The market launch of the Heidelberg Assistant at the end of last year marked a new chapter in digital customer support for Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) and placed the customer relationship on a new footing.
The company won the Digital Leadership Award for this innovative system and has succeeded in firmly establishing it on the market in just a short space of time. More than 400 users at more than 200 print shops the world over are already using the Heidelberg Assistant on a regular basis and this is set to increase to around 500 by the end of the current financial year.
“Digital management of maintenance operations is becoming an increasingly important success factor throughout the lifecycle of industrial print shops. The Heidelberg Assistant plays a key role in boosting the overall efficiency of these businesses by helping them digitize their communication and service processes,” stresses Professor Ulrich Hermann, member of the Management Board responsible for Lifecycle Solutions and Chief Digital Officer at Heidelberg.
Pharmaceutical supplier D.O.G. GmbH Digital-Offset Gass in Darmstadt has now been using the Heidelberg Assistant for three months. The company is undergoing a generational change, which is seeing digitization become increasingly important.
D.O.G. gains direct access to the Heidelberg eShop using the Heidelberg Assistant. Personalized shopping lists for the prepress and press are stored by the system and enable new supplies to be ordered with just a few clicks – a process that takes less than a minute in most cases.
“The Assistant is the ideal platform for rapid communication with Heidelberg. We can immediately provide full details of service requirements in an automated process – something that would be impossible over the phone, for example. In return, we obtain real-time information about things such as the clarification process or deployment planning and this is incorporated directly into our maintenance planner,” says D.O.G. board member André Gass, explaining the advantages. D.O.G. also benefits from being able to access performance data for the presses in use and see their overall equipment efficiency (OEE) at a glance at any time. “The Assistant shows us how we’re doing in terms of productivity and OEE. This overview helps identify trends that we can use to optimize our performance in collaboration with Heidelberg,” adds Gass.
The e-commerce services offered by Heidelberg are providing an ever-increasing level of automation and support for order processes. This is once again based on the customer’s equipment data, which is analyzed in the Heidelberg cloud. Algorithms with artificial intelligence that predict demand optimize logistics by recommending new supplies should be ordered or even by automatically triggering an order.
Anticipating supply in this way is the next logical step in the Heidelberg Push to Stop concept after fully automatic completion of print jobs and will deliver further added value for customers in future Heidelberg Assistant configurations.