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Heidelberg's Advice at GraphExpo

Published on September 14, 2011

CEO Bernhard Schreier and President James Dunn of Heidelberg sit down in front of the WhatTheyThink camera to not only discuss the new showings of Heidelberg at GraphExpo but also to discuss the printing situation today and offer advice to printers.

James Dunn:  Good morning.  Jim Dunn with Heidelberg Americas.  

Bernhard Schreier:  I’m Bernhard Schreier, CEO of Heidelberg.  

James Dunn:  It’s good to be back at Graph Expo and I think you see a very different presentation from Heidelberg this year, not just our traditional heavy iron, but multiple products, a grand format inkjet, digital from Ricoh.  And the reason for it is really quite simple.  It’s being true to ourselves and our statement of a solutions provider.  We had to look at what our customers needed to be successful and had to make sure we had integrated, color managed products no matter who was manufacturing them available for our customers to produce efficiencies for them.  

Bernhard Schreier:  Well, when I look into today’s printer situation it’s very often that they are doubtful about the future.  They don’t know where to go and how to go and they ask what are our solutions about it.  And for me, there are different issues which are very important.  The first one is the transparency of their own work.  Cost-wise also mean-wise and they have to find out what are future opportunities for their business.  And therefore, they have to understand the cost structure, they have to understand on what kind of options are today there, on how to compete against their competitors on one hand, but also on how to exploit, at least online tools for the future for their business.  And then once having done that really to granulate down their activities to the point where it’s closed and where it’s not close.  And then invest in what is necessary for their future.  And that means, they need to go and find out what kind of business is the best business for me and then to investment into that business.  

James Dunn:  Well we did announce that I’ll retire later this year, 34 years with Heidelberg, but the most recent seven leading the market in North America.  And it’s been an exciting time.  It’s through tremendous change, some very difficult periods, obviously with consolidation.  But on the other side of it is a certain maturing of the industry, pass the craft to a true marketing media and industrialized type of an organization and a marketplace that I think we had to make some very, very rapid changes in order to adapt to.  And if I look today at some of our most recent moves to support this, today’s what we call account manager is a completely different person than was a sales rep even seven years ago.  And he’s really a business analyst, and that’s his job to figure out what needs to be done to make a success of a print shop and not just try to push another Speed Master unit or another cutter or another folder on the customer.  So it’s a complete different view.  

And then the last thing I would say is that, today we see that an installation, let’s say, of a piece of equipment or a system, we never really see this complete.  It’s the beginning of a process of continual improvement that will last for years and years and years, and that’s a completely different view than we had just seven years ago.  

Bernhard Schreier:  And we’ve… we from Heidelberg Headquarters, we appreciated a lot the dedication of Jim over these past decades and especially the last seven years because the change was enormous and he took the lead here in North America to lead this change with the people and with the organization and therefore, Jim, thank you very much.  

James Dunn:  Oh, you’re welcome.  

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