Heidelberg has bought the Belgian consumables company BluePrint Products NV, which is a major producer of founts and washes as well as other pressroom products. BluePrint is an established supplier of printing chemicals and provides Heidelberg with the means to supply and develop more general and bespoke products in the future.
This marks the start of a more ambitious phase of acquisition as Heidelberg looks to increase its market share, which it estimates as being around 5% of a total €8bn global graphic arts consumables market. Harald Weimer, the Board member responsible for Sales and Heidelberg Services, commented: “There is a list of targets and these are determined by the product range, geographical location and also the knowledge and expertise of the people.”
He continued: “We want to be perceived as the leading global supplier for consumables in the sheetfed industry and we will increase our €400m sales in this area through acquisition, exclusive partnerships in different countries, by developing our e-commerce site next year from a simple Online Shop to an added value site with access to information and loyalty bonus systems.” In the UK about 25% of orders are generated through the Online Shop and a loyalty scheme is in place and here Heidelberg already holds over 5% market share of consumables.
Coincidentally, Heidelberg has also announced that its Performance Plus service agreements will be offered in Europe having already begun in the US. Heidelberg believes it can use this consultancy and implementation service to help customers lift output through improved workflows, operator skills and machine operation. The cost of this service can be proportionate to the savings achieved, enabling printers to take up the service with confidence.
Weimer says: “We have moved from maintenance to performance in our support mindset,” adding “Our latest Remote Monitoring takes preventative maintenance to a new level, increasing machine availability by 3 to 5%, and our Performance Plus service will allow companies to enhance output, improve quality and save money.”