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KBA-Sheetfed Solutions on the path to the “Internet of Things”

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Press release from the issuing company

The graphic arts industry has changed immensely and forces the supply industry to make organisational changes. Koenig & Bauer (KBA) therefore recently took this shift into account by spinning-off business units operating on the market and production activities from the future holding company. But that is not enough: In parallel, experts from the company’s largest business unit KBA-Sheetfed Solutions have been working on a new global sales, service and marketing strategy. As part of this, meetings have been taking place regularly with representatives from the subsidiaries. The strategy’s goal is ‘digital business transformation’ – the optimisation and transparent organisation of all business processes and the development of new business models in accordance with Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. The findings and processes are expected to be transferred to other KBA business units at a later date.

KBA opted for the flexible Salesforce software platform in order to implement these changes. This internationally widespread CRM solution successful in many industries supports digital business transformation, offers practical mobile services and analysing tools, and can be expanded further at any time. The almost 200-year-old press manufacturer thus uses well-known technology from the social media sphere, e.g. for internal business communication. The experts from Salesforce were so amazed by KBA’s approach to digital business transformation that they invited KBA-Sheetfed Solutions to their presentation in front of over 4,000 participants on 2 July in Munich as part of the Salesforce World Tour. Managing director Ralf Sammeck, CIO Jürgen Tuffentsammer and Thomas Göcke, head of sheetfed marketing and CRM, presented the digitally linked cooperation between sales and service in the sheetfed segment with keynotes, interviews, videos and a presentation.

Eliminating information silos

How do the users benefit from this? “We need to understand our customers better,” says Ralf Sammeck, managing director of KBA-Sheetfed Solutions. “That means we cannot simply deliver printing presses, we need to support our customers in attaining market success with our machines and systems.” This is achieved by linking all available data from sales, service and marketing to reduce information silos and collate this data with press data. This collated data can then be linked, structured and analysed thus offering the foundation for decisions. The quick access and sharing of information within the company leads to an enormous transfer of knowledge. 

Services tailored to customer needs

In summary, KBA is able to respond better to customer needs and offer suitable services. This can be a proactive service approach: In the event of a part malfunction the press sends a message to KBA. A service assignment can be scheduled at the right time enhancing press availability and user satisfaction. Performance checks for optimising press performance can be derived from comparing the data with top performing presses. Community Clouds support users by providing explanations on operating functions and a platform for exchanging information. Users can learn from each other and share practices, making new customer experiences possible. This in turn creates key differentiation factors for the brand. 

Digital business transformation allows all data to be accessed worldwide with mobile devices. Management decisions founded on knowledge can be made anywhere, an important aspect for an international company like KBA. The user profits from this process acceleration. A lot of groundwork has already been laid and some topics have been implemented.

50 per cent of mid-size German companies do not consider digitalisation a priority. Most chose to focus investment on technology. With its high number of patents, KBA is a technical innovator in the press engineering industry and expects to boost close and long-term customer relations by digitalising business processes.


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