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ValueCheck Nico Print.001

Neue Wege sind wichtig und nötig, um die komplexen Themen rund um Print im Digitalzeitalter aufzuzeigen und vor allem begreidbar zu machen. — Fotos: Fachverband Medienproduktion e.V. (f:mp)

 

PROLOG

Wer alt genug ist, um sich an eine Welt ohne Internet erinnern zu können, wird sich auch an eine Welt ohne Digitaldruck erinnern können. Denn beide, einmal der Kommunikationskanal World Wide Web, als auch der digitale Druck, wie wir ihn heute kennen, betraten Anfang der 1990er Jahre die Bühne. 

Was vor rund 25 Jahren mit dem Netscape Navigator, dem Browser für jedermann, der ersten Indigo und Xeikon begann, ist für uns heute selbstverständlich. Und wer dieses Vierteljahrhundert zurückdenken kann, weiss auch, dass Drucksachen – im Vergleich zu dem, was uns heute geboten wird – schlicht und einfach ‚grottenschlechte‘ Massenware waren. 

So ändern sich die Zeiten. Ohne Internet käme heute wohl keiner mehr klar und ohne den gewaltigen Qualitätssprung im Druck wäre das Medium Print unansehnlich bis langweilig. 


Eine Situationsbeschreibung von Klaus-Peter-Nicolay, Verleger und Chefredakteur Druckmarkt (D/CH)

 

THE END OF PRINT?

Das genaue Gegenteil ist der Fall. Drucksachen sind heute lebendiger und vielfältiger denn je. Schliesslich hat der Digitaldruck den Offsetdruck weit weniger ersetzt, als es von vielen befürchtet wurde. Aber der digitale Druck hat Drucksachen entstehen lassen, die vorher keine waren. 

Man denke in diesem Zusammenhang an Fotobücher und das gesamte Geschäft mit kleinsten Auflagen, personalisierten und individualisierten Drucksachen, die in konventionellen Druckverfahren gar nicht möglich wären. Doch auch der klassische Druck ist nicht stehen geblieben. 

Immer raffinierter und zielgerichteter werden Drucksachen heute hergestellt. Und das auch ganz bewusst, weil die Erkenntnis gereift ist, dass sich eine Druckerei heute mit einem banalen vierfarbigen Flyer eher blamiert, denn Begeisterungsstürme bei den Kunden auslösen wird. Dazu gehört nämlich mehr. 

ÜBERRASCHENDE EFFEKTE 

Um sinnliche Signale auf die Wahrnehmung einer Information zu übertragen, lassen sich die Wirkungen der Haptik, die von Grammatur, Papierqualität, Verarbeitung und Veredelung nutzen. In der Forschungsdisziplin Werbewirkung wird hier von Bedeutungszusammenhängen (Semantik) und Assoziationen gesprochen, die durch sinnliche Reize ausgelöst werden (Priming). So ‚primen‘ Mailings beispielsweise über Gewicht, Konsistenz, Form und Textur der verwendeten Materialien oder über den Öffnungsmechanismus.

Ist diese erste Hürde erst einmal genommen (auffallen kann ein Mailing ja auch aufgrund des Formats, der Farbe und Papierqualität des Couverts) und der Empfänger beschäftigt sich mit der Drucksache, können Verstärker wie Wechselbilder (Lentikulardruck), Video-in-Print und Soundchips ein Mailing in der Wahrnehmung dynamisch machen. Dabei überraschen auch Effekte wie Laserstanzungen, ‚maschinell Handgeschriebenes‘, Hologramme, Duft, Pop-ups und Rubbelflächen etc. den Empfänger immer dann positiv, wenn sie zum beworbenen Angebot passen. 

 


Impressionen von der Event-Website, zusammengestellt durch den Fachverband Medienproduktion e.V. (f:mp).


 

KNOW HOW AND WHY 

Das alles lässt sich zwar in blumigen Begriffen be- und umschreiben, kann aber dennoch nur andeutungsweise das Gefühl vermitteln, welches erlebbar wird, wenn man solche Druckprodukte erst einmal in Händen hält. Doch wo und wann ergibt sich die Gelegenheit dazu? Und noch dazu in komprimierter Form, ohne von einem Open House zum nächsten reisen zu müssen? Wo mir jemand erklärt, wie ich Sound oder Video in eine Drucksache integrieren kann, wie ich NFC-Technologien für Print nutze, ob es Alternativen über ‚Smart Links‘ und ‚Hidden Codes‘ gibt, welche Möglichkeiten der Druck auf Metallfolien bietet und wo es auch noch fundierte Informationen über die Wirkmechanismen haptischer und multisensorischer Effekte gibt? 

Auf der PRINT digital! CONVENTION im Rahmen der Tage der Medienproduktion des Fachverbandes Medienproduktion (f:mp.)! Diese Veranstaltung Ende April 2018 in Düsseldorf hat die aus den Mailingtagen hervorgegangene und nun nicht mehr durchgeführte Nürnberger Co-Reach sowie die aus der Mode gekommene ‚grafische Fachmesse‘ Druck + Form in Sinsheim schnell vergessen gemacht und beide mehr als bravourös ersetzt. Und zwar auf eine bemerkenswert frische und neue Art. 

 

Trailer zur Event-Ankündigung des f:mp im Team mit der Messe Düsseldorf.

Ausstellung auf der einen, Kongress und Workshops auf der anderen Seite wäre nicht neu. Einzigartig ist das Konzept, weil sich nicht nur die Industrie mit ihren Lösungen präsentiert, sondern weil Druckereien und andere Dienstleister zeigen, was mit den technischen Möglichkeiten und einer gehörigen Portion Ideen umsetzbar ist. Verschiedene Themenwelten führten von der Idee über crossmediale Prozesse hin zu anwendungsfähigen Applikationen, die mit digitalen Druck- und Veredelungs-Technologien, mit hybriden und intelligenten Produktionen realisiert werden können. 

Die PRINT digital! CONVENTION hat Format und ist eine Veranstaltung, wie sie wünschenswert ist. Kurzweilig, informativ und mit einer gehörigen Portion Know-how-Transfer. Und mit der tatkräftigen Unterstützung der drupa wurde in der Stadthalle Düsseldorf im Congress Centrum auf dem Messegelände ein einzigartiges, geradezu persönliches Ambiente geschaffen, das in ‚normalen’ Messehallen nicht erreichbar wäre. 

FAZIT

Das war ein deutliches Signal für die Messeveranstalter der D/A/CH-Region und ein kräftiger Impuls für die Branche. Es ist ein bemerkenswertes und auf die aktuellen Marktbedürfnisse zugeschnittenes Konzept, das von den rund 1.000 Besuchern exzellent angenommen wurde. Und gewissermassen die Transformation altbackener Messekonzepte und langweiliger Kongress-Tage in ein neues Format mit Unterhaltungs-Charakter auf fachlicher Ebene. — Auch so wird Print lebendiger denn je. 


 

Anmerkung der Redaktion von valuetrendradar.com

Kompliment an Klaus-Peter Nicolay. Er hat eine hervorragende Situationsbeschreibung abgegeben, wie sich Print im Digitalzeitalter positioniert. Und eigentlich nicht zu verstecken braucht. Umso sehr ist der Hinweis wichtig, dass es nach wie vor ein Dilemma gibt: Auch auf der Print digital! Convention blieb man wie bei so vielen Print-Fachveranstatungen weitgehend unter sich. Und wer wie ich aus Termingründen nicht teilnehmen konnte, hatte kaum eine Chance, über die relevanten Social-Media-Kanäle sich in Echtzeit ein Bild zu machen, was es an Kernbotschaften zu erfahren gilt. Schade. Denn für innovative Auftraggeber der Druckereien ist genau das ein ganz einscheidender Punkt: Über den Tellerrand blicken und das Potenzial von Digital! voll ausschöpfen. Sonst spielt sich alles wie bisher fast im Verborgenen ab. — Andreas Weber, Head of Value.

 


 

Hinweis

Der Beitrag entstammt der lesenswerten Jubiläums-Ausgabe Nr. 100 des Managementmagazins DRUCKMARKT SCHWEIZ.

 

Druckmarkt Ausgabe 100CH_Titel

 


 

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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

 


 

ValueCheck Xerox.001

Von Andreas Weber, Head of Value

Es geht rund. Mit Turbo-Geschwindigkeit. Nach öffentlichen, harten Streitereien und Querelen mit den wichtigsten Aktionären muss bei Xerox Corp. der nach dem Split im Januar 2017 inthronisierte CEO Jeff Jacobson die Segel streichen und mit ihm ein halbes Dutzend Aufsichtsrats-Mitglieder. Ist das Unternehmen nun in einer schweren Krise? NEIN!

Prinzipiell ist Xerox grundsolide und finanziell gut aufgestellt. Was die Großaktionäre rund um Carl Icahn störte: Das hohe Potential von Xerox Corp. wurde nicht zielführend genutzt und Xerox sollte unter Wert seine Markenidentität und Eigenständigkeit aufgeben, indem es mit Fuji Xerox unter der Hoheit von Fijifilm verschmolzen wird. 

Fast zeitgleich mit der Meldung, dass Jeff Jacobson ausscheidet, wurden am 2. Mai 2018 von Bill Osbourn, Chief Financial Officer, Xerox, gute Ergebnisse für das 1. Quartal 2018 vermeldet und eine Print-Technologie-Neuheit weltweit präsentiert, die aufhorchen lässt: Metallic Dry Inks.

 

Ergänzende Meldungen vom 3. Mai bzw. 7. Mai 2018

Jeff Jacobson und die bisherigen Aufsichtsratsmitglieder sollen nun doch (vorläufig) im Amt bleiben. — Aprilscherz im Mai? Oder ist der Xerox-Konzern außer Kontrolle? “As a result, the current Board of Directors and management team will remain in place. Xerox and its Board of Directors recognize the uncertainty caused by the developments of the past several days among the company’s investors and other stakeholders. The Xerox Board and management team remain focused on driving continued improvement in financial and operational performance, and will consider all options to create value for the company and its shareholders.“ Source: https://www.news.xerox.com/news/Xerox-settlement-agreement-with-Carl-Icahn-and-Darwin-Deason-has-expired

Aktionäre gegen Vorstand/Aufsichtsrat — Wenn zwei sich (um #Xerox) streiten, freut sich der Dritte? — „Vor allem bei #Fujifilm dürfte man sich über die neueste Entwicklung die Hände reiben. Schließlich hatten die Japaner direkt nach dem Urteil angekündigt, dagegen vorzugehen und die getroffene Vereinbarung vor Gericht anfechten zu wollen.“ Quelle: Jacobson gegen Icahn — Neue Runde im Streit um Xerox-Verkauf an Fujifilm, via crn.de.

 

Weitere Meldungen vom 13. Mai und 18. Mai 2018

Xerox verlautbarte am 13. Mai 2018, dass es doch beim Wechsel an der Konzernspitze bleibt. Jeff Jacobson tritt endgültig ab. Ebenso fünf Ausichtsratsmitglieder. Zugleich wurde bekanntgegeben, dass der Deal mit Fujifilm vom Tisch ist und die Transaktionsvereinbarung vom Januar 2018 beendet wurde. 

Wie Bloomberg am 18. Mai 2018 verlautbarte, äußerte sich der Fujifilm-CEO, dass er juristisch gegen Xerox vorgehen werde, um den Deal doch noch zu realisieren: “Sukeno said he wants to explain to Xerox shareholders that the merger with Fujifilm is the only option for the American company to grow and have a future. A combined entity would be more efficient, he said.”

Großaktionär Darwin Deason gab in diesem Kontext eines seiner wenigen TV-Interviews, das sich lohnt anzuschauen. Er sagte unter anderem: “We have found a crown jewel in new Xerox CEO John Visentin.”

 

Meine Einschätzung, da es definitiv bei einem neuen CEO bleibt: Exzellente Ausgangsposition für einen Neuanfang

Das Menetekel, der Fisch stinke vom Kopf her und vergifte alles, trifft m. E. bei Xerox nicht zu. Vielmehr bietet sich eine extrem gute Basis auf hohem Niveau. Der designierte neue CEO Giovanni (“John”) Visentin trifft auf ein Unternehmen, dass sich in den Strukturen verschlankt hat, Ballast abgeworfen hat und in allen Bereichen mit vielen motivierten und talentierten Mitarbeitern nach vorne preschen kann. Seine Ernennung wird im Branchenchargon als „Hot Landing“ bezeichnet, quasi wie im Militär beim Einsatz von Fallschirm-Pionieren.

John Visentin hat umfassende Erfahrung im Top-Management für innovative Informations-Technologie-Lösungsangebote. Und er kennt sich mit Übernahmen aus. Seine wichtigste Aufgabe dürfte sein, erfahrbar zu machen und nach aussen darzustellen, worin die eigentlichen Stärken von Xerox liegen. Eben nicht nur in Hardware und Boxen, sondern in intelligenten, multifunktionalen Software-Lösungen und -Architekturen, die Business Solutions ermöglichen, um die Kundenkommunikation ganzheitlich zu stärken und das „Customer first“ und vor allem „Communication First“ in den Fokus zu rücken. 

In Deutschland kann man das bereits in ersten Ansätzen nachverfolgen: Das Management rund um Jacqueline Fechner ist bestens aufgestellt. Mit Christian Gericke  ist seit November 2017 ein Innovations- und Transformations-erfahrener Top-Manager an Bord, der das Marketing und vor allem das professionelle Print-Geschäft für Xerox GmbH nach vorne bringen wird.

All dies wird in der Wirtschaftspresse positiv aufgenommen und kommentiert. Nachfolgend eine Selektion von Artikeln und Kommentaren:

Handelsblatt vom 2. Mai 2018: http://amp.handelsblatt.com/unternehmen/it-medien/druck-von-investoren-xerox-chef-tritt-zurueck-verkauf-an-fujifilm-kommt-auf-den-pruefstand/21233180.html

Democrat & Chronicle: https://amp.democratandchronicle.com/amp/572294002

Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgebradt/2018/05/02/executive-onboarding-note-how-xeroxs-new-ceo-john-visentin-can-survive-his-hot-landing/#b22cd0c5ddea

Reuters berichtet von Kaufinteressenten: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-xerox-m-a-apolloglobal/exclusive-apollo-global-approaches-xerox-about-possible-acquisition-sources-idUSKBN1I32CF


Visentin 636608497289141868-JV-Headshot-Final-Cropped

About the expected XEROX Vice Chairman and CEO John Visentin (Quelle: Xerox Corp.)

Giovanni (“John”) Visentin is expected to be the Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Xerox Corporation. Prior to being appointed to that role, Mr. Visentin was a Senior Advisor to the Chairman of Exela Technologies and an Operating Partner for Advent International, where he provided advice, analysis and assistance with respect to operational and strategic business matters in the due diligence and evaluation of investment opportunities. John was also a consultant to Icahn Capital in connection with a proxy contest at Xerox Corporation from March 2018 to April 2018. 

In October 2013, Mr. Visentin was named Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Novitex Enterprise Solutions following the acquisition of Pitney Bowes Management Services by funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management. In July 2017, Novitex closed on a business combination with SourceHOV, LLC and Quinpario Acquisition Corp. 2 to form Exela Technologies, becoming one of the largest global providers of transaction processing and enterprise information management solutions. Exela Technologies now trades on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol XELA. 

Mr. Visentin was previously an Advisor with Apollo Global Management and contributed to their February 2015 acquisition of Presidio, the leading provider of professional and managed services for advanced IT solutions, where he was Chairman of the Board of Directors from February 2015 to November 2017. 

Mr. Visentin has managed multibillion dollar business units in the IT services industry (at each of Hewlett-Packard and IBM) and over the course of his career has a proven track record transforming complex operations to consistently drive profitable growth. Mr. Visentin graduated from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, with a Bachelor of Commerce.


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.

 


 

Bildschirmfoto 2018-04-13 um 15.14.55.png

What does a brand mean to a consumer?
What does a consumer mean to a brand?

By Andreas Weber, Head of Value. |  German Version

Many brands boast that they “create worlds of experience for our customers.” The question I ask myself is: do brands still meet the momentum which really determines customer needs, or rather: customer satisfaction? Or does an increasingly enforced brand experience approach not just miss the mark, but create more frustration than enjoyment?

Preliminary remark: learn from the best! Before any initial questions can be answered, looking back will help to bring us forward (‘Back to the Future’ style). Apple is a prime example to learn from. In the mid-90s, the company was at an all-time low, almost to the point of bankruptcy. Despite this, they managed a turnaround. Today, Apple has been the world’s most valuable brand for years. How was this possible? — “Communication first” was a central statement of the legendary Steve Jobs at the ‘Apple confidential meeting’ on September 23, 1997. 

With the “Think Different” Campaign he launched shortly afterwards, he initiated a tremendous upheaval in the industrial industry. 10 years later, they went on to break the sound barrier with the release of the iPhone. Since then, Apple as been making a higher per capita profit than most companies in terms of per capita sales. 

Although Jobs emphasized that products, marketing and distribution are important, he put smart communication above all else and made it a top priority. With his iPhone presentation on January 9, 2007, he achieved an ad-hoc gain of around $1 billion (media coverage, share price growth) before the product was even on the shelves. The trick: Jobs personally demonstrated the new device in great detail, and thus made himself identifiable with his customers and their new experience possibilities. 

The credo: Smart Communication puts the central focus on the customer experience. This has made the pioneer Apple the number one premium brand to date. As an iCEO, Jobs was also a dedicated Chief Communications Officer, which enabled his ideas to become part of the DNA of Apple, its partners and, in particular, its customers. This is a principle to which other companies, such as Berkshire Hathaway by Warren Buffett or Virgin by Richard Branson presumably also owe their success.

 

 

In my opinion, Apple is by far the most capable Smart Communication Company — and that includes maximum loyalty to their customers around the globe. 

 


Personal note: Anyone who buys an Apple product can experience
this — I’ve just bought the new iMac 27” with a Retina 5K Display and a MagicTrackPad. From (online) procurement including leasing to
free-of-charge delivery, the incredibly easy setup (just unpacking the iMac is a beautifully designed experience) up to the iCloud registration following Apple’s welcome email — which offered the very best professional support — the new computer seamlessly became a part of both my personal and professional life. This includes marvelous surprises, numerous technical innovations and quality features at the highest level. In conclusion: benchmark!


 

So let’s ask ourselves:
What distinguishes customer experience from brand experience?

Learning from the best: If you take a closer look, Apple and many other of the world’s most valuable brands follow a similar principle. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber and Airbnb – all of which are highly successful companies of recent times – have internalized and practiced the customer experience principle. 

Experts like to claim that their success is due to the superior innovative platform business model. To an extent, in my opinion, this is true: exponential growth is possible with this model, as you are able to address millions, even billions, of customers directly. However, business model innovations, as well as new digital technologies, are ‘only’ a means to an end — and not necessarily a guarantee of success. 

Think different!

 

Bildschirmfoto 2018-04-13 um 10.27.11

 

Consideration 1

It is crucial to exploit the innovation and technology mechanisms in such a way that dialogues or conversations with customers take place in real time. This enables us to perfect services and create products that are tailored to the customer’s needs. Smart Communication ensures all of this!!

Consideration 2

The brand itself is no longer the center of attention; instead, it rather becomes a common vehicle for companies and customers. Mass Marketing becomes Customized Mass Marketing. The majority of established brand companies put their focus on brand experience in order to impress customers with the strongest possible brand impact. This is a way to impress your customers with the strongest possible brand experience and thus induce them to buy your products. However, the best case scenario in this: you end up covering your costs, but you can barely manage to grow profitably and organically or achieve double-digit margins.

Consideration 3

Reality is inevitable: customers often feel more and more disappointed if they feel that brands have lost personal contact with them.

 


 

Adobe’s study, Reinventing Loyalty: The New Loyalty Experience (Fall 2017) found that 75% of CMOs admit that customer loyalty/customer satisfaction need to be improved, or that they don’t even know what their customers are dealing with. “This clearly demonstrates that CMOs feel that there is huge room for improvement when it comes to implementing new loyalty dimensions.” 

 

In my opinion, these new “loyalty dimensions” are entrenched in “old” values: trust, satisfaction, and relatedness. These values also form the core of Smart Communication. 

In this context: The usual “digital” transformation efforts of many companies miss the point. Instead of focusing on customer experience, many companies focus instead on the optimization of internal processes. 

While these do save the company time and money, they tend to drastically increase time and effort for the customer. Personal, human-to-human consultation opportunities are thus almost impossible. Anyone who’s spent far too much time on hold knows what I’m talking about.

 

Bildschirmfoto 2018-04-13 um 10.27.48

 

Consideration 4

In my view, in order to avoid customer dissatisfaction and loss of loyalty, it is not necessarily a matter of changing qualifications, but of changing the mandate of those responsible for marketing. 

Why?

  • Brand experience puts the focus on buying. It mainly uses expensive media and creative services from third parties (although Nielsen reports that in Germany, Europe’s premium market in 2017, gross advertising expenditure declined in some cases, despite high growth in mobile advertising). The corresponding strategies and measures are aimed at, almost as if on a hunt, bombarding customers with advertising, anywhere, anytime. So-called bonus programs make the hunt all the more dynamic.
  • But: Customer Experience, on the other hand, relies on customer satisfaction and service, through methods of direct contact and dialogue. Customer Experience follows the principle of ‘Listen & Learn.’ Real-time capturing of customers experiences is used to continuously improve products and services. Communication and transaction are interlinked as closely as possible, preferably seamlessly. The credo: It’s all about interaction and relatedness by smart communication.

Consideration 5

The Brand Experience Principle no longer applies. Customer sensitivities and expectations can best be met with an individually-tailored Smart Communication architecture, which should be designed with a customer experience focus. 

If the Smart Communication strategy, which is so successful for Apple, is structured in a systemic way, adapted to your company, and precisely understood in detail, the essence of Smart Communication, you will be able to respond extremely quickly to individual customer needs. There is no other choice! ‘Communication first’ thus goes hand in hand with ‘Customer benefits first.’

 


 

Instructions 

  1. Think different! Put your current branding and customer experience strategies to the test and discuss your findings with others. 
  2. Rethink and critically assess the values of your company’s current communication approach and processes (i. e. via the ValueCheck questionnaire).
  3. Listen & Learn. Understand and use the insights that my White Paper on Smart Communication offers, including specific instructions for action and organizational models. 
  4. I am always available for further explanations and support.

 


 

About Andreas Weber, Founder and CEO of Value Communication AG
Since more than 25 years Andreas Weber serves on an international level as a business communication analyst, influencer and transformer. His activities are dedicated to the ‘Transformation for the Digital Age’ via presentations, management briefings, coachings, workshops, analysis&reports, strategic advice. — Andreas Weber’s Blog inspires readers from around 130 countries around the globe.

 


 

 


 

Bildschirmfoto 2018-04-13 um 10.57.50.png

Was bringt dem Kunden eine Marke?
Was fordert eine Marke dem Kunden ab?

Überlegungen von Andreas Weber, Head of Value | English Version

 

Marken schwärmen: „Wir schaffen Erlebniswelten für unsere Kunden.“ 

Die Frage, die sich mir stellt, lautet: Treffen Marken noch das Momentum, was Kundenbedürfnisse, oder besser: die Kundenbefindlichkeit, tatsächlich ausmacht? Oder führt eine zunehmend forcierte Brand Experience-Attitüde nicht am Ziel vorbei — schafft mehr Frust als Lust?

Vorbemerkung: Von den Besten lernen! — Bevor sich die Eingangsfragen beantworten lassen, tut ein Blick zurück nach vorne gut (’Back to the Future’). Apple ist ein Paradebeispiel, von dem wir lernen können. Mitte der 1990er Jahre im Dauertief, fast nahe der Pleite, gelang der Turnaround. Heute ist Apple seit Jahren die wertvollste Marke der Welt. Wie konnte das gelingen? — „Communication first“ war ein zentrales Statement des legendären Steve Jobs beim ‚Apple confidential meeting‘ am 23. September 1997. 

Mit der kurz darauf gestarteten, unendlich erfolgreichen „Think Different“-Kampagne leitete er einen gewaltigen Umbruch in der Industriegeschichte ein, um mit dem iPhone 10 Jahre später die Schallmauer zu durchbrechen. Apple macht seitdem einen höheren Pro-Kopf-Gewinn als die meisten Unternehmen Pro-Kopf-Umsatz. 

Jobs betonte, dass Produkte, Marketing und Distribution wichtig seien, stellte aber die ‚Smart Communication‘ über alles und machte sie zur Chefsache. Mit seiner iPhone-Präsentation am 9. Januar 2007 erzielte er ad-hoc einen Zugewinn von rund 1 Milliarde US-Dollar (Media-Coverage, Aktienkurszuwachs) ohne das Produkt schon verkaufen zu können. Der Kniff: Jobs führte das neue Gerät bis ins Detail persönlich vor und hat sich damit mit seinen Kunden und ihren neuen Erlebnismöglichkeiten identifizierbar gemacht. 

Das Credo: Smart Communication rückt die Customer Experience ins Zentrum und machte den Vorreiter Apple bis dato zur Premium-Marke Nummer 1. Als iCEO war Jobs zugleich auch ein engagierter Chief Communication Officer, um seine Vorstellungen Teil der DNA von Apple, seiner Partner und v. a. seiner Kunden werden zu lassen. Ein Prinzip, dem andere Unternehmen wie z. B. Berkshire Hathaway durch Warren Buffett oder Virgin durch Richard Branson vermutlich ebenfalls ihren Erfolg verdanken. 

 

 

Apple hat sich aus meiner Sicht mit Abstand als fähigstes Smart Communication-Unternehmen profiliert. Mit maximaler Loyalität bei Kunden rund um den Globus. 

 


Persönliche Anmerkung: Die Erfahrung kann jeder machen, der ein Apple Produkt kauft — so wie ich gerade den neuen iMac 27’’ mit Retina 5K Display und MagicTrackpad: Von der (Online-)Beschaffung inkl. Leasing bis zur Lieferung frei Haus, der kinderleichten Inbetriebnahme (allein das Auspacken des iMac ist ein Designerlebnis!), bis zu der iCloud-Anmeldung unmittelbar folgenden Welcome-Email von Apple — die Profi-Support anbot, der sogleich aufs Beste erfolgte — wurde in kürzester Zeit der neue Computer Teil meiner persönlichen Erlebnis- und Arbeitswelt. Mit wunderbaren Überraschungen dank zahlreicher Technik-Innovationen und Qualitätsmerkmalen auf höchstem Niveau. In Summe: Benchmark!


Fragen wir uns also:
Was unterscheidet Customer Experience von Brand Experience?

Von den besten lernen: Schaut man genau hin, verfolgen neben Apple auch andere der wertvollsten Marken der Welt ein ähnliches Prinzip: Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber und Airbnb — alles überaus erfolgreiche Unternehmen der neueren Zeit, die das Customer Experience-Prinzip verinnerlicht haben und praktizieren. Von Experten wird gerne angeführt, der Erfolg liege am überlegenen innovativen Plattform-Geschäftsmodell. 

Aus meiner Sicht stimmt das zwar, weil exponentielles Wachstum möglich wird: man ist in der Lage, Millionen und Milliarden von Kunden direkt anzusprechen; aber Geschäftsmodell-Innovationen wie auch neue Digital-Technologien sind ‚nur’ Mittel zum Zweck — und per se keine Erfolgsgaranten.

Wir müssen also das Andere denken — Think different!

 

Bildschirmfoto 2018-04-13 um 10.27.11.png

 

Überlegung 1

Entscheidend ist, die Innovations- und Technologie-Mechanismen so auszunutzen, dass Dialoge respektive Konversationen mit Kunden in Echtzeit entstehen, um für die Perfektionierung von Services und Produkten nutzbar zu werden, die sich am individuellen Bedarf des Kunden ausrichten. Smart Communication stellt das sicher!

Überlegung 2

Die Marke selbst steht nicht mehr im Zentrum, sie wird quasi zum gemeinsamen Vehikel von Unternehmen und Kunden. Aus Mass Marketing wird Mass Customized Marketing. Legt man wie die Mehrzahl der etablierten Markenunternehmen den Fokus auf Brand Experience, um über die möglichst starke Strahlkraft der Marke per Mass Penetration Kunden zu beeindrucken und so zum Kaufen zu bewegen, kann man im besten Falle noch Kosten decken, aber kaum noch profitabel organisch wachsen oder zweistellige Margen erzielen.

Überlegung 3

Die Realität ist zwangsläufig: Kunden fühlen sich mehr und mehr enttäuscht, wenn Marken offensichtlich den persönlichen Kontakt zu Ihnen verloren haben. 

 



Adobe
hat in seiner aktuellen Studie „Reinventing Loyalty: The New Loyalty Experience“ (Herbst 2017) herausgefunden, dass 75 Prozent der CMO’s zugeben, dass bei Kunden-bindung/Kundenzufriedenheit Verbesserungsbedarf besteht bzw. dass sie gar nicht wissen, was ihre Kunden eigentlich beschäftigt. „This clearly demonstrates that CMOs feel that there is huge room for improvement when it comes to implementing the new loyalty dimensions.“


Die neuen ‚Loyalty Dimensions’ fußen meines Erachten auf ‚alten‘ gemeinsamen Wertvorstellungen, geprägt durch Vertrauen, Zufriedenheit, Verbundenheit (relatedness), die auch den Kern von Smart Communication ausmachen. 

In diesem Kontext zu beachten: Die üblichen ‚digitalen‘ Transformations-Bestrebungen führen am Ziel vorbei, da nicht Customer Experience, sondern die Optimierung unternehmensinterner Prozesse erfolgt, die dem Unternehmen Aufwand und Kosten sparen, den Aufwand beim Kunden aber drastisch erhöhen. Persönliche Rückfrage-Möglichkeiten von Mensch zu Mensch sind dann allzuoft kaum noch möglich.

 

Bildschirmfoto 2018-04-13 um 10.27.48.png

 

Überlegung 4

Um Unzufriedenheit und Loyalitätsverlust bei Kunden zu vermeiden, bedarf es aus meiner Sicht nicht unbedingt einer veränderten Qualifikation, sondern der Änderung des Auftrags der Marketing-Verantwortlichen. 

Warum?

  • Brand Experience legt den Fokus auf „buying“ und benutzt überwiegend kostspielige Medien und Kreativ-Leistungen Dritter (wobei wie Nielsen in Deutschland als Premiummarkt in Europa für das Jahr 2017 vermeldet, die Brutto-Werbeausgaben zum Teil rückläufig sind, trotz hohem Wachstum bei Mobile-Advertising). Die entsprechenden Strategien und Maßnahmen zielen darauf ab, Kunden ständig, fast wie auf einer Treibjagd, mit Werbebotschaften zu befeuern, anywhere, anytime. Sog. Bonusprogramm dynamisieren die Hetze erheblich.
  • Aber: Customer Experience setzt dagegen auf „serving & satisfying“ v. a. durch Direktkontakte und Dialoge. Customer Experience folgt dem Prinzip des ‚Listen & Learn‘. Die Echtzeit-Erfassung der Kundenerlebnisse wird genutzt, um Produkte und Services stetig zu verbessern. Kommunikation und Transaktion werden dabei so eng wie möglich, am besten nahtlos, verzahnt. — Credo: It’s all about interaction and relatedness by smart communication.

Überlegung 5

Das Brand Experience Prinzip führt nicht mehr weiter. Mit einer individuell zugeschnittenen Smart Communication-Architektur, die Customer Experience-fokussiert ausgestaltet wird, lassen sich Kundenbefindlichkeiten und Erwartungen am besten decken. Im Fokus: Great Conversations!

Wenn man die für Apple so erfolgreiche Smart Communication-Strategie systemisch strukturiert, aufs eigene Unternehmen adaptiert sowie im Detail das Wesen der Smart Communication exakt versteht, wird man extrem rasch auf individuelle Kundenbefindlichkeiten eingehen können. Es bleibt nämlich gar keine andere Wahl! ‚Communication first‘ geht dann einher mit ‚Customer benefits first‘.

 


 

Handlungsanweisungen 

  1. Think different! Stelle Deine aktuelle Branding- und Customer Experience-Strategie auf den Prüfstand und diskutiere Deine Erkenntnisse mit anderen.
  2. Überdenke und hinterfrage kritisch den Wert der gegenwärtigen Kommunikationspraxis in Deinem Unternehmen (gerne mithilfe des ValueCheck Fragenkatalogs).
  3. Listen & Learn: Verstehe und nutze die Insights, die mein White Paper zu „Smart Communication“ bietet, inkl. konkreten Handlungsanleitungen und Organisation-Modellen.
  4. Gerne stehe ich mit meinem reichen Erfahrungswissen für weitere Erläuterungen und Unterstützung zur Verfügung.

 


 

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 130 Ländern der Welt.

 


 

 


 

ValueDialog LiveTV #ops2018

Always a pleasure and great honor to talk to Jerry Kennelly, Founder and CEO of Tweak.com

Interviews: Andreas Weber | Videos: ops2018-Veranstalter zipcon, BVDM, FOGRA

Wie bereits im Jahre 2017 gab es auch beim #ops2018 ein Dutzend Live-TV-Interviews von Andreas Weber mit klugen, hochkarätigen Experten, die sich zum wahren Publikumsliebling entwickelten. Nachfolgend die Mitschnitte aller Interviews (Dauer jeweils rund 5 Minuten).

Für weitere Infos und zur Kontaktaufnahme finden sich die entsprechenden Links in den Kurztexten.


SAPPI, Peter Goer: „Onlineprint und Digitalisierung markieren die Zukunft für Wachstum!“


CloudLab AG, Patrick Jarzabek: „Vieles wird durch das neue Release im Mai 2018 noch einfacher, gerade auch für den Verpackungsbereich!“


Digital Print GmbH: Constantin Rauch: „Als Mass-Customization-Produzent und Partner von Druckereibetrieben setzen wir ungebrochen auf viele neue Angebote.“


OneVision Software AG, Hans-Martin Kuhn: „Wir gehen im Zuge von Industrie 4.0 über die Automatisierung für klassische Printanwendung weit hinaus, z. B. durch Lösungen für Wide-Format-Printing.“


rissc Solutions GmbH, Alexander Sperrfechter: „Aufbruch in neue Welten ist unser Motto und verspricht dramatische Vereinfachungen durch Zentralisierung in der Cloud.“


ctrl-s GmbH, Martin Klein: „Wir haben zum #ops2018 Kunden mitgebracht, die freudig und ohne Marketing-Blabla über den hohen Nutzen unserer Lösungen Auskunft geben!“


u-Traxx AG, Urs Vogel: „Durch Automatisierung kommt eine große Herausforderung auf die Mitarbeiter zu!“


Obility GmbH, Frank Siegel: „Wir setzen auf die Durchgängigkeit der Prozessse durch Business Automation auf allen Ebenen.“


Chili Publish, Piet Saegemann und Gerd Van Gils: „Wir haben quasi die Eierlegende-Wollmich-Sau erschaffen, um Firmen zu helfen plattformübergreifend aus riesigen Mengen von Daten ihre Kommunikation effektiv zu gestalten.“


Tweak.com Ltd., Jerry Kennelly:  „Our Vision and Mission: We make it very easy to take out all of the friction out of the online printing industry.“


Hubergroup Deutschland GmbH, Steve Walpuski: „Tradition schließt Innovation nicht aus. Wir lieben Print und wurden gerade von den Lesern von Druck&Medien für unsere Nachhaltigkeit prämiert mit unseren ökologischen Druckfarben im Sinne von ‚Cradle to Cradle‘. Das freut uns riesig!“


Durst Group/Durst Phototechnik Digital Technology GmbH, Barbara Schulz: „Wir haben uns in unserer über 80-jährigen Geschichte schon mehrmals selbst neu erfunden. Wir setzen konsequent auf Digitalisierung und Automatisierung zur Qualitäts- und Performance-Zuverlässigkeit unserer Drucktechnik.“


 

ValueCheck OPS 2018.001

#ops2018: Zum zweiten Mal gab es über ein Dutzend hochinformative, kurzweilige und unterhaltsame LiveTV-Interviews mit den Partner. Das Publikum im Saal war begeistert. — Im Bild: Barbara Schulz von Durst Group und Interviewer Andreas Weber.

 

Von Andreas Weber, Head of Value

Es lohnte sich extrem, beim #ops2018 in München am 15. und 16. März 2018 dabei gewesen zu sein.

Es ging nicht nur um Onlineprint, es ging um die Zukunft der Druck-Kunst im Zeitalter der Assistant-Technologien, der Mass Customitzation (durch Digitaldruck) und Transformation des Druckereigeschäfts.

Ich habe per⚡️Twitter Moments das wichtigste kompakt und multimedial zusammengefasst. Mit allen Highlights und tollen Insights. Und einigen wichtigen Live-Interviews. Klicken lohnt sich. Das Anschauen via Smartphone kommt am besten. Und passt zu einer #ops2018-Kernerkenntnis: Print Business goes Mobile!


 

ValueDialog LiveTV #ops2018

Siehe vor allem auch den Bericht mit den 12 LiveTV-Interviews, im ValueDialog mit Top-Experten und ihrer Sichtweise. 


 

Ein engagiertes Moderationstrio: Jens Meyer, Dr. Eduard Neufeld, Bernd Zipper. — Video: #ops2018


 

TWITTER MOMENTS BY @ValueCommAG

 

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!

 


 

ValueDialog Dr. Hermann Subscription.001

Photo: Heidelberg

 


“In today’s digital age with its cutting-edge business models based on networks and platforms, everything needs to be transparent, in real time, and focused on enhancing customer benefits.” – Professor h. c. Dr. Ulrich Hermann


 

Interview and analysis by Andreas Weber, Head of Value | German version

Successful printing doesn’t just happen. It’s all down to innovative plans and putting these into action. That’s the main focus of Chief Digital Officer Professor Ulrich Hermann, member of the Management Board at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG since November 2016. In an exclusive interview, he explains the principles of the ‘subscription economy’, which is now firmly established at Heidelberg and is set to bring about success right from the get-go.

 


 

Note: In April 2018 some new reports in the news came up. Handelsblatt published via its global edition some great observations: Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG begins to look less like a factory and more like an information processing hub for industrial operations.“ — MORE

And more subscription customers got on stage, like Klampfer Group in Austria.  Or Lensing Druck Group in Germany.

 


 

The subscription economy is taking Heidelberg as a market leader and its primarily industrial customers to the next level of the transformation process. For the first time, printing performance is being assessed and billed on a customized basis, thus representing a brand new development and a challenge for the print sector. Conventional billing methods, i.e. selling equipment at a fixed price in offset printing or click charge models in digital printing, are being replaced by subscription models. This has its benefits.

 


subscribe concepts with message on keyboard

Info box: What is the meaning behind ‘subscription economy’?

The subscription economy correlates with the fundamental transition toward customized buying and selling in the B2C, and increasingly in the B2B, sector. The focus has shifted away from acquiring and owning products toward long-term, flexible customer relationships and ongoing customer benefits. The resulting technical and organizational demands are high. Some subscription-based solutions already exist in the printing industry, such as standalone software-as-a-service agreements. Important factors include automation, scalability, complex data models, and changed accounting principles right through to analytics. A constant supply of information on customer satisfaction and, most importantly, the way products and services are used is essential to enable businesses to further customize their services. What’s more, this data also helps both the supplier and customer achieve greater growth. Studies show that in the United States – the birth place of digitization – the subscription economy is already well-developed, generating approximately 800 billion US dollars in added value in the past ten years alone.  – aw


 

What is it all about?

The subscription economy could become the main focus in our sector, too. It has already achieved great economic success in the United States but remains largely disregarded in Germany. What difference will it make?

Dr. Ulrich Hermann: Subscription models offer a new approach for generating value by consistently focusing on customer benefits. Primarily, this means the end of product-oriented business models whose added value derives from creating a product, rather than from the benefit customers gain from that product.

Companies with analog models focused on manufacturing and selling products are eager to pass on expenses incurred in development, production, sales and supply to the customer as soon as possible. Whether customers are able to recover their costs is a question that is only considered relevant when it comes to the customer making repeat purchases, in other words it only becomes relevant at some point in the future.

What are the important features of a subscription?

It all boils down to a lasting customer relationship. This undoubtedly develops for services relating to the product, but not for the value of the product itself. 

A product-centric focus was the perfect approach for the analog world and shaped the industrial era for over 100 years because it was very difficult to quantify how the product was used and the associated added value for the customer.

In today’s digital economy, however, this approach is outdated as data is available on how products are being used and new business models are shifting the focus away from the value of the product itself and towards the usage value. We now aim to adopt this approach at Heidelberg as the leading supplier on the print shop market.

What are the advantages of focusing on the benefits to the customer and the disadvantages of focusing on the product?

As I’ve said, suppliers in the digital age can use platforms to gather, profile and analyze data on all participants with the aim of continuously and sustainably increasing customer benefits and thus instilling valuable, long-lasting customer loyalty. All processes must therefore focus on this and remain transparent for all participants in real time. If companies focus on the product, they can’t work out in any great detail or very quickly what it is their customers do with the product, when and how. Incidentally, that is a trend that affects many areas of professional and personal life…

… can you give a few examples?

It starts with reading a book or magazine, or when customers switch production equipment on or off, or why they are in the car and where they’re going. Manufacturers/suppliers usually know nothing about how their products are being used. As a result, they have to carry out costly questionnaires and analyses to anticipate how the products are being used and implement laborious improvements in long cycles.

During the analog era, innovations were therefore subject to protracted innovation cycles that were often staggered due to the risks involved. This led to analog companies spending a disproportionately large amount of time on optimizing internal value creation. It is clear that during this era the price of a product did not reflect how the customer used it but rather covered material and production costs.

 

A milestone on the road to the digital transformation and finally implementing the subscription program. A YouTube video of Dr. Ulrich Hermann discussing the market launch of the Heidelberg Assistant in December 2017.

 


 

The key to success

How can the focus be switched to customer benefits?

If we consider customer benefits to be the cornerstone of a company’s business operations, we end up with completely different approaches. Companies want to know what customers are paying for when using the products they have provided. This is exactly what disruptive business models in the digital world are based on. Usage patterns serve as the measure of all things – supported by the user experience and the customer journey.

Have companies in the print industry grasped this point? After all, nearly everyone nowadays is talking about customer orientation.

Technology suppliers often do not fully grasp that customer orientation, as a prerequisite to focusing on customer benefits, itself requires a comprehensive organizational transformation. Everything changes – from the mindset and culture right through to product creation. The ability to digitally measure the usage of products and services is key to creating added value. All business activities must pursue this aim.

Analyzing valid, long-term data collected from installed machinery and systems helps develop benchmarks with reference groups, which in turn enables the derivation of target figures and reference variables for optimum usage. We have been collecting such data at Heidelberg since the introduction of Remote Service technology back in 2004 and it has formed the basis for introducing Heidelberg Subscription.

With regard to the print industry, does this mean that it is not enough to simply introduce digital processes into print product manufacturing?

Exactly. In the digital economy, competition isn’t all about the product – the main focus is on developing the relevant user experience. I like to show a picture that presents the bustling streets of Manhattan as the heart of New York City. Some ten years ago, the streets were still filled with yellow cabs. Today, it’s dark sedans.

The product in this example is the same, just black and not yellow. It is a vehicle with a driver and passenger – and from the outside it is not immediately recognizable as a digital product. The difference, however, lies in the user experience. It is much easier to order, select, pay for and travel in a taxi with Uber and to influence the quality of the business model by writing a review.

Passengers feel like they are being taken seriously – as a business partner rather than a prisoner behind a plexiglass pane, if you like. It is no longer just about the service or product portfolio, but rather the customer journey and a new, intelligent way of using the product.

What does this mean in real terms for Heidelberg and its customers?

In our line of work, the subscription economy offers the opportunity to think about how we need to fundamentally change our business not just by selling machinery and services, i.e. billing for the product value, but by developing new models that assess the usage and the resulting positive effects.

 

This film on Heidelberg Subscription shows how Heidelberg is going down new paths in marketing, too.

 


 

How it works

What is the concept behind Heidelberg Subscription?

More than a year has passed since we began the transformation. We initially asked ourselves the following questions. What offers the biggest profit potential for our customers? Cost-effective printing capacity or optimum utilization? If our customers only derive added value from maximum machine utilization – in other words from optimized utilization of a coordinated combination of numerous individual products such as printing presses, consumables, software and services – why shouldn’t they actually pay us for this added value rather than for the individual components?

How did you go about answering these key questions?

A team of people with backgrounds in a wide range of disciplines such as finance, services, product development, sales and marketing / product marketing were tasked with developing a business model in which Heidelberg would not sell individual products to the customer, but rather offer the use of an end-to-end system that has been optimized for the specific needs of that customer. As early as December 2017, we concluded our first comprehensive subscription contract with folding carton manufacturer FK Führter Kartonagen, which is part of the WEIG Group. More contracts are in place, and interest in the market is continuing to grow significantly.

Aren’t print shops skeptical? Many are still coming to terms with click-charge models, which are now used as standard in digital printing.

There is a disadvantage to the click-charge models commonly found on the market. They reflect the market prices of digital printing press suppliers and are not based on the customer’s actual cost per printed page for offset printing. There are also no benchmarks for productivity targets etc. In our model, we bill per printed page using the ‘impression charge’.

What is an ‘impression charge’? 

The price per page reflects the potential of increased utilization during the contract period. However, the customer has to have a successful business model that allows for sustainable growth. Our subscription model is quite simply a genuine performance partnership. If Heidelberg fails to boost productivity during the contract period, neither the customer or we can fully satisfy margin targets. That is the difference to click-charge models.

The normal click charges for digital printing are based on the costs incurred by the digital press manufacturer and its profit expectations, not on the comparative costs for the customer. They represent a product-based pricing that the customer, the print shop, cannot control and that does not reflect their actual cost structure. Digital printing is therefore not a digital business model.

Added to this is the fact that if utilization fluctuates or is insufficient, click charges can quickly have disastrous effects.

So what is key for developing billing models based on customer needs?

Print shops want to be able to manage their costs themselves. And with good reason, as for many centuries printing was a skilled trade with humans controlling the quality of the work. Only recently has the business started to be industrialized following the automation of production processes with the help of standards. For a craftsman, what’s important is focusing on customer proximity and creating a bespoke end product with a special touch. Accordingly, print results sometimes varied dramatically in terms of quality and price.

 

An introductory explanation on Heidelberg Subscription.

 


 

What are the benefits?

What does industrial production do differently to craftsmen?

Industrial production based on standards creates results that are largely consistent. Only the level of automation creates differences in production, and defines the print outcome and the operating result.

To stand out, print shops must therefore make substantial investments in their own, increasingly digital customer relationships. Digital marketing, an online presence and digitizing the process of ordering best-selling products are becoming very important. Investing in the pressroom may be an age-old tradition but it opens up few opportunities to stand out. It also distracts from the actual job of a printing company in the digital age – namely to attract customers. With this in mind, switching to a subscription model is an easy and entirely logical decision.

What does results-based payment entail?

Our experienced performance-focused consultants conduct a comprehensive analysis of the print shop, reviewing costs for personnel, consumables, downtimes, plate changes, waste, depreciation, and much more. Once this thorough analysis has been completed, a unit page price can be determined that is specific to the relevant customer.

What’s more, we use the performance data we have gathered from more than ten thousand networked machines to establish reference variables. Thanks to this database we can make an offer to the customer to lower this price through a subscription contract because we know how to optimize their operations.

What criteria apply for the subscription?  

Heidelberg Subscription is based on the following considerations/criteria:

  1. Customers must demonstrate growth potential in terms of overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). For most customers, this averages between 30 % and 40 %.
  2. Concentrating on product innovations and customer acquisitions, customers must aim to significantly boost order volumes.

Suitable customers are offered an attractive price based on the above considerations and on a specific expected OEE increase, e.g. from 35 % to 45 %. Using this model, we sell productivity gains and help customers to achieve and exceed their goals. Heidelberg is responsible for setting up the turnkey system accordingly. We promise customers that the price premium for our optimized and more productive turnkey system will not only be worth it, but will out-do their expectations.

How do potential customers react to this new approach?

Many customers are enthusiastic as they are not dealing with a supplier that demands money up front for better quality and even charges for servicing if a machine breaks down. Instead, Heidelberg does everything it can to exceed agreed performance targets and ensure quality matches customer expectations.

Is Heidelberg taking a risk by standing as guarantor for success? 

Yes and no. Yes because with the subscription contract, it is in our own interest to ensure machinery is running, software updates are carried out, the use of consumables is optimized, and to do everything we can to increase output. No because ultimately, we take care in choosing our subscription customers. Most importantly, customers must all have one thing in common – they need to concentrate on growth and product innovation on the market, and their business model must demonstrate the potential for further growth.

Analyzing such factors has always been important for us as a manufacturer. We want to grow alongside our successful customers. In the traditional business, this took a back seat provided the customer could pay for the equipment. What we are talking about here is an excellent, new dimension to the partnership. We are no longer looking at whether our machinery, services or materials are cheaper or more expensive than rival products. Everything is defined by the mutually agreed performance targets, using the calculated price per page as a guideline.

 

Heidelberg Push-to-Stop PtS_Teaser_Slider_Motiv_White_IMAGE_RATIO_1_5

Another important aspect of the subscription model is based on autonomous printing following the Push to Stop principle presented at drupa 2016. – See our ValueCheck and case report.


 

Invoicing method

How do you determine the costs with a subscription contract?

That is tailored to the customer and their potential. For customers wishing to expand their business, for example, we might recommend our Speedmaster XL 106. Customers then make an upfront payment, which is only a small portion of the overall cost that would have been due if they had purchased the machinery. They also pay a fixed monthly charge based specifically on the price per page calculation of the agreed page volume that the customer aims to print and that is lower than their average page production. Additional impression charges are only incurred if the page volume exceeds the agreed targets.

Is the subscription tailored to the customer?

A fundamental and unique element to our offer is that we can customize the subscription in its entirety. For example, for companies unable to greatly increase productivity because excellent industrial systems already ensure a high OEE, we adjust the upfront payment and the fixed monthly charge accordingly. Alternatively, for customers with significant potential to increase performance and dynamic opportunities to increase order volume, we focus more on the variability of the payments.

With our subscription program, customers no longer need to worry about investing in their pressroom, making full use of available technology, or keeping systems up to date.

Why should customers tie themselves exclusively to Heidelberg?

If customers opt for the conventional model, they are dependent on a much bigger group of partners. Buying machinery takes up a large part of investment and often means being dependent on a bank. The supposed freedom that comes with pulling together consumables and optimizing the various features themselves comes with greater outlay, and all the separate relationships with numerous suppliers are diametrically opposed to the print shops’ profit targets…

…so that means the classic method of gathering lots of offers before purchasing brings its own problems? 

Everyone tries to pass on their costs. If we focus on the actual purpose of printing on paper, I believe all these dependencies are a much bigger issue than signing up to a long-term subscription contract with one manufacturer in which the profit interests of the manufacturer and customer are aligned for the first time. A Heidelberg Subscription contract runs for five years. We anticipate continuous OEE growth within that period. For example, if we increase page volume from 35 million pages per year to 55 million pages, this corresponds to OEE growth from approximately 35 % to 60 %. There is no need to explain what this means for the customer’s profits.

Is Heidelberg therefore financing the manufacturing costs for the production equipment?

The equipment belongs to Heidelberg and forms part of our balance sheet and/or our financing partners’ balance sheets. On the one hand, this fits in with the expectations of those customers who are undergoing digital transformation, i.e. the move toward an automated printing operation and digital customer relationships. Subscription customers always enjoy the highest possible level of automation without having to worry about technology updates, or financing new investments.

On the other hand, such customers also want to use digitization to bolster relationships with their own customers. Digital expertise helps to significantly improve go-to-market capacity across a broad spectrum.

 

subscribe1


 

How go-to-market is changing

Does this mean the subscription model also helps improve customers’ go-to-market capacity because it frees up resources at the print shop?

Every new print shop development until now has required enormous effort to ensure the technology is sound but also to secure prices that reflect more complex and thus more effective products. Placing a unilateral focus on production and ignoring customer value in digital customer relationships will come back to haunt even extremely successful modern printing companies.

Devoting resources to further develop the customer journey offered by the print shop and not getting bogged down by technical and administrative aspects is the best way of standing out from competitors and keeping ahead of the curve.

In other words, you are shifting your customers’ business focus?

Our high-growth customers are all excellent entrepreneurs who always focus on where the money flows so as to protect their investments. Customer orientation is greatly enhanced if we no longer force them to buy and maintain capital-intensive production equipment. Focusing completely on the customer as a core concept of the digital economy is always the best way forward for a prosperous business. That applies both to us and our customers.

With the subscription model, Heidelberg takes care of the financing. Do you anticipate any new challenges as a result?

A listed company with experience in customer financing such as Heidelberg cannot help but adopt new approaches in terms of financing. We even have a banking license. What works best for our investors is always cash-stable contracts with selected customers that have good potential for growth and are highly innovative.

That’s exactly what our subscription program ensures with its guaranteed monthly payments – particularly given that we can pool contracts and also trade through a financing partner. This is a much more attractive option for investors than having to negotiate contracts with individual print shops. Risks are balanced thanks to a diversified base of carefully assessed and chosen subscribers.

Last but not least, how quickly can you and do you want to increase market share with the subscription model?

There is very strong demand. But we are taking our time and signing contracts with selected ‘early adopters’. In this financial year, we aim to conclude ten contracts to gain experience and lay a solid foundation to gradually establish the offer across the market.

 

Heideldruck 01_180206_Kunde_Weig

As early as December 2017, Heidelberg concluded its first comprehensive subscription contract with folding carton manufacturer FK Führter Kartonagen, which is part of the WEIG Group. Photo: Heidelberg


 

Final conclusions

How would you summarize this development?

We live in exciting times with completely new opportunities for both Heidelberg and its customers. The digital economy offers entirely new mindsets for these opportunities. Ensuring the transparent use of products and services in a digital business relationship enables us to concentrate on the real source of added value…

…and what does that ultimately mean?

The transparency we provide establishes fair business relationships between those involved, but also places great responsibility on all participants in the interest of preserving their freedom. This responsibility puts the spotlight on the values of the business partners. Heidelberg values have remained constant throughout our long industrial history and play a particularly important role in our digital strategy. We have reworded the responsibility assumed by Heidelberg in its role as a printing industry partner: Listen. Inspire. Deliver. Digital business models hardly get any better than that.

Thank you for agreeing to this interview and giving a detailed insight into the hidden complexities of mastering digital transformation.

 


 

#ValueCheck – Heidelberg Subscription as a new economic system

Why the subscription model from Heidelberg is not only a logical choice, but also essential for ensuring growth with innovative ideas

STATUS QUO

  • The print production volume (PPV) is stable at approximately 410 billion euros worldwide each year.
  • Despite this, the number of print shops and print units is decreasing due to improved press performance.
  • Even as print runs shrink, OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) can be increased through the automation of industrial-scale operations.
  • Today, growth rates can be more than doubled from 30 percent to 70 percent over ten years.
  • Given that the PPV cannot be doubled, there is an inevitable and considerable decrease in the number of print units that can be sold (up to 50 percent).
  • Heidelberg therefore has to generate added value elsewhere if it is to avoid becoming dependent on crowding out competitors or snatching market shares in order to survive in a shrinking machinery market.

MEASURES

  • Heidelberg is gaining attention as an “all-in system” thanks to its extensive print know-how and its servicing database, which has been established on the basis of predictive monitoring since 2004 and focuses on the continuous analysis and improvement of installed production equipment. More than 10,000 Heidelberg presses are currently subject to continuous analysis.
  • With its subscription model, Heidelberg takes care of everything to ensure maximum use is made of installed print shop technology.

EFFECTS

  • The risk associated with innovations is not only dramatically reduced, but also more widely spread.
  • Capital-intensive investments in production equipment no longer put a financial strain on print shops. Heidelberg supports customers, pooling and implementing investments with financing partners on good terms.
  • This has immediate positive effects on our industrial-scale customers, as increased flexibility and variability of usage provides immense freedom to concentrate on optimizing the marketing of enhanced performance and accelerating print shop growth.
  • The continuous increase in utilization results in improved profitability in the short, medium and long term.
  • The subscription program opens up linear and exponential growth opportunities for both Heidelberg and its customers.

 


 

lossenfotografie-industriefotografie-0011

Photo: Heidelberg

 

 

About Dr. Ulrich Hermann

Dr. Ulrich Hermann has been a member of the Management Board at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG in his role as Chief Digital Officer since November 2016. Thanks to his proven expertise in the digital transformation of businesses, Hermann was made an honorary professor at Allensbach University, Constance, Germany, in August 2017.

Born 1966 in Cologne, he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at RWTH in Aachen and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology M.I.T., Cambridge, United States.

In 1996, he completed a doctorate in business economics at the University of St. Gallen, in 1998 he became the Managing Director of Bertelsmann Springer Science and Business Media Schweiz AG, and in 2002 he was appointed Managing Director of Süddeutscher Verlag Hüthig Fachinformation.

In 2005, he assumed the role of Chairman of the Management Board at Wolters Kluwer Germany Holding, later becoming a Member of the Divisional Executive Board for the Central European Region at Wolters Kluwer n.v. in 2010.

 


 

About Andreas Weber, Founder and CEO of Value Communication AG: Since more than 25 years Andreas Weber serves on an international level as a business communication analyst, influencer and transformer. His activities are dedicated to the ‘Transformation for the Digital Age’ via presentations, management briefings, coachings, workshops, analysis&reports, strategic advice.

 


 

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