Heidelberg’s digital ecosystem – ‘Heidelberg Plus’

Integrated print shop management to be unveiled at China Print in May

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The Heidelberg Plus digital ecosystem Image Heidelberg
The Heidelberg Plus digital ecosystem Image Heidelberg

Heidelberg Plus is taking the digitization of the company’s customer relationships to the next level by incorporating useful value-added services, according to a press release on 13 April 2021. The company combines all elements of the Heidelberg ecosystem in its new ‘Heidelberg Plus’ digital customer portal. ‘Plus’ includes everything from Internet presence with website and eShop to various performance report, monitoring, and service applications in the production sector and access to instructional videos plus white papers covering technical aspects and applications.

Developments in cloud technology, IoT, big data, and AI have created new possibilities that Heidelberg will systematically harness to offer customers further added value. Examples include developing the first AI-based applications to advise them interactively on optimizing their operations, with the company leveraging and supplying its big data expertise. In the future, customers will be able to access the entire digital world at Heidelberg using a single sign-in.

“Digitized customer relationships coupled with attractive added-value services are the key to establishing collaborative business relationships with customers in our digital world. Our aim is for the Heidelberg Plus ecosystem to simplify the way we work with our customers and offer them more added value,” explains Ludwig Allgoewer, head of Sales and Marketing at Heidelberg.

Heidelberg Plus
The new Heidelberg Plus branding for its ecosytem Image Heidelberg

Heidelberg is thus combining existing applications with new services for customers. In the future, a single point of access is all users will need for a complete overview of all information and tools, networked functions, and the entire Heidelberg service portfolio. This will make it quick and easy to obtain information, purchase items (eShop), and monitor operations. Over 1,600 print shops already use Heidelberg Assistant (HDA) to access their production data. To obtain the relevant services, they need to be registered or have purchased specific services (e.g., Maintenance Manager) as a contract customer.

“What is already impressing users more than anything is the option of using mobile devices to monitor machine operation, purchase consumables, or create service tickets. Regular HDA users range from large businesses with sites located in dozens of different countries to SMEs with just one site,” says Allgoewer, summarizing the benefits. “Key elements of the ecosystem such as HDA and the eShop have already developed very encouragingly. By merging these and other existing applications, and also integrating new ones, we will further enhance the benefits for our customers,” he adds.

The company will soon be unveiling the new Heidelberg Plus ecosystem to the public – at the China Print trade show this summer. It will then showcase it at the Print Media Centers in Germany, the United States, Japan, and Brazil in the fall.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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