Through the close working relationship it enjoys with its customers, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has identified considerable potential in many industrial print shops for significantly improving profitability. There are usually a number of weak points where improvement processes need to be applied, but it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint these. When endeavoring to improve the overall performance of a company, the interplay between personnel, processes, equipment, and consumables is crucial. This is precisely where Heidelberg can help, with its new partnership-based consulting concept Performance Plus. The concept is based on Heidelberg specialists’ comprehensive consulting expertise and, if required, can be combined with existing analysis modules from the Heidelberg product portfolio so as to achieve even more successful results. Performance Plus represents an ambitious performance promise by Heidelberg. It creates a partnership that benefits customers and Heidelberg alike.
“Performance Plus is a consulting concept that brings a completely new approach to our industry. It sets in motion an extensive change process for the customer that is geared to improving overall performance through a comprehensive analysis of the company. Heidelberg is unique in the print media industry in being able to offer this kind of service,” says Harald Weimer, member of the Management Board responsible for Sales and Heidelberg Services.
Performance Plus involves Heidelberg consulting experts working with the customer to analyze the print shop’s current productivity level based on its key operating and financial indicators. The next step is to analyze the weak points with staff from the customer’s various departments, formulate targets, and determine the potential for improvement. This results in a project plan incorporating measures and milestones. Using lean management processes, Heidelberg then helps the customer implement its continuous improvement process to ensure targets are achieved on a lasting basis. Partnership-based implementation of the project plan by Heidelberg and the customer focuses on boosting the company’s overall productivity – that is to say in terms of personnel, processes, equipment, and consumables.
“Analyses show us that many print shops have an overall efficiency of less than 30 percent,” says Weimer. Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) measures the entire value-added chain. “We know which levers print shops need to apply to boost this value and thus improve their performance on a lasting basis,” he adds.
During the optimization process, customers benefit from the expertise of Heidelberg Systemservice specialists, who assist print shops with technical support, consulting, training, and knowledge transfer. Performance Plus optimization measures take different forms depending on individual requirements. At pilot customer Contemporary Graphic Solutions in the United States, for instance, they involved optimized shift models, standardized production processes, staff training, and the use of Remote Monitoring for increased machine availability. Performance Plus boosted performance at Contemporary Graphic Solutions by 40 percent and saved the company over 1,000 hours in production time. At an hourly machine rate of around USD 250, this delivered total savings of some USD 250,000 over the twelve months of the project.
Once the targets established in the Performance Plus project plan have been reached, the improvements have to be permanently anchored in the company by means of a change process – through staff training, for instance. The fact that Heidelberg puts its customers’ success center stage is demonstrated by the model it uses for calculating Performance Plus fees – the costs of the program are proportionate to the scale of the savings achieved.
“Our launch of Performance Plus in the U.S. pilot market roughly half a year ago was a resounding success. The program is currently being used by around ten print shops in this market and we are now planning to gradually roll out the service in Europe,” says Bernhard Steinel, head of Systemservice at Heidelberg.
Remote Monitoring is the latest proactive development in the Remote Service technology offered by Heidelberg. Unveiled at drupa 2012 and now available as an option in Systemservice agreements, this preemptive function identifies machine faults before they happen. If the system detects potential fault patterns, it automatically generates a list of remedial tasks that are worked through during a scheduled service callout before any unscheduled machine stoppage occurs. Intelligently combining all the tasks in this way means the necessary measures can be carried out during one single scheduled visit. This gives customers the greatest possible certainty in their production planning.
Some 20 pilot customers, primarily in the United States and Germany, are currently using this function. In all cases, it has been possible to increase the technical machine availability by between three and five percentage points.
Combining Remote Monitoring with the Performance Plus consulting concept enables print shops to take performance improvements to a whole new level. Remote Monitoring ensures the technical availability of the production platform, while Performance Plus optimizes the entire value-added chain. Heidelberg supervises the implementation process by coaching staff on an ongoing basis. This normally enables print shops to boost their performance by up to 40 percent.
Figure: Performance Plus is a new and unique partnership-based consulting concept from Heidelberg for improving the profitability of print shops on a lasting basis.
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