Heidelberg has responded as quickly as possible to the difficult conditions caused by the global coronavirus crisis and provides its customers in the area of commercial, packaging and label printing with support at all levels. “Especially in these challenging times, our digital interfaces to print shops worldwide are proving their worth in helping our customers in their daily operations,” explains Rainer Hundsdörfer, chief executive officer of Heidelberg. The company generates around 85% of its sales abroad and supports its customers in the best possible way locally with its globally based and proven service and sales network in the graphics industry. Customers in all major printing markets are served directly or via partners. “In these times of the coronavirus pandemic, our top priority is the health and safety of our employees and our customers. In terms of service, for example, we are relying even more heavily on our tried-and-tested and long-established Remote Service and the Heidelberg Assistant, taking care of everything we possibly can via digital telephony or video conferencing, and providing information via our customer databases,” continues Hundsdörfer.
Only recently, for example, the first Speedmaster press was thus sold in Germany via a video conference. A reliable supply of spare parts and consumables will also be ensured during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, all installations or necessary on-site technical services are provided with due regard to health precautions, as far as the current situation allows, and always in mutual agreement with the customer and the prevailing local conditions. The World Logistics Center at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site has around 100,000 parts in stock, which means that more than 96% of the parts ordered are available when the order is received. Customers benefit from digital business models, such as subscription. With the Prinect Production Manager, for example, only the actual TIFF consumption per square meter is billed, which means that fewer jobs also cost less. In individual cases, Heidelberg grants extended payment terms for maintenance agreements. “We greatly value our customers, and, as their partner, are convinced that we will master this time together,” emphasizes Hundsdörfer.
Production in China ramped up again
In China, currently the largest single market for Heidelberg, the company runs its own production site in Shanghai. Having been the first market to be affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the situation there seems to be gradually easing. Production is now back to pre-crisis level, and all employees are back at work. Since the end of February, all employees at the local sales company have also been back in action, providing support to customers, if possible in person, or otherwise by telephone.
Health and safety are paramount
The top priority for Heidelberg is the health of its employees at all sites. Appropriate regulations on safety and hygiene are strictly observed. Masterwork MK, partner and largest single shareholder in Heidelberg, founded MK healthy at the end of February, and has entered into the production of disposable medical face masks, including the complete supply chain. To date, the MK Group has also provided 35,000 medical face masks for the Heidelberg Group, and another 40,000 will follow shortly, primarily for the use of service technicians on customer assignments.