Used Equipment – Who can you trust?

The Used Equipment market for printing and associated machinery in the Printing Industry is once again experiencing a dramatic increase in demand. Every time the worldwide economy takes a serious downswing, this market booms. Even old equipment demands a premium price. There is one major drawback, however. Not all suppliers of used equipment adhere to best practise principals. How does a potential buyer of used equipment know who to trust? There are reputable suppliers but, there are also charlatans who not only deceive customers but, also negatively influence the reputation of the market as a whole. The choice which faces many potential customers of second-hand equipment is where to go. They know who to trust when they buy new, but are not sure when second-hand is their only option. Heidelberg has addressed this dilemma through the formation of its Remarketed division, specifically aimed at providing its customers with access to pre-owned Heidelberg equipment. Heidelberg Remarketed concentrates on this sector of the market with high-quality equipment. Remarketed equipment is an important element of the Heidelberg offering to its clients around the world. In the local market the Remarketed portfolio is managed by Pieter Meere, who is also the Durban Branch Manager. The GAPP spoke to Pieter to get a better understanding of Heidelberg Remarketed and how it fits into the Heidelberg product offering. G: Heidelberg is acknowledged as a leader in the printing industry supplies sector. How does remarketed equipment fit into its overall profile? PM: Due to the current economic situation worldwide, there has been a marked increase in the demand for good used equipment from Heidelberg. Remarketed is a strategic and recognised business division of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen. G: What types of equipment does Heidelberg offer in its remarketed plan? PM: Heidelberg Remarketed offers the full range of equipment and solutions that it offers as part of its new equipment portfolio. This includes all Heidelberg presses, certain prepress solutions, Polar guillotines and cutting systems and, Stahl folders. G: Does Heidelberg only resell its own brands or does it also resell equipment from other suppliers if offered as a trade-in by customers? PM: Remarketed only deals in the Heidelberg portfolio of equipment as we cannot check, repair – if required – and install non-Heidelberg equipment. If a customer does want to sell equipment from another supplier, we have access to a chain of qualified and reputable third-party resellers in Europe who we can work with on the customer’s behalf. G: What volume does remarketed equipment contribute to the Heidelberg annual turnover worldwide? PM: We are unable to give exact figures due to internal policies, but Remarketed has shown significant growth and now makes a good contribution to the Heidelberg figures. G: To what extent does Heidelberg refurbish, repair or refit equipment before resale? PM: To refurbish equipment back to factory specification would not be economically viable. All equipment is tested by Heidelberg and has a full Inspection Control carried out on it. With that S.I.D. tests are available on request. Only Heidelberg sales and service units can offer this comprehensive SID test, which no other used equipment dealers can offer. Equipment is repaired, if needed, to be of a Heidelberg-accepted level before resale? G: What minimum criteria does Heidelberg place on equipment that it accepts as a trade-in? PM: The main criterion is that it should be equipment that we can, with confidence, resell or remarket. We have a general rule that we will not accept equipment which is too old. This is mainly for the safety of our clients and also because we cannot offer the client the assurance that we can maintain the equipment past a certain age. We have a general rule that we do not supply anything which is more than 15 years old. G: Where does the equipment come from which is remarketed by Heidelberg? PM: All equipment listed is from official Heidelberg branches worldwide. It has either been offered as a trade-in or is to be resold on behalf of financial institutions. By only taking equipment from these sources we have access to the official history of the machine which means that we know everything which has happened to the equipment during its life time and we can offer the new owner the necessary assurances, warranties and guarantees. G: Are there any circumstances in which Heidelberg will not accept equipment as a trade-in? PM: If the equipment is beyond reasonable and economic repair or if it appears to be in a clearly unsafe condition that is not repairable, then we will not accept it. If necessary we will carry out a print or production test. If we are not satisfied with the results of our investigations or the print tests then we will not remarket that piece of equipment. G: Where is the equipment checked or refurbished prior to remarketing? PM: All equipment will be inspected and checked in the production environment prior to dismantling at the source. Heidelberg has refurbishing centres in Germany, France and Malaysia. G: How do you signify to customers that the machine has been remarketed? PM: All official Heidelberg Remarketed equipment will carry and display a ‘Certified Remarketed by Heidelberg’ sign on it. This gives the client the confidence that it has been checked by Heidelberg. G: Do you offer purchasers of remarketed equipment the option to upgrade to the latest capabilities, where possible? PM: This is up to the customer based on the extent to which they want to upgrade. However, we would advise them when it is not economically viable to upgrade. We would then rather point them to new equipment. The aim of buying remarketed equipment is to buy more affordable technology which does not necessarily have the capabilities of new and customers generally know this. We can, however, offer both mechanical and software upgrades where required. G: How many people are employed by Heidelberg Remarketed? PM: The same technical staff who are available to the new equipment market are also responsible for Remarketed equipment. This means that customers who are looking at remarketed can continue to work closely with the people they already know from their previous new purchases. Worldwide, Heidelberg Remarketed has sales staff in each country where there is a Heidelberg office. Currently there are 42 sales people worldwide for remarketed. G: Is there much call in the local market for Remarketed equipment or do local printers mainly go to third-party resellers? PM: We have experienced a marked increase from local customers, as there have been a number of incidents where local purchasers have been dealt with in an unethical manner. Purchasers have legal recourse against unethical suppliers. However, they know that when they deal with Heidelberg Graphic Systems they have the full backing of the Heidelberg group and all that it stands for. G: What can Heidelberg offer that third-party resellers cannot? PM: We offer our customers the knowledge that the capital equipment purchase is backed by the dealer. There is no need for the customer to inspect the equipment in other countries as we have handled this part for them. With a worldwide network, Heidelberg has access to the very best equipment and all that the customer has to do is contact their local Heidelberg office. All Heidelberg Remarketed equipment is quoted in a transparent manner in which the customer can decide on the option of a having a fully installed price. The can have the equipment installed by a Heidelberg engineer or by a third-party if they so choose. The second option obviously does not include a warranty. Heidelberg offers a ‘Customer Credit’ as a warranty. Each piece of equipment comes with a pre-determined value. This value will be claimed against for any mechanical, electrical or parts claims for an agreed period. After this, the balance of the ‘Customer Credit’ is transferred to a spare parts or consumables credit. This unclaimed warranty value is still available to the customer for parts or consumables and is not kept by the supplier. Through its Remarketed Division, Heidelberg has ensured that brand-loyal customers continue to have access to their preferred range of equipment through the tough economic times. Customers have the peace-of-mind that they are continuing to get the quality they expect with the support they deserve.