Heidelberg Receives Award for its Digitization Strategy

Press release from the issuing company

  • One of the five best companies in product and portfolio management
  • Perfect implementation of success factors – thinking from the customer’s point of view
  • Digital transformation of internal and external processes

The Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) at the RWTH Aachen University selected the five best companies in product and portfolio management in cooperation with Complexity Management Academy GmbH and a high-profile industry consortium. The aim of the benchmarking project was to identify particularly successful methods, structures, and processes in the systematic implementation of product and portfolio management. The companies Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg), Endress+Hauser Flowtec, Festo, Wittenstein alpha, and Drägerwerk were named as “Successful Practices 2018” for their outstanding performance.

Over 10,000 companies were whittled down to just 148 candidates. A majority of the participating companies are from Germany. The other companies are headquartered in Europe and the USA. Following an in-depth screening process, the consortium partners identified five companies from 21 top performers. The consortium partners visited the hand-picked companies and analyzed their methods, structures, and processes in product and portfolio management on site.

Thinking in terms of customer benefit
Heidelberg is in the process of digitizing its internal and external processes across the board under the motto “Heidelberg goes digital”. This includes product and portfolio management. Of the fourteen success factors identified, Heidelberg has successfully implemented the greatest number.

This includes a close relationship with customers whose productivity is increased through digitized workflows. Examples are autonomous printing with the “Push to Stop” philosophy. The Heidelberg Assistant is a transparent customer interface that visualizes the production process for the customer, offers extensive know-how, and provides a purchasing and benchmark platform. This is implemented on the basis of cloud technology and also includes service with eCall. Based on this customer data, Heidelberg can offer its customers individual advice and further develop and optimize their production. The specific needs of commercial, packaging, and label printers are determined using customer-oriented segmentation. Thinking from the customer’s point of view results in special solutions that benefit these very segments.

All data and facts from the field are incorporated into the further development of product and portfolio management and are constantly mirrored and checked with the market. This also results in the development of new digital concepts such as the subscription model, where the customer receives a complete system comprising machinery, services, consumables, consulting, and software. Payment is based on use, in other words the number of printed sheets. “The award shows that our digital strategy is regarded as a successful approach. With the digital transformation of its internal and external processes, Heidelberg wants to regain its position as a model company in the industry,” explains Rainer Hundsdörfer, Chief Executive Officer of Heidelberg.

The selection of the “Successful Practices” took place in consultation with a jury of experts from successful international companies, which were also the project consortium. Consortium members included Diehl Metering, KION Group, Peri, Rittal, Schaeffler, Thyssen Krupp, and Wago Kontakttechnik. The project was headed up by Professor Günther Schuh, Executive Director of the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) at the RWTH Aachen University (www.wzl.rwth-aachen.de ).

The Heidelberg team is pleased about the award in consortial benchmarking: (from left to right) Georg Roessler, Tom Oelsner, Marco Mueller, Rainer Wolf, Frank Kropp und Gunter Meier.


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