenden Druckmaschinen bei Lensing Druck steht. Das Ergebnis: Die Belegung der Maschinen war nicht optimal; v.a. bei kleineren Auflagen waren die Kosten sehr  hoch. Es wurde daher schnell klar, dass Effizienz- und Produktivitätssteigerung nötig und machbar sind. Der Ansatz war, gegenüber den bestehenden Druckmaschinen eine Maschinen-Generation zu überspringen. Mit der Heidelberg XL-106 9-P-L wurden zwei ältere Maschinen vom Typ Heidelberg CD 105-P+L sowie eine KBA Rapida 106 8-P ersetzt. Zugleich wurde das Geschäftsmodell durch Subskription auf Pay-per-Use umgestellt, inklusive Prinect Workflow und v. a. das Beratungsangebot Heidelberg Performance Plus zur Effizienzsteigerung und Senkung der Betriebskosten.

„Man muss sich ehrlich gesagt schon daran gewöhnen, dass man keine Druckmaschine mehr besitzt und bei allem, auch den Consumables, auf einen einzigen Lieferanten angewiesen ist“, räumt Robert Dembinski ein. Und fährt fort: „Nach vier Monaten Erfahrungen mit Subskription können wir jedoch sagen: die Entscheidung war richtig! Bereits nach dieser kurzen Zeit konnten wir die Gesamteffizienz unserer Maschinen deutlich steigern und liegen bereits jetzt mit dem Produktionsvolumen mehr als 20 Prozent über der mit Heidelberg vertraglich vereinbarten Zielmarke.“


HD Subscription — Struktur

Die Grafik entstammt der Broschüre: Das neue Erfolgsmodell. Heidelberg Subscription. 2018.


 

Absolute Transparenz durch den Assistant

Die klare und saubere Struktur des Subskriptions-Modells von Heidelberg begeistert bei Lensing Druck ebenso wie die absolute Transparenz. Robert Dembinski führt aus: „Für mich ist der Heidelberg Assistant das Herzstück und Gehirn des Ganzen. Alle Kennzahlen sind in Echtzeit abrufbar, ebenso wie Service-Status, Benchmarks im Branchenvergleich und vieles mehr.“ 

Bei Lensing Druck wird der Assistant in verschiedenen Hierarchie-Ebenen genutzt: Für die Geschäfts-, Betriebs- und Drucksaal-Leitung oder auch den Einkauf. Ebenso laufen monatliche Besprechungen zum Projektstatus mit dem Heidelberg-Team über den Assistant via Webcast-Funktionalität. So lassen sich sukzessive weitere neue Ideen oder auch Optimierungen finden, um die gemeinsamen Produktivitätsziele nicht nur erreichen zu können, sondern bestmöglich zu übertreffen. 

Wichtig ist laut Robert Dembinski zudem, dass die Mitarbeiter in der Druckerei die digitale Transformation per Heidelberg Subscription sehr gut aufgenommen haben: „Die Umstellung auf die neue Maschine hat unsere Mitarbeiter motiviert, denn sie zeigt, dass wir trotz eines schwierigen Markts auf Print setzen. Die Daten, die wir von der Maschine erhalten, und die monatliche Überprüfung ermöglichen es uns, unsere Mitarbeiter in allen Bereichen ihrer Arbeit zu unterstützen und weiter zu bringen.“ Die Monatsdaten und Statistiken werden auch für alle zugänglich in verschiedenen Schaubilder direkt neben der Masche ausgehängt.

 


Robert Dembinski stand im Rahmen eines internationalen Pressemeetings bei Lensing Druck in Dortmund-Kley Rede und Antwort. — Filmanimation: Andreas Weber. Gruppenfoto: Christian Daunke.


„Die Entscheidung war richtig!“ 

Für Robert Dembinski steht als Resümee fest: „Nach vier Monaten Erfahrung mit Subskription können wir sagen: Die Entscheidung war richtig!“. Heidelberg Subscription ermöglicht für ihn die Einbeziehung der Druckmaschinen in die eigene digitale Strategie von Lensing Druck. Und — ganz entscheidend — das Subskriptions-Modell erleichtert die Entwicklung anderer Anwendungen wie dynamische Preisfindung, dynamische Planung und Beschaffung, Kundeninformationen in Echtheit, verlässliche und transparente Kalkulationen sowie Predictive Monitoring für optimale Wartungsverläufe.

Zudem erhofft sich Robert Dembinski für Lensing Druck durch die digitale Transformation des ganzen Unternehmens auch ein noch besseres Image bei Kunden, vor allem, wenn diese im digitalen Marketing erfahren sind. Für solche Auftraggeber ist die digital durchgängige Auftragsabwicklung ein absolutes Muss. Um das ‚digitale‘ Profil als Druckerei zu schärfen und mit neuen Digital-Angeboten zu synchronisieren, wurde seit September 2018 die Stelle eines CDO — Chief Digital Officers geschaffen. 


My Take: Wenn’s läuft, dann läuft’s!

Man sieht am Beispiel Lensing Druck und Robert Dembinski: Wenn’s läuft, dann läuft’s! Print ist im Digitalzeitalter angekommen und kann sich behaupten. Vor allem, wenn Druckerei-Entscheider und die Mitarbeiter die digitale Transformation akzeptieren, verstehen, sich aktiv einbringen und nutzbringend weiterentwickeln. Der Einstieg als einer der ersten in Heidelberg Subscription machte sich in kürzester Zeit bezahlt. Und wirkt sich auch auf die künftige Unternehmensentwicklung dynamisch und stimulierend aus. Und: Sowohl Print-Fach-Leute als auch kaufmännisch versierte Betriebswirte sowie echte Digital-Marketing-Profis zeigen sich begeistert. Was will man mehr?

 


Links zu weiteren Informationen

Kontakt zu Robert Dembinski

Infos zu Lensing Druck

Infos zum aktuellen Status quo bei Heidelberg Subscription

 


 

Stets den Kunden und seine Wünsche im Fokus: Screenshots von der Website von Lensing Druck.

 

ValueCheck DOG Heidelberg Assistant.001

Revealing: Great conversation about the Heidelberg Assistant at the pharmaceutical service provider D.O.G. GmbH in Darmstadt, Germany. Photo: Heidelberg

 

By Andreas Weber, Head of Value | German Version

 


“For me, Heidelberg Assistant is a tool that is very important to our digitization strategy, one that is indispensable for the future.”— Andre Gass, IT specialist and senior executive at D.O.G. GmbH in Darmstadt


 

Managing processes with the aid of digital communications creates transparency in real time for complex technical procedures and takes industrial print production to a whole new level. This was the most important insight gleaned from the follow-up meeting with D.O.G. GmbH in Darmstadt. 

The aim of the meeting was to examine the use of the Heidelberg Assistant as a central digital management platform in a highly specialized print shop. D.O.G. was represented at this meeting by senior executive Andre Gass, who, as a qualified IT specialist, deals primarily with the Heidelberg Assistant and intelligent data analysis for the operational and technical management of the print shop. Tom Oelsner, Head of Innovation at the Heidelberg Digital Unit, also attended the meeting on behalf of Heidelberg.

 


Information box

Precision and reliability based on flexibility and innovation

D.O.G. GmbH is a family business and has specialized in work for customers in the German and European pharmaceutical industry and the cosmetic and airline sectors since it was founded in 1996. The solutions in its portfolio include sophisticated print products and services such as packaging inserts, booklets, standard labels, piggyback labels, outserts, folding cartons, labels for folding cartons, design and consulting services, logistics, and engineering. Everything at D.O.G. is genuine precision work, which is monitored by customers through audits. Founder and Managing Director Johann Gass has ushered in a new era so that his company can meet the requirements of the digital age in the best way possible. Three of his children have also joined the team. D.O.G. runs production operations at two sites in western Darmstadt and has been using the Heidelberg Assistant since June 2018. 

The Heidelberg Assistant is a universal web platform that allows various users to digitally manage all the relevant aspects of a print shop. These aspects include, for instance, the printing technology in use (including performance measurement and predictive monitoring), support, purchasing through an eShop, and administration. The combined use of Heidelberg IDs and customer-/employee-specific dashboards supports personalized access to the system and allows companies to integrate all specific components in a customized and scalable way. The Heidelberg Cloud ensures the best possible connectivity and provides an optimum means of sharing data and knowledge. After being launched initially in Germany, Switzerland, the USA, and Canada, the project was rolled out in Japan in July 2018. And there are more countries to come. The platform has an open design and can even integrate products from other manufacturers. The basic version is available to all customers free of charge.


 

Useful to customers from day one!

“Following the launch with around 30 customers in December 2017, it is clear that industrial customers with an affinity for services and cutting-edge equipment draw particular benefit from the Heidelberg Assistant. Right now, there are already over 200 customers using the Assistant. There’ll be 500 by the end of the year,” Oelsner states confidently. The aim is to make both the platform and Heidelberg Cloud meet the highest security standards.

Oelsner sees his collaboration with IT specialist Andre Gass as the perfect opportunity to put the platform through its paces and make sure it continues to evolve. Thanks to the modular design of the Assistant, new customer requirements can be integrated as add-ons as necessary. A new release goes live every three months. “The capacity utilization is very high right from the start. There are many customers who use the Heidelberg Assistant several times a week, some even daily,” explains Oelsner.

 

Tom Oelsner IMG_4927

Tom Oelsner, Head of Innovation at Heidelberg Digital Unit, is pushing the digital transformation forward. Photo: Andreas Weber

 

This high intensity of use appears to be rather consistent across the individual markets, although market penetration has progressed furthest in Switzerland: “The Assistant offers the widest range of applications for customers with machines connected to the Heidelberg Cloud. In Switzerland, around 50 percent of this customer group already uses the Assistant, mainly to boost productivity and get advance warning of potential failures.” The feature in highest demand appears to be the service status, which, thanks to its traffic-light system, can be checked at a glance. 

The ability to customize the platform makes it particularly appealing to users – this even includes assigning names to machines and photos of installed machines and print shop employees. 

Oelsner explains: “It’s really important to us that we can put the customer at the very heart of what we do. That means we make it possible for our customers to give their staff exactly the support they need for their respective tasks. For instance, employees can select the events for which they would like to receive a messenger or email notification. “Do you still use the telephone or do you use the Heidelberg Assistant?” That has to be the question we ask customers – because they can now track service processes, spare part deliveries, predicted failures, and productivity 24/7 without having to make a single call. 

The many benefits of digital communication and smart automation

Managing maintenance operations has to be a key focal point for industrial print shops, as Gass is well aware. The Assistant automatically generates a maintenance calendar, which helps customers find the best way to incorporate various machines into production planning. After all, downtimes lower productivity and so, in principle, should not occur unless scheduled. Maximizing the availability of production systems is important, first and foremost, in giving print shops the flexibility they need when plans change because the customer has moved a deadline. Workflows must always be designed to achieve maximum productivity. 

“Digital communication with Heidelberg Service, either through the Assistant’s messaging system or the eCall functions [for instance, the machine automatically reports and documents signs of faults], really takes a lot of weight off our shoulders. Nothing gets lost, and all processes are always running at optimum level,” Gass explains. He appreciates the platform’s clear structure, transparency, and user-friendliness. 

“Our core values of reliability, commitment to quality, flexibility, and innovation are fully reflected in the Assistant, which helps us considerably when it comes to doing the best possible job in the interest of our customers,” adds Gass.

Gass worked very closely with the Heidelberg Assistant while preparing for the installation of a new Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106-2-P. “We take a very methodical and structured approach to everything we do, and always push ourselves to the limit when it comes to performance and quality. This is because customer requirements, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, are extremely high.” Gass has been very impressed by the way Heidelberg makes the premium technology of its hardware and software both transparent and simple to use. 

“We’re really benefiting from everything the Assistant is making possible because reaching a high level of digitization is very much a priority, not just for us but also for our customers. This is because one of our core missions is to create the best possible interfaces to our customers’ highly diverse systems,” explains Gass. Orders are sent to the print shop digitally and can then be managed and monitored on an entirely digital basis and optimized using process management where appropriate. 

 

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Andre Gass (left) and Tom Oelsner enjoyed their conversation. Photo: Heidelberg

 

As a result, it may become necessary to create an interface between the Heidelberg Assistant and the ERP system at D.O.G. for future use. Oelsner adds: “A system connection is already being tested for error messages. This allows the customer’s system to send an XML file to the Assistant for electronic processing without an employee having to fill out a new form.”

However, it is important to make full use of the wide range of options already available first, primarily with regard to the platform’s add-on options, and particularly those relating to performance measures. The basic version of the Assistant provides the customer with KPIs. Additional options for more detailed analysis can be agreed in a separate contract.

Important outcomes: Speed, error prevention, convenience functions

Gass has been impressed by the integration of the Heidelberg eShop, which is tailored to the specific needs of his company: “We have preconfigured shopping lists, and it only takes a few clicks to put together the right order. The eShop range adapts to our requirements and selects the consumables we actually need. Incorrect orders are now a thing of the past. Even today, the Heidelberg eShop is already designed to work fast.

According to Oelsner, it takes an average of 70 seconds to place an order using shopping lists. In the future, the necessary order volumes will be calculated on a predictive basis using key data from production and the customer will be advised on when to place an order, so that no surplus stock has to be stored in the print shop.

With the exception of a completely autonomous ordering process, which will be available in future configurations of the Assistant, the print shop could not have chosen a more dependable procurement system. 

 

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Andre Gass, IT specialist and senior executive at D.O.G. GmbH in Darmstadt puts digitization in the focus to strengthen the printing business.

 

There is another feature of the Assistant that Gass finds particularly practical – users can intervene if necessary, and are not solely reliant on automation. Oelsner goes on to discuss the feedback he’s gotten from many customers: “All kinds of additional documents, such as text, images and video, can be sent to Heidelberg using the service system, even an audio file of a rattling sound, which would be difficult to explain otherwise.” 

For Gass, this represents a significant improvement to communication and a noticeable increase in the speed and quality of troubleshooting. He also believes it is important the system documents what it does, so as to create transparency for the management team. 

Gass summarizes his experience with the Assistant: “For me, Heidelberg Assistant is a tool that is very important to our digitization strategy, one that is indispensable for the future. What’s more, everything we’re familiar with in terms of modern digital communication through social media in our private lives is also offered by the Assistant for our business matters: Messenger and chat functions, notifications, and much more. Everything is recorded automatically in timelines and can be researched later on.”

 


 

DOG Kompakt

Screenshot from D.O.G.’s website. 

 


 

My take – times are changing. And that’s perfect!

In the print business, there is still a lot that can be done much better as part of a smart digitization strategy driven by IT expertise. This is particularly true when tech manufacturers, like Heidelberg in the case of the Heidelberg Assistant, create innovative, scalable and interactive platforms that print shops can use in structured, personalized and creative ways. 

At D.O.G. in Darmstadt, they aren’t just aware of this – they’re actively integrating it into their new business strategy, making it an important part of this new era in the company’s management. This is all the more fitting, as D.O.G. aims for the highest level of quality and precision based on its clearly defined company values. 

Digital communication at every step in the industrial print manufacturing process is a must if you want to take a modern approach to business operations and the concerns of end customers. 

If all necessary business communication between the tech manufacturer and the customer in the printing industry can be optimized to such a degree, then everyone wins – with mutual benefits, profitable growth and sustainable development in business activities! —Andreas Weber

 


 

About the author

Andreas Weber has been a print expert and internationally renowned business communication analyst, coach, influencer, and networker for over 25 years. His activities focus on transformation for the digital age and include lectures, management briefings, workshops, analyses, reports, and strategic advice. – His blog www.valuetrendradar.com inspires readers from over 150 countries worldwide.

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ValueCheck Transformation Paradox.001

“I think of Germany [4.0] at night,
then I’m about to sleep,
I can not close my eyes
and my hot tears are flowing.”
From: Heinrich Heine, night thoughts

„Denk ich an Deutschland [4.0] in der Nacht,
dann bin ich um den Schlaf gebracht,
ich kann nicht mehr die Augen schließen,
und meine heißen Tränen fließen.“
—Aus: Heinrich Heine, Nachtgedanken


 

By Andreas Weber, Head of Value | German Version

It happened last week. The CEO and the CFO of a long-established mechanical engineering company presented the annual balance sheet figures at the annual press conference in the financial metropolis of Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Everything fine. And everything on schedule! After all, they delivered precisely what was promised a year ago. Unfavorable: Currency fluctuations that can not be influenced result in a slight decline in total sales and corresponding pre-tax profits.

Nevertheless, the board can stick to the good forecasts. Significant growth through transformation by at least 500 million euros in the next four years (that is, sales grow from around 2.5 billion euros to 3 billion euros) with significantly increasing returns. The company has been successfully restructured and is not only fit and stable, but also a global leader in digital transformation beyond its own market segment.

But: Already on the eve of the press conference, the share price began to decline and slipped significantly in the following week. The main reason: massive short selling, so the bet on speculation on falling share prices. The market capitalization thus dropped in value by a three-digit million amount.

Another negative effect: the business press as well as analysts can not deal in the right way with “digital transformation”. At least, they don’t get it! — In the late reports it comes to glaring errors resp. misjudgments and above all to the omission of the really important topics! — For example: “Quite unambitious: weak outlook puts pressure on Heidelberger Druck shares”. Or: ”Heidelberg disappoint investors” … — Phew! Understand that, who wants!

Granted, the topic “transformation” is highly complex. And requires that one understands: transformation is not a goal, but a state. The goal is: massive, sometimes disruptive change in the overall business philosophy. Not an easy task. And certainly not that it is possible to manage on-the-fly! — The CFO rightly explained calmly: “If you are in a hurry, you have to go slowly!”

Speaking of philosophy, Plato pointed out in his ancient teachings that everything acquired under duress can not find a foothold in the mind. In other words, the teacher can not teach if the student is not ready to learn. (This momentum was probably underestimated by the CEO and CFO when they held the press conference and, unfortunately, was not the basis of their communication strategy.)

The success of transformation in the digital age depends crucially on the will and the discipline to take the time to learn and practice, so that new experiences form new insights. This learning involves learning about oneself. Transformation requires self-knowledge.

Conclusion

An annual press conference as a lesson! Germany 4.0 fails in the fundamental understanding of the ‘digital transformation’. Not at the will of the apologists.

 


 

About the author

Andreas Weber has been a print expert and internationally renowned business communication analyst, coach, influencer, and networker for over 25 years. His activities focus on transformation forthe digital age and include lectures, management briefings, workshops, analyses, reports, and strategic advice. – His blog www.valuetrendradar.com inspires readers from over 140 countries worldwide.

About ValueBlog IMG_9105

 


 

ValueCheck Transformation Paradox.001

„Denk ich an Deutschland [4.0] in der Nacht,
dann bin ich um den Schlaf gebracht,
ich kann nicht mehr die Augen schließen,
und meine heißen Tränen fließen.“
Aus: Heinrich Heine, Nachtgedanken

 


Von Andreas Weber, Head of Value | English Version

 

Letzte Woche passiert. Ich war Augen- und Ohrenzeuge. CEO und CFO eines Traditionsunternehmens aus dem Maschinenbau präsentieren in der Finanzmetropole Frankfurt am Main die Jahresbilanzzahlen. 

Alles tiptop. Und alles im Plan! Denn das, was man vor Jahresfrist in Aussicht stellte, ist exakt so vollzogen worden. Manko: V. a. durch nicht zu beeinflussende Währungsschwankungen sind der Gesamtumsatz und entsprechend der Vor-Steuergewinn leicht rückläufig. 

An den guten Prognosen kann der Vorstand aber festhalten. Deutliches Wachstum durch Transformation um mindestens 500 Millionen Euro in vier Jahren (das heisst: Umsatz wächst von rund 2,5 Milliarden Euro auf 3 Milliarden Euro) bei deutlich steigender Rendite. Das Unternehmen wurde erfolgreich grundlegend neu aufgestellt und zeigt sich nicht nur fit und stabil, sondern über den eigenen Marktbereich hinaus global führend im Bereich der ‚Digitalen Transformation‘.

Aber: Bereits am Vortag der Bilanzpressekonferenz begann der Aktienkurs zu sinken und rutschte in der nachfolgenden Woche deutlich ab. Der Hauptgrund: Massive Leerverkäufe, also die Wette zur Spekulation auf sinkende Kurse. Die Marktkapitalisierung sank damit im Wert um einen dreistelligen Millionenbetrag.

Weiterer Negativeffekt: Die Wirtschaftspresse wie auch Analysten können mit „Digitaler Transformation“ nichts rechtes anfangen. In den Nachberichten kommt es zu eklatanten Fehlern resp. Fehleinschätzungen und vor allem zum Weglassen des eigentlich Wichtigen! Tenor: „Recht unambitioniert: Lascher Ausblick setzt Heidelberger Druck-Aktie unter Druck“. Heidelberg enttäusche Anleger… — Puh! Verstehe das, wer will!

Zugegeben: Das Thema „Transformation“ ist hoch komplex. Und bedingt, dass man versteht: Transformation ist kein Ziel, sondern ein Zustand. Das Ziel lautet: Massive, bisweilen disruptive Veränderung der gesamten Geschäftsphilosophie. Kein leichtes Unterfangen. Und schon gar keines, dass sich von Heute auf Morgen bewältigen lässt. — Zurecht erklärte der CFO ruhig und gelassen: „Wer es eilig hat, muss langsam gehen!“

Apropos Philosophie: Plato wies in seiner antiken Lehre darauf hin, dass alles, was unter Zwang erworben wird, keinen Halt im Geist findet; oder anders ausgedrückt: Der Lehrer kann nicht lehren, wenn der Schüler nicht bereit ist zu lernen. (Dieses Momentum hatten CEO und CFO wohl unterschätzt, als sie die Bilanzpressekonferenz abhielten, und fatalerweise nicht zur Grundlage ihrer Kommunikationsstrategie gemacht.)

Der Erfolg von Transformation im Digitalzeitalter hängt maßgeblich vom Willen und der Disziplin ab, sich die Zeit zu nehmen, um zu lernen und zu üben, damit sich aus neuen Erfahrungen neue Erkenntnisse formen. Dieses Lernen beinhaltet das Lernen über sich selbst. Transformation erfordert Selbsterkenntnis.

Fazit

Eine Bilanzpressekonferenz als Lehrstück! Deutschland 4.0 scheitert bei der ‘Digitalen Transformation’ am grundlegenden Verständnis. Nicht am Willen der Apologeten.

 


 

Über den Autor

Seit mehr als 25 Jahren engagiert sich Andreas Weber als international renommierter Business Communication Analyst, Coach, Influencer und Transformer. Seine Aktivitäten fokussieren sich auf ‚Transformation for the Digital Age’ via Vorträgen, Management Briefings, Workshops, Analysen & Reports, Strategic Advice. — Mit seinem Blog www.valuetrendradar.com inspiriert er Leser aus über 140 Ländern der Welt.

 

About ValueBlog IMG_9105

ValueCheck HDU.001

Photos: Heidelberg / HDU. Collage: Andreas Weber, Frankfurt am Main

 

“We’re remodeling customer interfaces for Heidelberg and creating a seamless digital ecosystem for its customers.” Rainer Wiedmann, Head of the Heidelberg Digital Unit (HDU) and Chief Marketing Officer at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG.

German Version


New digital ecosystem for the print media industry

The new “leading light function” of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG heralded by CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer midway through 2017 is increasingly taking shape and making dynamic progress. “The new Heidelberg Digital Unit is boosting the company’s e-commerce business, online presence, and digital marketing expertise,” said member of the Management Board and Chief Digital Officer Dr. Ulrich Hermann just recently.

What exactly does that entail? Rainer Wiedmann discussed this publicly for the first time in an interview for ValueDialog. A successful digital pioneer, Wiedmann took charge of the Heidelberg Digital Unit start-up company (HDU for short) on April 1, 2018 in parallel with his role as the Heidelberg Group’s Chief Marketing Officer. – The interview was conducted by Head of Value Andreas Weber.

 

Info box

About the new Heidelberg Digital Unit (HDU)

 

Bildschirmfoto 2018-06-09 um 07.03.50

Website: https://hdu.heidelberg.com

Location: Wiesloch-Walldorf, with branches in China, the United States, and Asia

Initial workforce: 50

Objective: To enjoy dynamic growth and establish the number one digital ecosystem in the print sector

Partner: Internet specialist iq!

 

As CDO on the Heidelberg Management Board, Dr. Ulrich Hermann is a dynamic driving force behind the company’s digital transformation. 

 


 

Digital business models inspire the customer journey

Mr. Wiedmann, you were already a digital pioneer over 20 years ago when you founded the argonauten group, a multimedia agency that was an immediate success. What has changed since then?

Rainer Wiedmann: Back then, I was already heavily involved in shaping customer interfaces. This approach led by way of marketing innovation to e-commerce. Nowadays, the focus is on end-to-end digital business models. Thanks to IoT (the Internet of Things), machine learning, voice control, and similar innovations, a complete digital customer journey is now possible for the first time – not only sales & marketing, but many other parts of the value chain are being digitized. 

So you see this as a linear dynamic development?

Rainer Wiedmann: What I see is an extremely dynamic process. An online presence is no longer the be-all and end-all. Access to customers and interaction with them are the most relevant things. Based on the new approach, an optimum customer interface is essential if digitization is to generate value. 

What’s your motivation for treading new ground with HDU in the mechanical engineering sector, of all places?

Rainer Wiedmann: I started out as an engineer and, following my studies at the University of St. Gallen’s Institute of Technology Management, I gained vital experience with a large number of industrial customers. New forms of connectivity are rapidly transforming mechanical engineering, and Heidelberg is extremely well placed to benefit from this development. 

How so?

Rainer Wiedmann: Our machines have long been networked. We also have our own global sales and service organization with a portfolio incorporating hardware, software, and consumables. 

What’s more, the executive management team at Heidelberg understands exactly what transformation through digitization means, as demonstrated among other things by the new subscription model – a first in the industry. As I see it, all this creates the perfect conditions!  


 

HDU in a nutshell

 

How is the newly founded HDU positioning itself in this context?

Rainer Wiedmann: Our goal is to design customer interfaces for Heidelberg that create a seamless digital ecosystem for the company’s customers.

What are HDU’s core values?

Rainer Wiedmann: HDU is all about creating added value based on permanence, consistency, and relevance. Its main value lies in getting the maximum number of existing and potential customers to use the Heidelberg offering on a weekly or, better still, daily basis. It’s not simply a case of registering a large number of nominal users in the system, but of having as many active users as possible. As I see it, content, function, coverage, and interaction are the key to success.

Does your new approach with HDU fit in with the Heidelberg culture?

Rainer Wiedmann: On the one hand, the people at Heidelberg come across as being open and innovative. On the other, they like to follow precise rules. In the digital transformation context, however, I feel a more target-driven approach is vital for employees.

What does that achieve?

Rainer Wiedmann: One advantage of HDU that can be transferred to Heidelberg is that in order to achieve specified goals or optimize target achievement, we work as a team on the structure of rules so that we can make adjustments as and when required.

Heidelberg is indisputably strong when it comes to technical innovation. But what about the company’s customers? Are you aware of any reservations about digitization?

Rainer Wiedmann: Given that all kinds of print production have long been based on digital data, our customers are well advanced with the process of digitization, and e-commerce is nothing new to them either. Online printing has created a huge new growth market. Our approach of working closely with customers to offer a comprehensive package providing peace of mind has therefore proved very popular. If you know what needs to be done and the goals are clear, digitization in printing is regarded very much as an opportunity.

Digital print shop processes are one thing, but the go-to-market strategy in the digital age is another matter entirely. I see a weakness here. Am I right?

Rainer Wiedmann: The important thing in my eyes is for Heidelberg to demonstrate the positive effects of digitization as effectively as possible to customers who are in dialog with us. Only personal experience gives a proper impression of how print shops can also put this to good use in their own customer relations.


 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Screenshots from the Heidelberg Digital Unit’s new website.


HDU mission statements

“We develop innovative digital sales, marketing, and service solutions for all stages of the customer journey and deliver measurable results with a multidisciplinary team and external partners focused on success.”

“We contribute to the operational excellence of all Heidelberg units by offering a digital, state-of-the-art ecosystem that sets new standards in this area.”

“We don’t shy away from any risk. We rely on our entrepreneurial skills and make unexpected, disruptive decisions that enable us to score points with our customers.”

“We won’t let anything stop us achieving our goals and dreams. Continuously pursuing them and measuring our progress will see us succeed.”

“We embrace the digital age. We enjoy working with people who leave the office happy because everyone has done their best and is proud to be part of the team.”


 

It’s all about clear goals and measurable successes

HDU started out with 50 staff and is aiming to expand rapidly. What skills do you require?

Rainer Wiedmann: Around 80 percent of our initial team are very experienced and highly skilled in the print market. We’re adding new people who have experience in areas such as e-commerce, digital marketing, and social media. 

What’s special about your team?

Rainer Wiedmann: We have the right mix! The mutual respect and common goals of our “mixed” team make us particularly effective. The excellent market position enjoyed by Heidelberg and our geographical proximity to the company are very helpful and motivate us all. We are “Born in Heidelberg” – a statement that perfectly demonstrates our unshakable commitment. It also boosts our credentials as an employer beyond the confines of the sector.

How is HDU’s work being integrated into the Heidelberg Group’s everyday operations? And how is the collaboration going?

Rainer Wiedmann: We’ve gotten off to a very promising start because we actively approach Heidelberg staff, provide them with all the information they need, and listen to what they have to say. We have contacts for the individual Heidelberg business units and access to all the sales units. Our global Growth Hacking Tour has already started. We’re using it to raise the local profile of our portfolio in key markets, offer training on our new tools and software solutions, and introduce e-commerce initiatives that we’ve developed.

 

HDU Growth Hacking Tour 2018

Roadmap of the Global Growth Hacking Tour in the startup phase of the HDU. (Photo: screenshot from the HDU website)

 


Focus on maximum competitiveness and market relevance

Does that effectively mean HDU is offering in-house consulting and agency services at Heidelberg? 

Rainer Wiedmann: Yes, but we’re not uniquely a service provider. We offer support with customized tools, efficient campaigns, and in-depth know-how. And we enter into clear target agreements. Our task is to create measurable results and boost e-commerce sales. We focus closely on figures to deliver success. And we achieve results as a team when we generate leads and sales. 

What is the response to the Growth Hacking Tour? 

Rainer Wiedmann: People are immediately seeing that we’re coming to them with the offer of added value for their day-to-day work and demonstrating a true community spirit. As a subsidiary, we have a clear advantage. We’re creating a trusting relationship from scratch for joint success.

Looking beyond Heidelberg, competitors on the digital printing market are claiming they provide their own digital platforms as ecosystems for print. What can and do you want to do differently or even better?

Rainer Wiedmann: Yes, we have our rivals, but in our segment – commercial and packaging printing – we have the highest market shares and by far the largest installed base. What’s more, we’ve had the world’s largest database for presses for over ten years. 

And that means what?

Rainer Wiedmann: It enables us to offer even better functions and optimum access to our entire portfolio along with detailed knowledge of specific customer interests that is always up to date. Our extremely strong service is now helping to expand things again on the operating side.

So does that mean the HDU ecosystem must make it possible, based on the Heidelberg platform, to significantly improve all aspects of performance?

Rainer Wiedmann: We don’t simply want production to run smoothly at print shops. At the end of the day, we’re improving our customers’ competitiveness and market relevance – not just here and there but at all levels as far as possible. 

Hand on heart, as a digital expert, what do you say to the boss of a print shop whose customers tell him printing is outdated and they no longer want to use it?

Rainer Wiedmann: Print media will never disappear. In fact, we’re seeing growth in areas such as packaging, labels, and mass customization. Yes, there are shifts from analog to digital – in particular when it comes to company marketing – but new applications will keep on emerging. For me, HDU’s main task in the long term is to unlock this new potential and enable customers to act flexibly, proactively, and sustainably as times change.

How do you personally think HDU will fare in the short, medium, and long term?

Rainer Wiedmann: I’m more than confident. We’re sticking to the vision and mission we formulated for HDU. And we’re measuring our progress, then responding immediately.

– Thank you very much for this interview. 

 


 

My take on things – a solution of striking simplicity

It’s enough to take your breath away. Heidelberg is putting in an impressive sprint on the home straight, hurtling forward in a completely new guise – the Heidelberg Digital Unit (HDU) – and showing the competition quite clearly who’s in first place when it comes to digital transformation. 

It’s official! A traditional company has without doubt completely reinvented itself – in record time –demonstrating the courage to take risks based on its wide-ranging expertise in printing and all things digital. Rather than abandoning much of the previous system, the company is using and optimizing it to benefit from new developments. One important additional aspect: Heidelberg has realized that in the digital age it’s no longer sufficient to aim for success with best-in-class product innovations.

Launching HDU in this form is a real stroke of genius in my opinion. A subsidiary designed as a start-up – fast, flexible, and firmly anchored with an excellent network – it provides new, user-oriented “digital” services for the Group and at the same time becomes a pacesetter with measurable results to make sales, marketing, and services permanently fit for the digital age on a global level. In my eyes, that’s the perfect way to firmly establish highly innovative products and solutions on the market on a lasting basis.

The biggest winners are Heidelberg customers and the market as a whole because, for the first time, they have access to a well thought-out, effective ecosystem in the form of an exponential platform that takes industrialprint production to a whole new level in the digital age and makes it fit for the future. To sum up, this is a real win-win situation – especially for Heidelberg staff, shareholders, and numerous new partners. 

The “crux of the ‘digital’ transformation problem” I identified in my #ValueCheck is thus soon set to be resolved!

 


 

Rainer Wiedmann

 

Rainer-Wiedmann-Kopie-1024x1024-700x700

 

Rainer Wiedmann comes from Stuttgart and is one of Germany’s great digital pioneers. After studying at the universities of Stuttgart and St. Gallen and gaining several years of professional experience, he founded the argonauten group (350 employees at 11 international locations) in 1996, the aquarius group (100 employees based in Munich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai) in 2005, and the iq! group (based in Munich and Palo Alto) in 2014.

The iq! group maintains close links with the new Heidelberg Digital Unit (HDU), which started operating on April 1, 2018 with 50 employees.

HDU is a start-up company and a subsidiary of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, where Wiedmann plays a dual role as Head of HDU and Chief Marketing Officer. 

From 1999 to 2003, Wiedmann was President of the Deutscher Multimedia Verband e.V. (now BVDW e.V.). From 2003 to 2004, he was on the board of Gesamtverband Kommunikationsagenturen GWA e.V. in Frankfurt.

 


About the author

Andreas Weber has been a print expert and internationally renowned business communication analyst, coach, influencer, and networker for over 25 years. His activities focus on transformation for the digital age and include lectures, management briefings, workshops, analyses, reports, and strategic advice. – His blog www.valuetrendradar.com inspires readers from over 140 countries worldwide.

About ValueBlog IMG_9105

 


 

ValueCheck Inkjet Printing.001

Von Andreas Weber, Head of Value | English Version

Prolog

Mein nun auch im ValueBlog publizierter Beitrag zu Inkjet-Printing war redaktioneller Teil einer erfolgreichen Premiere in der Schweiz! Zur 25-Jahrfeier bietet Herausgeber Martin Spaar mit seinem Team die erste, komplett individualisiert im Inkjet-Druck hergestellte Ausgabe. 

 


 

Wir stehen also an der Schwelle zu einem neuen Zeitalter der gedruckten Kommunikation. Denn was Individualisierung bringt und bewirken kann, erleben wir täglich im Web und speziell in den sozialen Netzwerken. Diese digitale Raffinesse verbunden mit der physischen Schlagkraft des Gedruckten hat ein riesiges Potenzial. —Martin Spaar 

Bildschirmfoto 2018-05-08 um 10.02.47

Zur Online-Ausgabe des gedruckten Magazins gehts per Klick!


 

Es vergeht kaum ein Tag, an dem nicht von Herstellerseite den Druckereien versprochen wird: Inkjet-Printing ist das Maß aller Dinge und eröffnet neue Märkte und Profite. Stimmt das? Ja und Nein. 

Ja, weil das Inkjet-Verfahren nicht mehr nur auf das Bedrucken von Papier oder Karton abzielt und damit über Nutzungsmöglichkeiten im klassischen Druck hinausführt. Sogar das Bedrucken dreidimensionaler Gegenstände ist möglich, wie z. B. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen und Xerox mit neuen Systemen wirkungsvoll beweisen.

Nein, weil damit einher geht, dass es schlicht nicht stimmt zu behaupten, man könne mit Inkjet-Printing den Offsetdruck ablösen oder aus dem Stand heraus ganz neue Anwendungsbereiche für die Druckbranche erschließen.

Genau hinschauen und abwägen, ist zwingend notwendig, um einen Tanz ums Goldene Kalb zu vermeiden. Hier eine Auswahl meiner aktuellen Beobachtungen: 

  1. Inkjet-Printing für den professionellen, hochproduktiven Druck ist relativ neu. Erfolgreiche Anwender in der Druckbranche lassen sich bis dato mit wenigen Fingern abzählen. Bei allen war der Schlüssel zum Erfolg nicht der Fokus auf die Drucktechnik, sondern auf die Pre-Media-Prozesse sowie das Finishing/die Verarbeitung inklusive Logistik/Distribution. Bestes Beispiel: Peter Sommer und Elanders Germany in Waiblingen. (Siehe Lesetipp unten)
  2. Hohe Inkjet-Druck-Volumen, auf die sich Hersteller gerne berufen, laufen seit langem im Transaktionsdruck, da man hier IT-Kompetenz mit Automation der Verarbeitung und Distribution nahtlos gestalten kann. (Übrigens der Grund, warum ein Big-Player wie Pitney Bowes in das Vermarkten von Digitaldrucktechnik eingestiegen ist).
  3. Es werden von den Herstellern mit Inkjet-Printing fokussiert neue Kundengruppen ausserhalb der Druckbranche und des Transaktionsdruck angesprochen. Canon Europa ist der Vorreiter, in dem es im Zuge der Reorganisation nach der drupa 2016 einen neuen Geschäftsbereich gegründet hat: Die Canon Graphic & Communications Group führt u. a. die Kreativwirtschaft sowie zahllose Branchen wie Architekten, Handwerker etc. mit neuen Systemen ans Inkjet-Drucken heran.
  4. Seit der drupa 2016 zeigt sich, dass die Inkjet-Revolution bei den Herstellern ihre Kinder frisst. HP genügt sich selbst (und optimiert statt innoviert). Landa kommt nicht von der Stelle. Bobst hat eine Kehrtwende vollzogen und mit Gründung der Mouvent AG die Neukonzeption für Inkjet-Printing durch eine clevere Cluster-Technik und anderes mehr vollzogen. Und Heidelberg hat im Team mit Fujifilm durch Primefire eine neue bahnbrechende Plattform für Hochqualitäts-Inkjet-Printing entwickelt, die im anspruchsvollen Verpackungsmarkt für Aufsehen und Anerkennung sorgt. 
  5. Traditionsunternehmen wie die Durst Group haben sich neu aufgestellt: Mit der P5-Philosophie wird alles darauf ausgerichtet und optimiert, was die Leistung und Verfügbarkeit der Drucksysteme maximiert sowie eine beispiellose Flexibilität in der Medien- und Auftragsabwicklung zulässt. Übrigens waren die Durst-Innovationen ein Highlight auf dem Online Print Symposium 2018 in München. 
  6. Es haben sich ganz neue Anbieter still und leise in Stellung gebracht, die mit neuen Systemarchitekturen individuell konfigurierbare, modulare Inkjet-Printing-Produkutionsanlagen ermöglichen, wie zum Beispiel die Firma Cadis Engineering aus Hamburg zeigt. Cadis kann z. B. HTML-Daten drucken und verzichtet aufs Rippen.
  7. Der eigentliche Gewinner bei Inkjet-Printing ist derzeit ein Hidden Champ: Der Bücherdruck. Xerox Europe zeigte dies eindrucksvoll Ende März im Team mit Book on Demand GmbH in Hamburg beim #Books2018 Event. Eine riesige, automatisierte Druckfabrik erzeugt in Echtzeit bis zu 25.000 Book-for-One-Produkte pro Tag. Wachstumstreiber sind die Impika-Inkjet-Drucksysteme von Xerox mit ausgeklügelter Hunkeler- und Müller-Martini-Technik zur Verarbeitung. Der Clou: Eine neue Impika-Tinte, die ungestrichene Papiere problemlos und bestens bedrucken kann.
  8. Last but not least: Wenn von massiver Substitution gesprochen werden kann, dann ersetzen Inkjet-Printing-System (Bogen wie Rolle) am ehesten bestehende Toner-Digitaldrucksysteme.

Fazit: Beim Inkjet-Printing wird und muss sich noch viel tun. Wir stehen erst am Anfang. Und müssen neu Denken lernen, um nicht in die Innovationsfalle zu tappen: Indem wir fälschlicherweise davon ausgehen, Inkjet-Printing sei primär dazu da, das was wir ohnehin im Druck tun können, zu verbessern.

Es geht daher weniger ums ‚schneller, besser, billiger‘, es geht vielmehr ums ‚neu, zeitgemäß und anders‘, um die komplexen Kommunikations-Herausforderungen des Digitalzeitalters zu meistern. — Think different!

 


Zum Autor

Andreas Weber ist Gründer und CEO von Value Communication AG. Als Analyst & Berater für Erfolg mit Print im Digitalzeitalter ist er zugleich auch globaler Netzwerker und Publizist. Sein Blog www.valuetrendradar.com inspiriert Nutzer/Leser aus über 130 Ländern.


 

Lesetipp: Peter Sommer im ValueCheck

Peter Sommer, Digitaldruck- und Inkjet-Pionier, Elanders Group: „Das Elanders-Konzept ist nicht auf eine bestimmte Drucktechnik fixiert. Die zentrale Frage ist immer, was mit einem Produkt erreicht werden soll und wie es zum Empfänger kommt. Die Integration in die Supply-Chain beginnt bei der Beratung der Kunden und hört bei der maßgeschneiderten Logistik auf.“

ValueCheck Peter Sommer Elanders ENG.001

 


 

Eine Hommage an Print! — Video-Kommentar von Andreas Weber zur herausragenden Ausgabe Nr. 114 des Print-Fachmagazins Druckmarkt.

 


Hommage an #Print! Das renommierte Print-Fachmagazin #druckmarkt übertrifft sich selbst und stellt die moderne #Druck-Kunst in den Kontext des #DigitalAge. Bravo. Anbei eine Kostprobe, das Editorial „Vom Abverkauf zum Kundennutzen“, verfasst von Druckmarkt Verleger und Chefredakteur Klaus-Peter Nicolay. Titelstory: Mein ValueDialog zu ‚Heidelberg Subscription‘ mit Dr. Ulrich Hermann. — Viel Spass beim Lesen wünscht Ihr Andreas Weber, Head of Value.


 

Seit Jahresbeginn ist gewaltig viel Bewegung im Markt der Zulieferindustrie. Ob das nun zum Fürchten oder einfach nur der Lauf der Dinge ist, spielt nur eine untergeordnete Rolle – der Markt zeigt seine kalte Schulter. 

Es ist nämlich kaum anzunehmen, dass die sibirische Kälte der letzten Wochen Fujifilm und Xerox, manroland web systems und Goss, Presstek und Mark Andy zum Kuscheln unter eine gemeinsame Decke gelockt hat, Kolbus dazu gezwungen hat, sein Klebebindegeschäft Müller Martini anzuvertrauen oder die Papierfabriken Feldmühle Uetersen und Scheufelen in die Insolvenz schickte. Es sind einmal mehr die Marktveränderungen, die diese Entwicklungen geradezu unumgänglich gemacht haben.

Wir haben es ganz offensichtlich mit einer neuen Phase der Branchenkonsolidierung zu tun. Waren es in jüngster Zeit vor allem Druckereien, die sich zusammenschlossen oder die schließen mussten, sind es jetzt (wie schon vor knapp zehn Jahren zu Beginn der Finanzkrise) Hersteller von Maschinen und Verbrauchsmaterialien, die Konsequenzen ziehen müssen. Dabei kommt das ja nicht unvorbereitet. 

Denn wenn das Druckvolumen weltweit zwar einigermaßen stabil bleibt, die Zahl der Druckereien aber weiter abnimmt, muss die Frage schon erlaubt sein, ob der Markt überhaupt noch so viele Hersteller mit ihrer Flut an Angeboten verträgt? Und das gilt für den Digitaldruck ganz genauso wie für den Offsetdruck. 

Schon nach der drupa 2016 hatten wir in unserem Beitrag „Eine Überdosis Digitaldruck?“ festgestellt, dass es zu viel und zu viel Unausgereiftes von allem gibt – und haben prophezeit, dass Zusammenschlüsse kaum zu vermeiden sind. Dabei hat sich das Problem für die Hersteller von Digitaldruckmaschinen seither verschärft. 

 

Titel Druckmarkt 114 04-2018.png

 

Die Bogenoffsetdruckmaschinen der in den letzten Jahren gerne als Dinosaurier gescholtenen Unternehmen Heidelberg und Koenig & Bauer bieten durch höchste Automatisierung enorme Leistungen bei einer Gesamtanlagen-Effektivität, die bei industriell ausgerichteten Druckereien in den nächsten Jahren noch einmal deutlich zunehmen wird. Das bedeutet, dass der Wettbewerb zwischen Offset und digitalem Druck noch einmal deutlich zunehmen wird, aber auch, dass die Anzahl an Druckwerken in den Druckbetrieben noch einmal zurückgehen könnte.

Heidelberg hat darauf schon reagiert und neue Modelle der Kundenbetreuung vorgestellt, um in dem kleiner werdenden Maschinenmarkt überlebensfähig zu bleiben. Einen Einblick in die neue Philosophie und die damit verbundenen Geschäftsmodelle geben wir im „Druckmarkt 114“, der soeben erschienen ist. Auch Koenig & Bauer und Durst feilen an Konzepten, bei denen der Kundennutzen und nicht der Abverkauf im Zentrum stehen.

Diese Unternehmen haben erkannt, dass es Zeit ist für einen Wandel, bei dem auch bislang funktionierende Geschäftsmodelle auf den Prüfstand gestellt werden müssen, um ihren Kunden – in dem Fall den Druckereien – mehr Nutzwert und Freiheit zu geben, sich weiterentwickeln zu können. 

Das sollten aber auch Druckereien ihrerseits beherzigen. Denn wer ein Produkt oder eine Dienstleistung verkauft, sollte sich stets fragen, was er denn wirklich verkauft? Ein Buch, einen Geschäftsbericht, eine ausgefallene Broschüre? Oder sind es nicht in Wirklichkeit Selbstverwirklichung, Ansehen oder Emotionen, die Kunden damit verbinden? 

Es geht eben längst nicht mehr um die Eigenschaften eines Produktes, sondern um dessen Wirkung. Wer sich mit der Denkweise auseinandersetzt, welchen Nutzen sein Produkt für den Kunden hat, wer vom Produkt- auf Nutzendenken umschaltet, ist auf dem richtigen Weg, die Bedürfnisse seiner Kunden wirklich zu erfüllen. Denn das ist der eigentliche Treiber der aktuellen Marktveränderungen.

Kontakt

Dipl.-Ing. Klaus-Peter Nicolay (Chefredakteur und Herausgeber)
E-Mail: nico(at)druckmarkt.com

Julius Nicolay (Redaktion)
E-Mail: julius(at)druckmarkt.com

Druckmarkt
c/o arcus design & verlag oHG
Ahornweg 20
D-56814 Bruttig-Fankel
Tel.: +49 2671 3836
Fax: +49 2671 3850

URL: http://www.druckmarkt.com

 


 

ValueCheck Inkjet Printing.001

 

By Andreas Weber, Head of Value | German Version

Hardly a day goes by without manufacturers promising printers that inkjet printing is the measure of all things and will open up new markets and profits. Are they right? Well, yes and no. 

Yes, because the inkjet process is no longer just about printing on paper or cardboard, and thus extends beyond the scope of conventional printing; it is even possible to print on three-dimensional objects, as Heidelberger Druckmaschinen and Xerox are proving with their new systems.

No, because it is simply not true to say that inkjet printing could replace offset printing or open up entirely new areas of application for the printing industry off the cuff.

It is absolutely necessary to look closely and weigh up carefully to avoid finding yourself worshiping a golden calf. Here is a selection of my current observations: 

  1. Inkjet printing for professional, highly productive printing is relatively new. To date, the number of successful users in the printing industry can be counted on one hand. In all of their cases, the key to success was not to focus on printing technology, but on pre-media processes and finishing/processing with the inclusion of logistics/distribution. The best example: Peter Sommer and Elanders Germany in Waiblingen.
  2. Large inkjet printing volumes, which manufacturers like to invoke, have long been found in transactional printing. Here, processing and distribution can be seamlessly designed with IT expertise and automation. (Incidentally, this is the reason why a big player like Pitney Bowes got into the marketing of digital printing technology).
  3. Manufacturers are using inkjet printing to attract new customer groups outside the printing industry and transactional printing. Following drupa 2016, Canon Europe launched a new business unit as part of its reorganization, making it a pioneer in this regard. The Canon Graphic & Communications Group is introducing the creative industries as well as countless other industries, such as architects, craftsmen, etc., to inkjet printing with new systems.
  4. Since drupa 2016, it has become apparent for manufacturers that the inkjet revolution is devouring its own children. HP is making an appearance and Landa is getting nowhere fast, Bobst has made an about-turn and, with the founding of Mouvent AG, rethought inkjet printing with a clever cluster technology and much more. Heidelberg has teamed up with Fujifilm to develop Primefire: a breakthrough platform for high-quality inkjet printing that has caused a stir in the demanding packaging market. 
  5. Traditional companies such as the Durst Group have repositioned themselves: everything is aligned and optimized with the P5 philosophy, which maximizes the performance and availability of the printing systems and allows unprecedented flexibility in media and order processing. Incidentally, Durst’s innovations were a highlight at the Online Print Symposium 2018 in Munich. 
  6. Entirely new providers have quietly got themselves into position, making individually configurable, modular inkjet printing production facilities possible with new system architectures, as the company Cadis Engineering from Hamburg demonstrates. Cadis can print HTML data and dispenses with ripping, for example.
  7. The real winner in inkjet printing is currently a hidden champion: Book printing. Xerox Europe impressively demonstrated this in an impressive manner at the end of March in cooperation with Book on Demand GmbH at the #Books2018 event in Hamburg. A huge, automated print factory generates up to 25,000 book-for-one products per day in real time. The growth drivers are the Xerox Impika inkjet printing systems with sophisticated Hunkeler and Müller-Martini processing technology. The key feature is a new Impika ink that can easily print on uncoated papers to the best possible degree.
  8. Last but not least: If one can speak of massive substitution, then inkjet printing systems (sheet as well as roll) will most likely replace existing toner digital printing systems.

 

ValueCheck Peter Sommer Elanders ENG.001

Peter Sommer, Digital Printing and Inkjet Pioneer, Elanders Group: “The Elanders concept isn’t fixed to a specific printing technique. The central issues are always what the product needs to achieve and how it gets to the recipient. Integration into the supply chain begins with advising customers and ends with tailor-made logistics.”


Conclusion

There is still a lot that has to be done when it comes to inkjet printing. We’re only just beginning, and will have to learn how to think again in order not to fall into the innovation trap, where we wrongly assume that the primary purpose of inkjet printing is to improve on what we can do in print anyway.

When it comes to mastering the complex communication challenges of the digital age, it’s less about ‘faster, better, cheaper’ and more about ‘new, up-to-date and different’. — Think different!

 


About the author

Andreas Weber is founder and CEO of Value Communication AG. An analyst and consultant for success with print in the digital age, he is also a global networker and publicist. His blog www.valuetrendradar.com inspires users/readers from over 130 countries.

 


 

ValueCheck Peter Sommer Elanders ENG.001

“The market has recognized that putting printing and supply chain together is sexy. This service is in demand because the combination of printing and supply chain promises higher profitability.” – Peter Sommer, President Print & Packaging Worldwide and Member of the Elanders Board.

By Knud Wassermann and Klaus-Peter Nicolay

 

Prologue

In 2007, Peter Sommer sold his thriving printing company to the Swedish Elanders Group. Since then, he has been a Member of the Elanders Group Management Board. By integrating print and logistics, he has reached the next level of supply chain management, which delivers superior benefits to customers.

Elanders opened the first integrated Packaging Innovation Center (iPIC) in Herrenberg, Swabia. The company provides the entire process itself, from picking up the product at the manufacturer, to printing and packaging, to placement on the retailer’s shelf. We discussed this interesting business model with Peter Sommer, President of Print & Packaging Worldwide at Elanders AB.

 

iPic-Grafik von Elanders

 

In focus: Growth through unrivaled innovation

“I always try to make it clear to my employees how important it is to expand existing value chains,” explains Peter Sommer, President Print & Packaging Worldwide and Member of the Elanders Board. He is firmly convinced that long-term survival is not guaranteed by classic packaging printing alone. “With many in the industry seeing packaging as a land of plenty and entering this segment, competitive pressure is increasing. The logical consequence of this is a drop in prices: they are already beginning to fall”, notes Sommer.

Unfortunately, not much can be changed regarding market conditions like these. But the market environment can be changed. Therefore, the Elanders Group has expanded its growth potential with fulfillment and logistics. Supply chain management is the buzzword here; it encompasses the processes by which raw materials, components, end products and information flow along the supply chain.

Nearly four years ago, Elanders said goodbye to its role as a stand-alone printer and began a new chapter with the acquisition of Singapore’s Mentor Media in early 2014. With annual revenues of approximately $200 million at the time, Mentor Media specializes in supply chain management for IT giants such as HP, Dell, Acer, Sony and Microsoft. Mentor Media produces the packaging and packs and delivers products for these companies.

In June 2016, the commitment to fulfillment and logistics was further strengthened by the acquisition of Logistic Group International (LGI).

 


LGI_LKW_fahrend

We supply the world

LGI is not just any freight forwarding company, it is one of the leaders in European logistics. To get an idea of its size, it generates sales of approximately €430 million and employs around 4,000 people at 45 locations in Europe, USA and Russia.

“We supply the world” can be seen on the Elanders Group homepage. This might sound over the top at first glance, but a look at the numbers makes it clear where Elanders is headed. With its approximately 6,500 employees in 20 countries, the Group generated sales of around €900 million in 2016. The Print & Packaging segment accounted for a mere 34% of sales in 2016, compared to 100% in 2013.

And in September 2017, the share continued to fall to just under a quarter of sales; these already reached almost €700 million after the third quarter and had risen by 71% against the previous year. By contrast, the number of employees rose only moderately to 6,700.

In August 2017, the Integrated Packaging Innovation Center (iPIC) was established in Herrenberg with 200 employees, “where we implement supply chain solutions together with our customers. The market’s response to our offer is extremely positive,” explains Peter Sommer. The addition of the logistics company LGI meant that completely new synergies in packaging and logistics could be used. 

 


Unbroken: Investments in offset printing 

Elanders Germany has been working on concepts of this kind for some time now and had already implemented them several years ago on a comparatively small scale. At the Waiblingen site, personalized packaging is digitally printed, filled with chocolates and sent directly to consumers. Ritter Sport, Lindt and others use this service.

In Herrenberg, this concept has now been scaled to industrial level; the company has long been reinvesting in offset printing for this purpose. In total, Elanders invested €12 million in two Heidelberg XL-106s – one with five and one with seven printing units – with a dispersion varnish unit each, in addition to heavily investment in punching capacity.

The impetus for the project came by way of a coincidence, says Peter Sommer: “A customer who has water filters produced China told us that his supplier was getting increasing amounts of water filters and the necessary accompanying packaging produced on its own account, and was selling these itself. That’s obviously the reality in China today.”

But there are other reasons why companies have relocated parts of the supply chain back to Europe. The long transportation route gives less time to react to changes in the market and retail at short notice.

 

Peter Sommer im Drucksaal


Overview of the whole supply chain

With the iPIC, Elanders is now integrating printing, fulfillment and logistics so tightly that they are becoming an fixed component of the supply chain. The customer doesn’t just assign a single printing order to the iPIC, but the whole service.

iPIC basically acts in a similar way to companies who are successful in outsourcing. These produce, for example, coffee machines on behalf of customers; they buy the necessary components, packaging and operating instructions, assemble the machines, package them, transport them to the retailer and place them on the shelf.

“iPIC works something along the same lines, expect that the focus is not on manufacturing the product, but rather on the printing of packaging, fulfillment and logistics,” says Peter Sommer. The advantages for customers are obvious. “We offer customers a true one-stop shop. They no longer have to worry about where to shop around for individual services, but instead gets the complete package from us.”

This requires a different way of selling, however: old-fashion printed matter vendors are out of place here; business consultants that have an overview of the entire supply chain are required.

 


 

Bildschirmfoto 2018-03-11 um 11.49.30

 


Competent outsourcing partners are in demand

Virtually all industries can benefit from this concept, especially companies that have to pack many small-scale components or place them in a display and deliver them. “Fulfillment and logistics are not core competences for many companies. They are looking for outsourcing partners,” explains Sommer.

A look at the cost distribution is also interesting. Once the product has been manufactured, it must be packaged and transported from A to B. According to estimates by Peter Sommer, around 25% of the costs are attributable to the packaging and operating instructions, and the remainder to fulfillment and logistics. As the entire supply chain always has to be considered in such a scenario, customers recognize the value of the overall service and individual parts are not placed so much under price pressure.

The printed matter does not even have to be produced entirely in the iPIC: depending on the number of copies (of user manuals, for example), some of these can be produced by an overseas sister company’s offset printing plant or, for content that is relevant for digital printing, by the inkjet printing at the Waiblingen plant.

“The concept is therefore not fixed to a specific printing technique. The central issues are always what the product needs to achieve and how it gets to the recipient. Integration into the supply chain begins with advising customers and ends with tailor-made logistics,” explains Peter Sommer.

This also shows the broadness of Print & Packaging at Elanders: for each requirement, HP Indigo digital printing, high-speed inkjet or offset printing are used in a variety of locations. Automation and the entire production play a big role.

 

Kuka-Roboter

 


Accurate print services using “just-in-sequence”

Almost everything that Elanders Print & Packaging offers has something to do with logistics. For example, Elanders has proven to customers in the automotive industry that large quantities of user manuals can be delivered to a production line on a high-precision just-in-sequence basis.

Incidentally, this also benefits publishers; they have their works produced at Elanders on demand and just in time, for just one copy or more. Again, this doesn’t just involve printing. The IT specialists at Elanders develop complete solutions for printing and delivery for publishers. Connections to in-house ERP systems, networking with the publisher’s delivery and much more ensure automated print and reprint management that saves money and time. Here, too, the focus is on optimizing company-wide processes that promise great savings potential.

iPIC is “just” the first step!

Peter Sommer is very satisfied with the market entry of iPIC, and plans to achieve sales of as much as €36 million in the next two years. “The iPIC is our first step for integrating print more strongly into the supply chain and demonstrating new performance potential for customers. If one thinks a step further with regard to packaging, one arrives relatively quickly at corrugated cardboard, which is used for outer packaging. Exciting fields of activity are opening up for us where logistics meet digital printing.”

 


Elanders Lookbook Digital Print

Extremely positive feedback for the Elanders “Lookbook Digital Print”! To help many people to get the most out of this unique technology, the Elanders team developed an online calculator. — Link to Calculator // Link to further information.

 


Focus on customer benefits

It is highly unlikely that Peter Sommer will leave it at the current offering of the integrated Packaging Innovation Center; he will certainly go further. He recognized very early on that permanent product development including current IT technologies gives printers the opportunity to stop playing the defensive and rise above the price war.

Peter Sommer is convinced that “those who present themselves to their customers and potential business partners in a creative and innovative way will also be successful.” “This may sometimes take a while, but with intelligent concepts, small and large companies can win new customers.”

To achieve this, however, the actual print product should not take precedence; instead, the advantages should be the focus. If customers recognize the value of the service, they will also be willing to spend money on it.

 


 

Preisverleihung mit Kronprinzessin Victoria von Schweden

Brillante Ideen, Unternehmergeist und bahnbrechende Technik: In November 2017 in Leipzig, the company was honored for its brilliant ideas, entrepreneurial spirit and pioneering technology by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in the Federal Republic of Germany. Swedish Crown Princess Victoria awarded Peter Sommer the 15th Swedish Enterprise Award for Elanders.

 


Print wins as an attractive part of integrated services! 

Analysis by Klaus-Peter Nicolay

While debates continue whether print service providers need to dedicate themselves more to distribution and logistics, the Elanders Group has already taken a significant step further. It has placed logistics so prominently in the company that printing almost appears as a by-product of the entire service range.

This appearance is deceptive, however: without print, Elanders’ business model would be similar to that of a freight forwarder and not that of an all-rounder for valuable print-based communication.

The integrated Packaging Innovation Center therefore offers development, printing and finishing of packaging in addition to its transport, warehousing, fulfillment (packaging of the product) and transport to customers, retailers or straight onto the selves of retail outlets. In this supply chain, everything except the actual product manufacturing is part of the iPIC service.

Only a few printing companies can dream of buying a logistics company costing hundreds of millions and offering similar solutions. However, the example of iPIC is certainly food for thought about the possibilities of adding a component to printing, to make the printing service more attractive, and to expand the value chain with new services.


 

Druckmarkt 113

PLEASE NOTE:

The article was first published in the print magazine “Druckmarkt”, issue 113, March 2018. We thank the publisher Klaus-Peter Nicolay for the reliable cooperation with ValueTrandradar.com.

 


Print of a special kind: Work samples from Elanders

Photos: Elanders Germany.

 

Elanders Ritter Sport

Stripes have been influencing the art of Jacob Dahlgren since 2000. He has designed 12 different design boards for Ritter Sport, which Elanders got to produce!


Druck-Kunst

Print art – Elanders produced this special book on typography and calligraphy for typographic artist Sigrid Artmann: Artitude!


 

Elanders Geschäftsbericht-Muster

Elanders’ portfolio still includes the annual reports of some global players, with very special print effects!


 

Eanders Weihnachtsgruss

Peter Sommer gives special consideration to noble, imaginative and valuable holiday greetings for Elanders Germany. 


 

Auszeichnung von Elenaders für Soziales Engagement 2017

Elanders Germany received the award “Social Engaged 2017” for extraordinary social engagement!

 


 

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