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.
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?
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.