Case Study

Heidelberg Financial Services – End-to-End Implementation

Heidelberg Financial Services bucks the trend in the global economic crisis - with a little help from White Clarke Group’s CALMS


The name Heidelberg is almost synonymous with printing and Heidelberg Financial Services meets the particular needs of the many small to medium-sized companies that make up the printing sector. The printing industry is always first to suffer in a financial crisis and is always last out. Nevertheless, Heidelberg is going to manage the turnaround and drive down costs, and White Clarke Group’s CALMS has played a key role.

Heidelberg sells its printing presses and equipment around the globe and has adopted an interesting strategy for providing finance to printers – for which they won the “Captive Finance Provider of the Year” award at the Leasing Life Asset Finance Conference 2010 in Milan. For their worldwide operations, the key strategy is to externalize financing to banks and other financial institutions who are acting as financing partners of Heidelberg.

Recognizing the nature of the printing sector (small companies, high investment cost, complex financing agreements) they have seven of their own “Print Finance” companies, each acting as lender of last resort. This calls for considerable agility, with strong risk management and uniquely tailored contracts. Even more than in other finance sectors, a lid has to be kept on internal administrative costs.

“Our industry was hit very hard by the recession”, says Alexander Müller, Managing Director of Print Finance Vermittlung GmbH, Germany. “Commercial printing always retracts violently at the onset of an economic decline. Although the worldwide printing volume is still stable, we currently see structural changes in the communications business, where news content is moving from print more and more into the digital world.”


The company recognized the need to make better use of information technology for its financing activities. “Flexibility was high on the list of our decision making criteria,” explains Müller. “It had to be an end-to-end solution that was tailorable to meet our ‘lender of last resort’ marketing strategy. It had to be truly international, as well as meeting our own way of performing overseas trade – we do not operate cross-border and we have a unique way of moving funds. Finally, it had to have an SAP interface to allow us to mesh with our parent company.”


Heidelberg Financial Services looked at four potential suppliers and selected CALMS from White Clarke Group because it alone ticked all the boxes.

For more detail on any aspect of CALMS, please contact us today.


“Everything has gone smoothly, including implementation overseas where previously we were relying on spreadsheets. We now enjoy significantly better data security and can monitor performance so much better. Bottom line, we can manage risks better than ever before.”

Despite everything that the recession could throw at Heidelberg, the financial services segment of the company has managed to even increase their penetration of parent’s sales compared to the previous fiscal year – and to increase profitably. Alexander Müller sums up: “A great system and a great partnership.”

For more detail on any aspect of CALMS, please contact us today.