Heidelberg shocks industry with PacPrint opt out
The decision by the industry’s iconic supplier not to participate with a stand at next year’s show in Melbourne has sent shock waves throughout the industry. According to Andy Vels Jensen, CEO of Heidelberg Australia and NZ (HAN), the decision is not a reflection on the PacPrint business model but a hard commercial decision forced on the company by changing market dynamics.
“It comes down to preserving the jobs of our customer-facing service people or taking a stand at PacPrint. I prefer to look after our customers.”
The announcement came ahead of a GAMAA meeting in Melbourne where the 50% owner of the show, along with Printing Industries, is planning for the four-yearly exhibition next May21- 25.
GAMAA issued a statement under the authority of Ian Martin, Ferag, president of the PacPrint Board.
The decision by Heidelberg to not exhibit at PacPrint next year has been made by Heidelberg and GAMAA will not make comment on the choices of individual companies or the circumstances that have led to this decision. The decision, whilst disappointing, is not reflective of the Show as a whole. More than 45% of the space at the Show has already been booked and PacPrint will as always showcase the developments and trends in the industry as drupa did this year.
To pin the success of the Show on a single exhibitor is not feasible, nor valid. GAMAA remains committed to presenting a state-of-the-art show. PacPrint will be a great show expanded in 2013 by the co-location of Visual Impact Image Expo and we look forward to welcoming visitors of all print disciplines from around Australia and across the region.
Andy Vels Jensen affirmed that Heidelberg would not try to ambush the show by holding an Open House, or any similar marketing activity at the same time.
“We won’t participate because the Heidelberg way is either you are in or not. Either you do it in a professional way or you don’t. I don’t disagree with the PacPrint model but I simply don’t see the ROI for us at this show,” he said.
“We will still have a presence there with our resellers, such as Kodak and Ricoh, on their stands. But there will be no Heidelberg stand.”
The move is reflective of the state of the equipment market, especially the offset press sector, which is doing it exceptionally tough. Printing equipment capital imports to March 31 were down 35% from the previous year’s very bad results. Local printing companies are not investing in new offset or flexo presses. While Heidelberg boasted of a good drupa worldwide there is little appetite in the HAN region for investment. The company still claims a 40% market share of installed equipment
Vels Jensen compares this PacPrint with the previous one in 2009, pointing out so much has changed not only in the printing industry but also across the whole economy. “Everything is very different now. We are serving a smaller market than last PacPrint. The whole industry needs to change.”