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$12 million regional HQ for Heidelberg opens in Vic

Wednesday, 19 December 2007
By Print 21 Online Article

The culmination of a personal vision by Andy Vels Jensen, managing director of Heidelberg Australia and New Zealand, the ultra-modern facility was opened on Friday by Victorian Premier, John Brumby and Bernard Schreier, CEO of Heidelberg. The fast-tracked centre of print excellence at Notting Hill is now available for a wide range of industry activities. 

Premier Brumby praised Heidelberg for its investment in Victoria, whihc he said vindicted the government’s strategy of encouraging high-tech companies. He said the Victoria was the fastest growing state in the country, creating more jobs than any other, especially in the high value manufacturing sector.

Following the official ribbon cutting, an invitation only crowd that included some of the largest printers in the region, partied into the night. Bernard Schreier, who had flown in from Germany the day before, manfully battled jet lag to dleiver at least three speeches on the day, the last to the dinner audience of his companies major customers in the region.

The new premises were opened with a high level presence from both state politics and Heidelberg corporate.  Guest of honour was Victorian Premier John Brumby (right) pictured with (from left) Bent Mortensen, head of region Asia Pacific, Andy Vels Jensen, managing director HAN and Bernard Schreier, CEO Heidelberg.

The inauguration of the HQ provides the printing industry with the latest in meeting and educational facilities, according to Vels Jensen. Available for clients’ activities as well as general industry meetings, the centrally located Notting Hill building will also house the region’s enlarged Print Media Academy.

“When we were deciding where to locate the building we drew lines that formed a triangle based on our customers, employees’ and suppliers’ requirements,” said Vels Jensen. “The board fast tracked approval and while you never get anything perfect so far I would not have done anything differently.”

The new premises in Notting Hill in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs house a state-of-the-art 1,000 square metre showroom and training centre that will accommodate Heidelberg’s Print Media Academy (PMA). Designed specifically to cater for the future needs of Heidelberg’s customers and staff, the new facility is a hi-tech blend of print production systems combined with teaching and training resources (including its own in-house café) for hands-on as well as theoretical instruction. All stages of the print production process are featured including finishing and a prepress Prinect suite. Equally, the space can be used in a flexible manner to host non-technical training, business courses and conferences.

As a showcase for Heidelberg equipment and systems and a centre of excellence rivaling anything operating worldwide, the new headquarters form an important part of the vision for HAN promoted by managing director, Andy Vels Jensen. It’s a vision that sees the new facility with its up-to-date technical, training and demonstration facilities as a focal point for the entire print industry, not just Heidelberg customers.

“The intention is to make the PMA here a centre of excellence for training and education because that’s what we miss as a company and also what the industry misses,” he comments. “We intend to make much more out of it from an external training point of view and, in fact, we’re going to kick off the next financial year with a complete training plan for the industry and for ourselves.”

Behind the vision though, there are other practical reasons why the move to Notting Hill should prove to be such a successful one for HAN. For a start, by moving out of inner-city Richmond, the company has moved closer to its customer base. Major Heidelberg users such as Geon and Blue Star are located nearby along with many other printers within easy reach. This not only makes it quicker for Heidelberg staff to reach their clients but also more convenient for customers to make their way to the Heidelberg facilities.

Moving to Notting Hill also has positive cost benefits for the company, providing it with a secure long-term base for its business and a custom-designed space that is, in fact, more cost-effective than the previous inner-city location. All in all, it’s no surprise that the relocation made such a compelling proposal that the Heidelberg board in Germany had no hesitation in recommending its go-ahead, giving it the stamp of approval within just 10 days of the proposal being presented. Now on the eve of its opening, Andy Vels Jensen is clearly proud of what has been accomplished.
“There’s been hard work at times but overall it’s a been a fun, exciting experience and the results are very positive,” he adds.

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