Heidelberg goes digital with Konica Minolta

Heidelberg goes digital with Konica Minolta
Monday, 24 May 2010

Heidelberg in Australia leaps ahead of the rest of the world by choosing to resell Konica Minolta digital printers.

The agreement between Heidelberg and Konica Minolta in Australia (New Zealand is excluded) is the first of its kind to be announced worldwide, less than a week after Heidelberg CEO, Bernhard Schreier, announced that the German offset press giant was looking to get back into digital.

But while Schreier indicated that it would be the end of the year before an agreement with a digital partner was in place, Heidelberg in Australia has already signed up to become the exclusive reseller for Konica Minolta digital production printers in Australia, effective from May 1.

The three-year agreement will see Heidelberg sell digital equipment to its customers with post-sales support provided by Konica Minolta through its Australian network of six state offices and 90 regional dealers. Client contact will be via Heidelberg which is in the process of appointing account managers to handle the customer relationship.

Pictured: A historic meeting of minds: Andy Vels Jensen (left), managing director of Heidelberg Graphic Equipment, Australia & New Zealand, seals the deal to sell digital equipment in Australia with Hiro Kaji, managing director, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Australia, at Ipex last week.

Heidelberg is also taking on ‘business drivers’ who will liaise with Konica Minolta and help identify potential customers. The target market is exclusively sheetfed offset commercial printers and does not include inplant or copy shop customers.

The agreement covers the entire range of Konica Minolta range of bizhub digital presses, including the new C8000 press launched at Ipex, and is the result of several months of negotiation during which Heidelberg assessed the options of all major digital players.

Andy Vels Jensen, Heidelberg Australia and New Zealand managing director, said the company had been influenced by feedback from customers, some of whom were already Konica Minolta customers, which indicated that the digital supplier was well-liked in the industry.

“I am extremely pleased with this appointment,” he commented. “Increasingly our customers are looking for a broader range of options to satisfy their ever-changing customer requirements.

“We considered and evaluated our options and found Konica Minolta the perfect fit in Australia, not only as it concerns quality of equipment, product range and service offering, but equally as it relates to Konica Minolta having a ‘can do’ attitude and fantastic people within their organisation.”

The combination of Konica Minolta digital presses with Heidelberg’s Anicolor offset technology will provide the perfect set-up for commercial printers in today’s market, added Vels Jensen.

The agreement with Heidelberg is something of a coup for Konica Minolta which entered the production print market only five years ago and now finds its equipment and technical support being chosen by the dominant sheetfed offset supplier of recent times.

Hiro Kaji, managing director, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Australia, said: “We are honoured that a company of Heidelberg’s reputation recognises the potential of our machines and I am confident we together will make the bizhub range the household name and Australian market leader within the commercial sheetfed Australian market.”

“We are honoured that a company of Heidelberg’s reputation recognises the potential of our machines to take offset printing to the next level.”

For more information regarding Konica Minolta’s Production Printing Group, please contact: Alan Thompson, on +61 (0) 7 5528 6663 / 0419 673 939 or by email: alant@docsol.com.au