Stern – ‘Heidelberg, a German company with a future’

Digital transformation especially in vocational training key to Heidelberg's 5 stars

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Stern study identifies Heidelberg in the top five ranking
(left to right) Rainer Hundsdörfer, chief executive officer, Marcus A. Wassenberg, chief financial officer and labor director and Rupert Felder, head of human resources at Heidelberg, together with young Heidelberg employees from the company’s own training program, are delighted about the award from the business magazine Stern

Issue 38 of the business magazine Stern saw the publication of a study in collaboration with the Hamburg employer branding agency Territory Embrace on ‘Germany’s companies with a future.’ Heidelberg achieved five stars, the highest score possible. The study centered around the question of how well prepared the companies surveyed are for the challenges of digital transformation, especially against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the large company category (over 2,500 employees), Heidelberg came out with five of a possible five stars in the study’s overall assessment, making it one of Germany’s companies with a future. The scores reveal that the companies that did best have made the topic of digital transformation a top priority and, at the same time, successfully merged tradition and digitization.

“Heidelberg’s successful and continuing digital transformation is bearing more and more fruit. Its anchoring in the key business areas is paying off, and this has now also been backed up by this objective assessment by a prestigious institution,” says Rainer Hundsdörfer, chief executive officer of Heidelberg. “This underscores that the transformation is underway. Heidelberg is on course to a digital future!”

Heidelberg brings the digital transformation to vocational training

By adding digital skills to the new training content, the company is bringing innovation to the factory. Augmented reality, new manufacturing methods, and the targeted use of artificial intelligence also lay the foundation for a future-proof shop floor.

“A major contribution to the good ranking in the Stern study was made by the set-up of Heidelberg’s vocational training, which has already won many awards,” says Marcus A. Wassenberg, chief financial officer, and labor director at Heidelberg. “New job profiles, modified training content, and an early emphasis on the necessary competencies optimally prepare our junior staff for the increasingly digitized world of work. It is thus a decisive key to the successful future of our company.”

He continues that the news of the award from ‘Stern’ will be received with joy by the workforce and a certain amount of pride since it recognizes the internal efforts to prepare for the future actively and the work done on key competencies to ensure the company is well-positioned.

Another area where the action is needed in terms of personnel strategy is demographic change. Heidelberg is well-positioned for the future here, too, with its health management systems and preventative offerings.

In total, the study involved around 160 companies answering 60 questions, divided into three key areas: ‘Strategy and Significance,’ ‘Processes and Products,’ and ‘Innovation and Qualification.’ Each area was equal in value with 33 points, and the results for each were converted on a scale from one to five points. The overall result was calculated as the average of the three scores.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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