Heidelberg extends subs model options as user base expands

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, September 23, 2019

Heidelberg has now signed up more than 50 users to its subscription model and is targeting triple figures by the end of its fiscal year.

At an event held last week at the premises of customer the Klampfer Group, in St Ruprecht an der Raab, Austria, Heidelberg outlined its success so far with the pay-per-use model and laid bare its future expectations.

To date, the manufacturer said it has signed 56 subscription contracts, with equal numbers of customers coming from the commercial and packaging sectors.

Contract business is a central pillar of the company’s ongoing digital transformation. It said that in the future, contracts like these will account for around a third of its overall net sales.

Heidelberg chief digital officer Ulrich Hermann told Printweek: “Our plan is to have 100 contracts by the end of the fiscal year. It’s an ambitious plan but we are now halfway and the pipeline shows that this is possible.”

Heidelberg said all users of the model have “to one extent or another” recorded a clear improvement in their overall equipment effectiveness thanks to significant performance increases in terms of makeready times, printing speed, paper waste and the overall productivity of their processes.

The manufacturer’s current geographical focus for the subscription market is in Europe, the US and China, and it said it has seen particular success so far in the Eastern Europe sales region, with contracts signed in Poland, Slovakia and Turkey, as well as Austria.

Hermann added Heidelberg UK is currently negotiating with a pipeline of 10 customers. Some UK customers have already embraced the company’s Prinect software via a subscription model, as well as service and consumables.

Heidelberg has continued to introduce additional versions of the model to the market.

One new version allows users with a subscription contract to acquire the Prinect software functions that they actually need for a monthly, usage-based fee, without having to purchase individual licenses.

This approach also applies to machine maintenance and consumables supplies for both pre-existing and new machines purchased in the conventional way.

For customers that take out the top-level subscription package, Heidelberg supplies all of the necessary equipment, software, and consumables – such as printing plates, inks, coatings, washup solutions and blankets, as well as a range of services geared to availability. Customers then pay for the sheets that they print.

The manufacturer can also take care of all aspects of logistics operations for consumables as part of a subscription package, if the customer wishes.

“By extending our subscription offerings, we are going to ensure virtually all print shops can benefit from the advantages of a pay-per-use approach in one way or another,” said Hermann.

“Regardless of which package a customer opts for, they always pay for the actual benefits they enjoy. Through this approach, we aim to significantly improve performance for our customers.”

In April 2018, the Klampfer Group became one of the first customers to sign a comprehensive subscription contract with Heidelberg. The agreement covers the firm’s entire print volume for a total of five years.

Under Klampfer’s contract, Heidelberg has installed a new Speedmaster XL 106, a Speedmaster SX 52, and all the associated software, and is also supplying all consumables and services. It is also supplying consumables for a Speedmaster XL 106-8P that was installed in 2016.

Managing director Daniela Klampfer said: “Our experience with Heidelberg Subscription is that we’ve been able to make the processes in our pressroom much more efficient. Our presses have also been performing much better than we had expected, so much so that we have additional resources we can use to expand our customer base.”

During the rollout phase of the subscription model, Klampfer also used consulting services from Heidelberg to improve its processes and workflow in its pressroom.

Its press performance has risen significantly since the implementation, with makeready times cut by an average of over 21%, printing speed increased by around 5% on average and paper waste down by an average of 19%.

Ultimately, Klampfer said it is saving around 110,000 waste sheets every month. Additionally, its productivity has risen by around 13% on average and it has saved around 250 working hours per month.

Printweek will provide a more detailed analysis of Heidelberg’s subscription model in our October issue.

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