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Hampton Printing signs first Heidelberg subscription partnership in the UK

Print Solutions: Positive About Print

Hampton Printing (Bristol) Limited is the first UK customer to take advantage of the Heidelberg Subscription Plus Partnership.

The company, which serves a number of clients in the high fashion, retail, automotive and lifestyle sectors, expects to drive efficiencies and further enhance consistent quality at its Bristol site as a result of this move.

The company’s subscription agreement includes a full package, with Heidelberg delivering a drupa specification Speedmaster XL 106-6+L at the beginning of August, Prinect software, consumables and service support including service parts, training and consultation with analysis and guidance by Heidelberg experts. Consumables and service parts, whenever needed, can be conveniently ordered via the Heidelberg e-shop. To top it all, as part of the ‘vendor managed Inventory’, Heidelberg also manages the inventory of consumables and service parts on behalf of the company.

Ryan Miles, managing director of Heidelberg, says the subscription model suits ‘like minded customers’ who have ‘a sound business model to create growth’, and stresses how crucial it is, particularly with the full model Subscription Plus, that both parties are on the same page.

‘When you mare entering into a partnership with capital equipment, workflow and solutions that touch the customer’s customers, you have to have a mutual understanding about working together towards common goals,’ he said.

‘We add value through the model by helping the customer with their digital transformation strategy and by creating efficiencies, but the customer needs to be willing on their side to have made the decision to go on that journey.’

Ryan Miles (left), managing director, Heidelberg UK and Mike Malpas (right) managing director, Hampton Printing.

Mike Malpas, managing director of Hampton Printing, said: ‘As a business we have enjoyed a positive working relationship with Heidelberg for over 30 years, and since our management buyout in November 2016, we have been working together even closer, always with an open mind, whilst at the same time, retaining my firm beliefs regarding the focus and direction in which I want to take the business forward.

‘Our approach, like that of many other businesses, is of course to embrace the latest technology to drive efficiencies, but just as importantly it is acutely focused on investing and developing talented and committed staff, with the approach in wanting to be better.’

Mike continued, ‘When you combine technology with this approach, you can clearly and fundamentally make visible differences, which is what we are all about.

‘My honest first thoughts in October 2019 (when we first sat down to discuss) were that with a slow and largely negative marketplace, our discussions may be something better suited for the future years. However, the more we discussed Heidelberg’s idea of a flexible ‘subscription’ model, the more we came to understand the benefits and the realisation of this being a largely viable and progressive option for our particular business, at this point in our development. In my opinion, it mis a unique and sustainable way to add value.’

Speaking of his company’s ethos and how the subscription seamlessly blends into it, Mike said, ‘We are not a ‘stack it high’ sort of business. We are quality driven and the flexibility of the Heidelberg subscription provides us with the motivation and scope for further growth, and our forward thinking creative approach and ongoing need for efficiencies will be underpinned with the best technology, innovation and support. With Heidelberg’s subscription partnership we are getting the best without doubt – the best in the world! The marketplace is undoubtedly challenging, but with challenges there are always opportunities, and with this new partnership, we have an amazing platform to create opportunities for ourselves and to move positively forward.’

The Heidelberg Subscription model follows the increasingly popular pay per use trend in mechanical engineering, eliminating the need to purchase presses for use. Under this model, customers only pay for the number of sheets actually printed. The price per sheet under the top configuration level of the new digital business model includes all equipment, all consumables required – such as printing plates, inks, coatings, washup solutions and blankets – and a comprehensive range of services.

Continuously striving to offer the best value to customers, Heidelberg has launched new variants of the digital business model, widening its appeal to an ever growing number of print shops. If customers so wish, the company will also take care of all aspects of logistics and operations for consumables as part of a subscription package (vendor managed inventory).

The rollout is going according to plan and is expected to expand further in the coming months. Establishing pay per use models in industrial offset printing is the result of the ongoing digital transformation at Heidelberg, strongly backed up by the company’s software and data expertise. In addition to presses, services, consumables and consulting, it also offers a holistic smart system including software solutions and big data applications for their management. This includes predictive maintenance and the company’s ‘Push to Stop’ approach to autonomous printing.

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