Andy Tribute: This is Christian Compera who is senior vice president of Digital Printing for Heidelberg. That means whatever you see in terms of this new agreement with Ricoh and Heidelberg the buck stops with Christian. In other words, he is responsible for it. Christian, can you tell me a little bit in terms of the relationship with Ricoh and why did you chose Ricoh?
Christian Compera: First of all, I think this is a very complex answer and you cannot have just a straight—it’s a very complex question and you cannot just have a straight answer. When we decided to go back to digital we have really done two important things. First of all, we have talked with our customers. We have talked with our countries and we have really tried to understand what are the real needs in the market with respect to adding digital to our offset portfolio and having this done I think it was becoming very clear that we have to have additional solutions in order to complete our offset portfolio, especially for the short run, very short run and also variable data printing.
We have a good portfolio with respect to our short run offer, with our speed master and for this in order to add one additional solution it came clear that we need a machine, we need an offer which fits to this and is not in competition to our short run offering. So we need something where we can add value to our—for our customers and then we came to the decision that we are looking for a partner which is strong in the value segment. We have done a segmentation of value, performance and peak.
Andy: By value segment you mean what?
Christian: Value segment for us is an offering which is with respect to productivity between 60 and 90 pages. It’s investment around 100,000 Euros and is having a value complete quality with respect to image quality, with having complete offering, respect to inline activities, inline finishing activities, so this is the value segment we would like, we have chosen in order to complete the short run, very short run and variable data.
Andy: Now when you mentioned quality at the show this morning, when you’ve shown this to the people who are coming to the show what has their reaction been to quality?
Christian: I think they are surprised of how close already the quality of the products which are being in the value segment to our offest. There is a very close look and feel and even some customers cannot make a distinction what is printed on digital and what is printed on offset.
Andy: And you said already does that mean you’re working on improving the quality?
Christian: I think quality is always a kind of a table stakes and if there is improvement possible it’s always good to do this, right, but on the other hand, also in the market the criteria to choose certain technology is not always quality. Sometimes it’s quick turnaround and having it now, having it cost efficient, so I think yes, quality is always an important factor, but there are some other factors you have to consider and you have to provide and therefore, quick turnaround, cost efficiency for a short run is very important.
So back to the question why Ricoh, I told you that was the first decision. Based on the demand we decided to go into the value segment. Then we looked around, okay, who is the best offering in the value segment and of course we have a couple of companies which are being able to do this, but one additional factor for us is we would like to develop. We would like to start now and would like to see a future. That means we have also looked to a partner who is providing a long term partnership, who is sharing with us a vision with respect to how it’s going or how is digital going to develop.
Andy: So when we talk about future and you’re talking about long term vision this is not a one product situation. You are looking in terms of a long term relationship with a range of products to widen value of the scale.
Christian: Absolutely. For us the decision right here was we would like to have a partner who is able to provide an appropriate good solution now, so this was for us an important factor. It means having this available now was one important thing. The second important thing is having the same vision about where is digital printing going, what kind of needs the customer will have now and in the future and how we can develop this. So we have looked to a partner who is sharing the same vision and who is also strategicly important and we can also work together in order to tackle together strategic needs. So this was also one important factor for making the decision and I think Ricoh brings exactly this on the table. They have right now a very, very strong product, new product. They have really done a good job to improve the quality, to improve availability, very well placed right now, fits excellent to us. They have a strong portfolio already in digital print and they have similar visions saying okay we have to develop with respect to higher productivity, higher flexibility, better cost structures and more flexibility with respect to application. With this prospect we found.
Andy: Finally, you’re launching today in Germany and the UK.
Andy: You’re then going into other parts of Europe.
Andy: As far as the USA where does USA fit?
Christian: I think in USA we see similar needs, that we have a need for short run applications means we have the same need to add digital capabilities to our portfolio. We have already started this discussion in US to get this rolled out there. It means we are already in negotiations and we will start soon, as quick as possible. We can bring both parties together, so I think I would guess in during the course of the year we will start there as well.
Andy: So graphics for this year could be the launch of.
Christian: Yeah, definitely.
Andy: Christian thank you very much indeed. Sorry we had short time on this, but I think you’ve explained the whole structure.