Heidelberg expands subscription service to include all consumables-related logistics operations

From left are: Lensing Druck’s Operations Manager Ascan Schulz (holding Heidelberg’s app-based vendor-managed inventory solution); Heidelberg Business Specialist Maximilian Schnippering; Heidelberg Project Manager of Business Development Alexander Driss; and Lensing Druck’s Head of Printing Operations, Guido Thesing.

The German press manufacturer has reported that the first print shops to try the Heidelberg Subscription pay-per-use contract model are now seeing extremely positive results. A significant improvement in the productivity and performance of all customers already benefiting from subscription-based production, has led Heidelberg to further expand its subscription service. The company is now offering to manage the entire consumables logistics chain for its subscription customers. This app-based vendor-managed inventory solution basically takes the contract model’s customer benefits to the next level. Customers have even less capital tied up in consumables, enjoy greater flexibility, and can focus even more on their own customers while Heidelberg takes care of warehouse management. The vendor-managed inventory approach also uses cloud-based interaction with Heidelberg Assistant technology to give subscription customers complete transparency with regard to the flow of all goods. Heidelberg is working with customers on an ongoing basis to develop this function using the design thinking process.
Robert Dembinski.

Lensing Druck (Dortmund, Germany) was a pilot user of the vendor-managed inventory solution and was also one of the OEM’s first subscription customers. Consumables stocktaking at Lensing is carried out using an industry-standard mobile device that runs the app developed by Heidelberg. Revised stock levels are automatically relayed to Heidelberg Assistant. The Material Requirements Program (MRP) ensures sufficient stocks are available to cover the customer’s needs. “Since the launch in mid-May, our inventory management has been getting better and better,” said Managing Director Robert Dembinski. Optimized goods delivery means that Heidelberg can plan supplies of the materials required virtually in real time, while also conserving resources. At the same time, purchasing and logistics processes are also becoming less complex for the customer.”
Further expansion of its subscription service has been a key element of the overall digital transformation at Heidelberg. Due to the positive response from customers, Heidelberg is quickly and systematically further expanding the portfolio of pay-per-use contract models. In conjunction with the vendor-managed inventory solution, Heidelberg also offers its customers the option of taking out subscription contracts for consumables – even without a press! Further development of the portfolio and the associated capture and analysis of usage data from numerous presses, means that increasingly accurate forecasts can be made for deliveries and, ultimately, material production. As a result, Heidelberg is able to develop ever more customized services relating to the lifecycle of its equipment portfolio. As for its Prinect workflow, Heidelberg is gradually converting the entire operation from the sale of individual licenses to contract business with a monthly usage-based charge.
Professor Ulrich Hermann.

“Contract business has become a firmly established part of our solutions’ portfolio and also the main driving force behind our digital transformation,” said Professor Ulrich Hermann, member of the Management Board responsible for Heidelberg’s Lifecycle Business, and Chief Digital Officer at Heidelberg. “Our customers benefit from improved productivity and can focus more closely on their own customers’ needs. The subscription model gives Heidelberg a stable sales volume and makes it less dependent on economic cycles. At the end of the day, it’s a real win-win situation.”

Tony Curcio
Tony Curcio is the news editor at Graphic Arts Magazine.

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