Following a global agreement signed between Ricoh and Heidelberg, Ricoh SA and Heidelberg Southern Africa have formalised their co-operative agreement in South Africa that gives Heidelberg's customers access to Ricoh's mid-range digital presses.
The two local companies have both appointed key personnel to interact and provide sales, marketing, support and maintenance services.
"The local partnership addresses demands for a hybrid of offset and digital solutions that give our customers the capability to offer variable data printing, shorter runs and cost-effective, high quality offset printing," says Alan Austin, sales and marketing director at Ricoh SA.
"Heidelberg has a full set of solutions for the local market and by adding Ricoh to the portfolio; we are able to provide a complete set from digital to finishing in a seamless workflow. Both work on similar principles and strive to be the complete solution provider for the graphic arts industry," adds Jimmy Joujou, MD of Heidelberg Southern Africa. Operating separately but closely
"Both companies will continue to operate separately but extremely closely. The joint team harnesses the combined expertise which will be of great benefit to the local market," says Austin.
"Heidelberg will sell all new digital equipment while Ricoh will provide all the necessary support and back-up," adds Joujou.
The partnership revolves around Heidelberg selling its new digital range called Linoprint C.
Vaughan Patterson, sales manager for the production printing business group at Ricoh SA, who leads partner interactions with Heidelberg, says, "The Pro C series was our first move into this space and in Europe it was the bestselling equipment in the category in its launch month. We expect the series to perform extremely well in the local market and early interest is significant, particularly following our exhibition at 2012 Africa Print."
Warren Jones is responsible for sales of digital equipment at Heidelberg Southern Africa and, building on his experience in prepress and consumables, heads up the Ricoh partner interaction.
"Heidelberg has a little over 80% market share in South Africa so this is an opportunity for Ricoh to interact with those clients but, most importantly, the partnership is also an opportunity for us to share the potential business benefits of this relationship with our customers to enhance the value that they derive from us," says Jones.