Heidelberger Druckmaschinen is reaching a milestone in its “Heidelberg goes Digital” strategy with the market launch of the Heidelberg Assistant presented at drupa 2016, and breaking new ground in customer support in the process.
With the start of the rollout in the pilot markets of Germany, Switzerland, USA and Canada, the company is placing the customer-supplier relationship on a new footing.
With the Heidelberg Assistant, the company is continuing to expand its range of digitization solutions and enabling customers to run their processes smoothly and to operate their print shops smartly and efficiently. It gives users a complete overview of the service and maintenance status of their print shop, including data-based failure prediction. Users also get access to the biggest knowledge base in the industry, benefiting from new performance services that enable them to maximize the potential of their entire value chain. Access to Big Data performance analytics also offers further potential for boosting productivity. The Assistant will enable Heidelberg to further scale its existing Big Data applications such as Predictive Monitoring and Performance Consulting in the market.
"With the market launch of the Heidelberg Assistant, we are reaching a milestone and taking the digital customer approach to the next level. This will enable our customers to adopt a smart approach to the operation of their print shops with high performance and maximum transparency. With the access to the new Heidelberg eShop, we are greatly simplifying the ordering process for our customers,” says Dr. Ulrich Hermann, Member of the Management Board responsible for Heidelberg Services and Chief Digital Officer.
Customers get secure and personal access to the Heidelberg Assistant, which allows them to call up all information such as the status or productivity of their presses or services availed of in their company, anytime, anywhere. In addition, things like software updates, predictive maintenance messages or contract management and an invoice overview are possible in the system.
The Heidelberg Assistant also offers direct access to the new Heidelberg eShop m). This link creates a smart eCommerce solution, since products can be individually recommended according to customers’ installations and needs. Consumables and selected service parts are generally delivered within 24 hours.
Heidelberg developed the Assistant in cooperation with 30 pilot customers. Workflows were intensively analyzed in order to optimally support the various tasks of the customer’s employees through the use of the Heidelberg Assistant. Furthermore, the results, ideas, and suggestions from over 400 international customer surveys – at trade fairs like China Print 2017 – were incorporated into the development of the platform. The basic version of the Heidelberg Assistant is available free of charge to customers.
The extensive data analysis from the globally installed and networked base of machines and software enables Heidelberg to develop new digital business models. All in all, customers and Heidelberg benefit from the evaluation of a database of over 10,000 connected machine systems and over 15,000 software systems. Based on this, an offer consisting of equipment, software, consumables, and service tailored to the exact needs of the customer and its entire value chain can be created.
Subscription models in which Heidelberg agrees a fixed price with its customers for the printed sheet are also possible on this basis. Heidelberg provides all the necessary equipment for this. The customer can concentrate fully on marketing its produces and services. Against the background of a growing number of customers that choose the model, Heidelberg is assuming increasing sales.
“With the Heidelberg Assistant, we’re digitizing collaboration with the customer. The lessons learned from this form the basis for the development of our new digital business models and speed up the digital transformation of the company,” says Hermann.