“With great power,” a well-known superhero likes to say, “comes great responsibility.” There’s a lesson in this bit of pop-culture wisdom that Heidelberg takes very seriously.
That is the special mandate Heidelberg must carry out as the world’s largest and most diversified supplier of graphic production technology. It’s not enough for a company of this capability to purvey generic solutions, no matter how technically superior they might be. It must be certain that what it provides is always relevant and drives new business models for its customers to take advantage of; and is specifically useful to each of the distinct print market segments it serves.
Heidelberg has long recognized this, but it is now recommitting itself to the task with a new effort to analyze and understand what makes its customers successful in their businesses. The program takes what customers need for their businesses to thrive – not what the manufacturer has to offer – as the focal point of its solution-shaping strategy.
The initiative is proceeding under the general direction of “champions” for the commercial print, packaging, and label printing segments. Working with local Heidelberg personnel, these experts perform detailed examinations of individual customers, the gains and the pains they’ve been experiencing, and the new opportunities they are looking to or could be pursuing.
The result is a parcel of fact-based insights that gives thecustomer a structured overview not only of where the business is, but of where, with the right strategic adjustments, it could be headed. For many customers, especially smaller shops, the exercise may be their first introduction to the benefits of systematic business planning.
But, it isn’t a learning experience for the print shop alone. Through these consultations, Heidelberg gains a deeper knowledge of its customers as individuals and as members of equally distinct segments of the industry. This is crucial to Heidelberg’s ability to address each customer and segment with bespoke portfolios of equipment, software, consumables, and business services – presented to each shop and segment according to its precisely determined requirements.
By the conclusion of the process, two things will have happened: the customer is moving ahead with a new road map and specific recommendations for capturing the profit opportunities the map points to; and Heidelberg has become the customer’s trusted traveling companion on the journey.
As it brings the business model mapping program to morecustomers, Heidelberg gets a clearer picture of what is going on in the various segments of the industry and how it shoulduse these trends to refine the way it develops and markets solutions for printers in each category. The broad sectors are commercial print, packaging, and label printing. Excerpts from the champions’ field notes on the facing page offer valuable insights into their dynamics.
Heidelberg has always worked hard to be the single-source supplier its customers expect it to be, and it will continue to diversify its portfolio as customers’ needs and trends indicate. But, going forward, it will carefully contextualize its approach to make sure that everything in the portfolio can do something transformational for every segment and shop that invests in it. “One size fits all” has no place in Heidelberg’s vocabulary, but from now on, “whatever works best for your business” says everything.