MAN Roland Announces Effective Financing Educational Program for Printers
Sunday, December 29, 2002
Westmont, Illinois - MAN Roland, Inc. has announced the development of an educational effort that will help printers secure stable and cost-effective financing for their capital equipment needs. Called "Effective Financing for Printers," the program will warn against attractively "packaged" creative financing proposals that offer artificially low initial payments, but major medium- to long-term risks. This informational effort will also provide an overview of financing basics from a graphic arts perspective, so printers can make more educated decisions on obtaining capital for new equipment. "What printers don’t know about financing can hurt them," said Yves Rogivue, CEO of MAN Roland Inc. "We’re seeing an increasing number of facilities that can’t make their payments and are losing their presses, and in some cases closing their businesses, because they do not properly manage their ‘savings’ during the period of artificially low payments to meet their financial commitments as the payments increase. They signed up for low-payment or no-payment plans for the first few years of their financing, often tied in with large balloon payments towards the end of the leasing period, and now they literally cannot afford to keep going." In announcing the program at a trade press event in New York recently, Rogivue restated the commitment of MAN Roland to not contribute to the already significant over-capacity in the graphic arts industry. "Facilities that renege on their financial agreements will lose their equipment," he declared. "These difficult but necessary decisions are for the good of the overall industry. By not fulfilling their contractual financial obligations, these printers have an artificially subsidized cost structure, encouraging them to undercut the market price, which undermines every other healthy and professionally-run printer in their marketplace. Margins are tight enough these days without having healthy printers subsidize these under-performing shops." Taking a broader view of the issue, Rogivue added: "Equipment vendors, for their part, must keep from propping up weak and poorly managed plants by placing their equipment in plants on less-than-justifiable financing terms." Eric Belcher, CFO of MAN Roland Inc., will head the Effective Financing for Printers program. Earlier this year, he began speaking out and publishing articles on the dangers of creative financing in the graphic arts. "The response to that effort was so overwhelming that MAN Roland has decided to expand on the issue with a planned program," he said. Belcher said that printers will benefit from knowing more about financing because of the need to upgrade to automated equipment: "MAN Roland is providing smart capacity to replace capacity that eats your lunch through excessive overhead cost. "Technological evolution has rendered fifteen-year-old presses, and even some ten-year-old presses, way past their prime," he added. "This equipment was designed using the arts-and-crafts model and is weighing down the growth potential of our industry like an anchor. This capacity eats up profits because it’s always starving for more time, more consumables and more manpower. It needs to be replaced by smart capacity — the CIM-compatible systems we’re delivering today." The Effective Financing for Printers program is part of MAN Roland’s ongoing Learning Leadership effort. "MAN Roland is committed to the long term success of the North American printing industry," said Rogivue. "We call on all manufacturers to not actively contribute to the already significant over-capacity in the graphic arts industry during these challenging times."