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Exclusive: Kiessling on Heidelberg's Dedicated Services

October 1, 2010
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At IPEX earlier this year, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen announced that its entire service portfolio had been combined into a dedicated division, led by Marcel Kiessling, member of the management board responsible for Heidelberg Services. These now include Technical Services, as well as its new Performance Services offerings. In an exclusive interview, Kiessling explains how Heidelberg aims to help its customers be more successful overall in the long-term.

Printing Impressions: Why did Heidelberg combine its services portfolio into a dedicated division?

Marcel Kiessling: We want to reflect changes in the marketplace that we have been observing for quite a while. That's the short answer. The long answer is that we talk to many printers, and see that our customers are facing challenges in several different areas. As examples, pricing and margin pressures due to rising raw material and personnel costs. They have to position themselves for the Internet 2.0 and Web-to-print. They have to consider sustainability and green printing. The question of differentiation in the marketplace is also on the table.

Our mission is to support our customers to be competitive and successful long-term. When we looked at those challenges and the success criteria—what defines success for a printer, we came up with some areas which are well known, but still important to keep in mind.

The first success criteria, and to us the foundation for success, is having the right technology. Having the right technology gives you a certain level of productivity, a certain reliability and quality level. Second, is the need to keep this technology up and running, 24/7, 365 days a year. The pressure on uptime and availability is increasing because machines have become more productive and printers tend to have fewer machines in operation than in the past. That means every machine has to be up and running in order to get the work out. A press like an XL 105 typically runs in a multi-shift operation. So the pressure on uptime, around the clock, is higher.

Equally important is to be lean in terms of material consumption—to bring material consumption down to the lowest possible level to optimize processes throughout the operation, not only in production but also in administration. Having the right sales and marketing strategy is clearly an important success factor, as well. So is having qualified employees. All together, these factors define success for a print shop. And we want to support printers by addressing all of those success factors in the right way.

 

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