Heidelberg UK’s incoming managing director Ryan Miles has three aims for the business: to be even more customer centric; to offer customers new business models, including subscription based purchasing; and to maximise the opportunities presented by Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things.
Heidelberg UK has a very strong reputation for sales, service support and customer satisfaction and Ryan Miles, who took up his new post on 1 April, wants to build on that. ‘We want to understand our customers even better and look at how we can add value to their business,’ he said. ‘I am in listening mode and hope to meet with many customers in the coming months, to hear how they see their company and the UK trade as a whole evolving and to discuss how we might partner them moving forward.’
The world is moving towards subscription based living, both in the consumer and business environments. You only have to think of the way we access software (including updates), inner city car pool schemes and even aircraft engines which are charged by turbine use.
‘For the older generation ownership still matters but for the younger generation more and more of the way they transact is subscription based. In the next 10 to 15 years we will see a fundamental change in the way we transact in life and business,’ said Ryan.
He believes that high performance, top productivity customers may be attracted to a subscription model because it can help underpin the efficiency, allowing customers to standardise and to call off consumables just in time to minimise stockholding and to have a range of support services on tap. For those who do not perform as well as their peers the subscription model could also provide the consultancy and support to raise their game and become more competitive – and profitable.
‘There isn’t just one subscription model fits all but there are variations, tailored to the needs of the customer. It might not include machines in some instances, for example. It could just cover ‘lifecycle’ products by which I mean spare parts, consumables, services, training and consultancy. This is a way of ensuring your products are up to date at all times and your team are working in ways that maximise output and quality,’ he added.
Push to Stop is already a glimpse into the level of automation that is available to commercial and packaging customers of Heidelberg. Now a press can autonomously operate, reined in rather than egged on by the operator.
Another tool in the world of the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 is Heidelberg Assistant which is likely to be rolled out in the UK in the next year. It is an online portal which customers can access from any device (PC, laptop, tablet) with an internet browser, that gives them access to relevant data in their plant or plants. It will provide machine status and performance data, easy online shopping for spare parts and consumables, easy service support and more. It means a manager can access information and take actions at any time, anywhere.
Heidelberg’s Big Data means that it continues to accumulate hard facts on the performance of its machines, creating information that enables it to benchmark performance and help printers achieve the optimum Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE), be that with technical developments. process control or people developments. It is this know how that many will benefit from with the subscription approach to purchasing.