Heidelberg launches subscription in Australia

Heidelberg is introducing its subscription model to Australia and New Zealand, a new alternative way of financing presses for printers, following its success in Europe and Asia.

Businesses can now install equipment on five year contracts for any Heidelberg press, with all associated costs known in advance. Heidelberg says customers will be pay for just the sheets they print on a fixed monthly rate for an agreed volume.

Richard Timson, CEO Heidelberg ANZ, says, “We can look at what a producer is producing and their output, which might be around 20-30 million impressions in a year and the machines which can be capable of making up to 100 million impressions in a year. We offer an analysis, where we figure out what the costs for a printer will be, we also offer maintenance to make sure the machines are running at peak performance and we provide support to our customers. Those three factors together make it possible for more work to be going through the presses and for printers to be more productive.

“There is a fixed amount of money to pay for each machine, for each sheet that is printed and it is known in advance. If a printer goes over that agreed production, there are also fixed costs for over achievement. We do an analysis of all the costs, for the press, building costs, paper, labour and production and we are able to come back with a value, for example, 20 cents a sheet.

“It is a five year plan and at the end of that, the machine will come back out and if they want the latest machine at that time, they will be able to have it.

[Related: Heidelberg launches Versafire EV]

“The analysis is thorough. Factfinding can be a mission because we do have to run through all of the costs for production and a lot of printers do not actually know how much it costs them to print per sheet.  

“Businesses do need to be viable however, we will look at whether this is the right model for them and if they are able to pay the costs.

 “We have had a lot of interest. I am in dialogue with around 12 people right now, there are a lot of printers looking at doing it. We are undergoing analysis for a lot of customers.

“What is interesting is that subscription is not uncommon in other industries, where equipment is being leased out but manufacturing can pay back for itself. It has not been done before in print supplying. Heidelberg provides equipment, consumables and service so it can do it on this scale. Heidelberg has all the resources, whereas other suppliers do not, and they do not have enough staff to drive it.

“It has been a success story in Europe and Asia as well.

“It does not suit everybody, some printers will probably prefer to use traditional financing models to buy equipment and consumables. For some, it is the perfect model if they do not want to get too involved in procuring equipment and just want to print.”

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