At an awards luncheon and exhibition of entries held at Stationers’ Hall on Tuesday (25 June), the manufacturer won both the Innovator of the Year and Customer Experience awards for the digital platform, which gives users online portal access across the complete service process and can be used for single site or multi-site operations.
Heidelberg UK director Jim Todd and service director Ian Wilcock accepted the company’s awards, which were announced by Peter Day, the voice of BBC Radio 4’s In Business, and presented by Stationers’ Company Master David Allan.
The awards attracted 39 entries this year from across the communications and content industries, down slightly from 43 in 2018.
At the event, Stationers’ Company Innovation Excellence Awards chair Jill Jones said: “This year has seen a continued expansion of innovation applied to service and customer experience, a growing cluster of entries from the education sector and, for the first time, entries seriously focused on the Internet of Things.
“The judges had a difficult job selecting winners in the highly contested categories but the voting was unanimous for Innovator of the Year, Heidelberg UK, which describes its entry as the industrial Internet of Things.”
Heidelberg Assistant was initially rolled out in Germany, Switzerland, the US and Canada. The platform, which is free of charge to all Heidelberg customers, will be available in the UK from this summer, with pilot customers looking to come on stream in around late August/early September according to Heidelberg UK Prinect business driver Paul Chamberlain.
“Heidelberg Assistant uses our Heidelberg Cloud as the main base and you can tap into it by using a tablet, smartphone or PC,” he said.
“It was in its infancy at Drupa 2016 and since then Heidelberg have been working very hard on it and all of a sudden it's taken off around the world.
“We are now actively internally training [at Heidelberg UK], which is the important part because it's touching every area of our business from accounts to software, consumables, e-commerce and service, so we've got to get our own internal house in order so that when we do ramp it up, we can cope with everything.”
He added: “We're absolutely thrilled to win these awards and we've passed the information onto the head office in Heidelberg and they're over the moon as well.”
Elsewhere, Contact Originators won the Business Process award for Optimus, a new plate technology aimed at developing improved ink laydown and ink reductions in the corrugated process.
SaicaPack North, meanwhile, won the Product Performance award for its metallic polymer foil backed corrugated package and Transmedia Storyteller won the Communications award for its Conducttr technology, which enables clients to create immersive experiences across multiple platforms.
Finally, Colop UK won the Product Design award for e-mark, its electronic mobile marking device based on inkjet technology, and Auris Tech won the Service Development award for Fonetti, an app providing an interactive reading environment for children.