Posts Tagged ‘Timson’

  • Heidelberg’s Richard Timson calls on industry to support Ricky Bannister

    Richard Timson, Heidleberg Australia and New Zealand managing director is calling on the local printing industry to come together in support of Heidelberg veteran, Ricky Bannister, who suffered a major spinal injury in April.

    In a message sent to the local industry on 5 August, Timson said:

    “At Heidelberg, we are like family and when one of us hurts we all do. Recently one of our dear friends, Ricky Bannister, who worked with Heidelberg and was part of the Printing Industry for 18 years, had a terrible fall from a show horse which has resulted in his breaking his neck; he now finds himself a quadriplegic.

    Heidelberg veteran, Ricky Bannister (L) with Emily, his wife.

    “To help Ricky and his family Heidelberg is hosting a fundraising luncheon on 20 August and I am hoping you may be able to support our effort by way of attendance, donation or through the provision of items that we can auction on the day to raise funds. Auction items can be anything from physical goods such as entertainment items, wine packs, computer equipment or software/consumables, gift vouchers or anything that has a monetary value. Whatever you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    “Ricky is well known and liked throughout the industry and we are keen to do anything we can to support him and his family in this incredibly difficult time. Ricky suffered severe trauma to his spine and the current prognosis is that we will be a quadriplegic. Ricky and his wife Emily are expecting their first child in September.”

    To attend be involved in the fundraiser, contact Liz Harper on 03 92633341 or email: elizabeth.harper@heidelberg.com to arrange for your donation or auction item to be included in the fundraising pool.

    All companies supporting the fundraiser will be acknowledged at the event, which is being held at Sette Bello Restaurant in Melbourne on 20 August.

    David “Kingy” King, former North Melbourne champion and Fox Footy commentator, will MC the event, Jordan Bannister – AFL umpire, former Carlton and Essendon player and Ricky’s brother, will be a special guest for the event.

    Fundraiser for Ricky Bannister:

    Sette Bello Restaurant

    540 Springvale Road

    Glen Waverley

    Tuesday 20th August

    12:15pm for 12:30pm start

    Concludes 2.30pm

    2 course lunch, beer and wine $175 per head

    Click here for more details in the Print21 Calendar.

  • Heidelberg tightens debtor terms – Richard Timson Print21 magazine interview

    It promises to be a watershed year for the local Heidelberg business with major changes in personnel and operations, including a new skipper at the helm. A company man for nearly 25 years, Richard Timson took over as Heidelberg Australia & New Zealand’s managing director late in 2012. Here he talks to Print21 about taking the top job and his vision for the future.

    It’s been a rocky few years for the print and graphic media industry. During this time many print companies have gone to the wall and suppliers have not only had to cut costs in order to survive in a diminishing market, but also to absorb losses from customers’ defaults.

    Of course none of this is news to Heidelberg’s new managing director, Richard Timson, who was the company’s general manager for the northern region before accepting the top job. He’s worked at the coalface for years and has seen what’s transpired first hand. With this experience up his sleeve, a passion for print and a commitment to work with his people as a team, Timson may well be the breath of fresh air Heidelberg needs to adapt to the new paradigm.

    “Heidelberg must adjust its payment terms over the next six months,” Richard Timson, new managing director at Heidelberg ANZ.

    Timson is a realist. When asked about the good old days, he comments, “They were at least five years ago, if not longer. And the really good old days when printers made great money were two decades ago. Things have changed. There’s no point in talking about what’s been before, as it isn’t coming back. We need to focus on tomorrow and the adjustments we are making to the business are similar to what our customers have had to make in their own businesses. Lean, smart and effective, that’s what we are aiming to be.”

    To the idea that a trim Heidelberg is a weaker proposition, Timson replies assertively, “That’s rubbish. Heidelberg has reduced its staff, we’ve cut the fat and made some strategic changes. It wouldn’t make any sense to try and operate the company at the staff levels of old when our customer base has shrunk with industry attrition. You have to know what it costs you to do business and to act accordingly.”

    He adds that there is still a lot of good news in the industry. “We’ve seen enough stories about the decimation of the industry and about Heidelberg’s decline in the trade media. The reality is that Heidelberg turns over €2.6 billion worldwide and we are still by far the largest and most viable sheetfed supplier. When you look at our markets, each of the first world countries may have suffered from consolidation but Asia, South America, China and India still have a desire to consume printing equipment, so as a global company there are a lot of opportunities.”

    Team Heidelberg

    In his new role, Timson believes in a personal approach to business. “Heidelberg is a big company, and a leading, global brand, but I want Heidelberg ANZ to be run like a big family business. What I mean by that is, I want the staff to feel included by participating and contributing. The staff need to be very attuned to what we need to achieve and I need to be aware of how they feel in terms of the business and their own job satisfaction.”

    For Timson, this means getting down to grassroots level. “I had lunch in the canteen the other day and the staff were amazed that the MD had done that,” he laughs. “But I want to hear what they think and what’s going on in their world so I have an understanding of where there might be issues. I don’t want to be a remote manager sitting upstairs in my office oblivious to what’s going on.”

    Heidelberg has had to reduce its staff, a fact about which Timson says, “No one likes to let people go, but at the end of the day we need to operate as a professional concern and be fiscally responsible. We’ve lost valuable assets, not critical assets, which means there is no change to the sales, service and support functions.”

    Reducing the headcount has been financially successful for the business and given Timson some breathing space. He spent the last months of 2012 in a “whirlwind of meetings” but also found time to consult with staff, look at the systems in place, and to reshape certain processes.

    “We’ve been busy restructuring the way we operate to meet the changes in our customer base, but the things Heidelberg is respected for globally, such as the service and support of our customers, has not diminished. We still have the most comprehensive support network in ANZ. That’s been a priority for me, to make sure that our customers are not impacted by the changes that have been made, and I am confident that this is the case. Certainly that’s the feedback I am getting.

    “What I love about our company is that we have so many people who are supporting our customers across the business from consumables, and service, to the call centre, spare parts, logistics and sales. They are the customer-facing people and if you lined them up I think you’ll find there isn’t another company in our industry that can boast it has such a good team.”

    More than an equipment supplier

    Beyond the day-to-day business, Timson is supportive of Heidelberg’s commitment to be an active member of the industry. “What we have contributed to the industry in ANZ tends to get lost in the wash of bad news stories. Heidelberg doesn’t just supply equipment. We are one of the most avid supporters of our industry. We sponsor awards nights, apprentices, training, and initiatives like Women in Print. Being part of this industry is important to Heidelberg, not just the company but to the staff, and we’ve shown our commitment over a very long time.”

    Asked if closing the showroom at Heidelberg’s Notting Hill head office will have an impact on the company’s ability to show its equipment, Timson smiles wryly. “It just isn’t viable to keep equipment in an idle space in the current market environment and, quite frankly, having a showroom is overstated. It’s a nice to have, not a must have. With top end customers, we have always flown them to Germany or to other customer sites where they can see the equipment in a working environment. And for the A3 market we’ve always conducted local demonstrations – we’ve not always had A3 gear in the showroom and that hasn’t stopped us selling a broad range of equipment into that market over many years.

    “I’d say the majority of our customers have never visited the showroom so its closure makes good business sense.”

    The space is now being converted to a warehouse facility.

    Another topic Timson wants to address is PacPrint. “Everyone knows Heidelberg is not going to PacPrint, and the reasons are simple. It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars for us to attend a show like this. Just the equipment installations alone are a significant cost and in a market where we are being asked to cut costs, we cannot justify the expense. I think trade shows around the world are changing. Drupa will continue as it is the premier event for the industry, but gone are the days when companies can go to every show on the calendar.”

    Tightening fiscal policy

    One change Timson is going to implement in 2013 is a tightening of Heidelberg’s debtor practices.

    “Like the paper suppliers have done, Heidelberg must adjust its payment terms over the next six months to bring them back to a more realistic level.

    “It’s going to have to be 60 days or less, because our exposure levels are so high these days and the cost of funds for money sitting outside is horrendous,” he states. “Everyone needs to look at their debtors and reel them in if we are going to have a strong industry.”

    He isn’t worried that customers will push back against changes to terms. “Everyone understands the issues around cash flow. They know exactly how much it costs them to produce a job. And how hard it is to collect from their customers. We all face the same issues.”

    In recent years, Timson has observed a shift towards a more strategic management approach from printing companies which he says is essential to the industry’s ability to reinvent itself.

    “The industry must move away from being price driven and start value adding. Price leaders let the price down and everyone else follows. This is also happening with some suppliers. This practice weakens the opportunity for everyone. Just as suppliers have added value to their offering with services such as training and business development, printers need to think about how they can bring value to their customers beyond the obvious. Print is viewed as a commodity and as long as this perception holds, it will be subject to the vagaries that plague the manufacturing sector.”

    While he is very much of the school where you take responsibility for yourself, Timson says the industry has been let down by a lack of commitment from government. “I don’t know what the government thinks of the printing industry but it can’t be very much given the lack of support we are shown.”

    He acknowledges that this is true of the wider manufacturing sector under which print falls but says that not enough is being done to promote an industry that still employs a considerable number of Australians. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that, as at November 2012, the number of people employed by the printing industry was around 50,700. And when the numbers employed in paper and paper products (14,500) and publishing (41,800) are added, the number swells to over 100,000.

    Looking to the future, Timson says he believes the market has been through the worst and is now levelling out. He anticipates perhaps another 10 per cent attrition before the market is at a realistic size for the amount of print being purchased.

    In conclusion he says, “I want my team to be happy and feel good about everything they do. I want them to come to work and enjoy themselves. That’s my catchcry for 2013.”

  • Heidelberg and Ricoh Linoprint partnership makes its way down under

    The global Linoprint partnership between Heidelberg and Ricoh announced at drupa last year has finally made its way down under, with the Linoprint Digital Press range and the Prinect Digital Print Manager systems now available to local printers in the one package. 

    Heidelberg and Ricoh teamed up to revamp the Linoprint brand in early 2012, with the German offset press giant taking on Ricoh’s digital print technology and splicing it with its own Prinect Digital Print Manager software.

    Now, just over a year later, the press range is available in Australia. Under the agreement Heidelberg in Australia is selling the digital printing systems for short runs from Ricoh under the names Heidelberg Linoprint C901, Linoprint C751 and Linoprint C651.

    Heidelberg’s workflow software, Prinect Digital Print Manager, is now being shipped packaged with the Linoprint presses. Heidelberg claims that Prinect is the only software package on the market that can manage the entire workflow between digital and offset printing platforms including colour management.

    Richard Timson (pictured), Heidelberg Australia’s managing director, said the companies had devised a joint strategy to, “ensure our customers are supported in the way they are accustomed. This is a Heidelberg solution and as such it meets the high standards of the Heidelberg brand,”

    “This is a unique opportunity for true digital print integration into the offset workflow. It’s not about adding another machine that is independent to the workflow. Rather it is about print shops benefitting from workflow management advances which will turn the focus back to printing profitably by utilising the right press for the right job,” he said.

    For Timson, the Prinect technology combined with Ricoh’s digital print technology represents a bridge between digital and offset printing processes for offset printers who want to adopt a hybrid approach to their business.

    “In basic terms it allows offset printers to seamlessly integrate a quality digital print workflow into their operation enhancing their offer to customers,” said Timson. “From a productivity perspective, when Prinect Digital Print Manager is integrated into an existing Prinect Workflow, it becomes a one-of-a-kind hybrid workflow that allows the customer to change easily and rapidly between offset and digital printing at any time.”

    Kathy Wilson, general manager of Business Solutions and Production at Ricoh Australia said, “With this partnership the market has two extremely strong, well-regarded global businesses working side by side and that’s a very positive message to customers. We are very pleased to be working with Heidelberg in Australia on this solution.”

    Wilson, who saw Heidelberg’s Prinect Digital Print Manager in action at drupa, said it was “very impressive to see how this unique software manages the workflow across both digital and offset printing platforms and the benefits were immediately obvious”.

    While the Heidelberg Linoprint C901, Linoprint C751 and Linoprint C651 are now available in Australia with the Prinect workflow system, Heidelberg says there are slight variations to the offer for the New Zealand market.

    Heidelberg is encouraging customers in NZ to contact their appropriate Heidelberg account manager for specific details.