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Heidelberg acquires Belgian software specialist CERM

March 23, 2011

CERM’s print management software for narrow web printers will be integrated into Heidelberg’s Prinect print shop workflow system.

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG has acquired Belgian software specialist CERM. The company, headquartered in Oostkamp, specializes in the development, sale, and implementation of management information systems for commercial and label printing and employs 26 people. Effective immediately, Heidelberg plans to launch and sell CERM's existing portfolio worldwide and integrate it into the Prinect production workflow. Management information systems are used to manage all the commercial processes of a print shop.

“By acquiring CERM, a well known software specialist in Western Europe, Heidelberg is expanding its portfolio of management information systems. We aim to present a fully integrated MIS solution with central data management in combination with our Prinect print shop workflow at drupa 2012 and start the worldwide roll-out step by step,” says Marcel Kiessling, member of the management board responsible for Heidelberg Services. “CERM is an excellent addition to our existing solutions, thanks to the strengths of the company’s products and the customer segments it serves.”

Tom Musschoot, former owner and new managing director of CERM, says, “We’ll continue to serve all our existing customers in all our markets. Additionally, as part of Heidelberg, we will be able to extend our business to a truly global level by making use of Heidelberg's worldwide presence and international sales channels.” The global market volume for MIS in the print media industry is estimated at around €200 million.

CERM’s product portfolio can also cover the extensive MIS requirements of larger print shops involving complex management processes. Heidelberg plans to integrate the CERM solutions step by step into the Prinect print shop workflow. The aim is to launch an integrated management and production workflow for controlling all commercial and production processes in a print shop, irrespective of the business model and size of the company. This, says Heidelberg, will eradicate any potential problems with interfaces between the management and production workflows. The new development will allow customers who initially opt for CERM to switch to a comprehensive integration solution at a later date.

CERM MIS for narrow web printers in Europe will now be extended all over the world, says Musschoot. “Heidelberg's worldwide presence, including the sales channels of Gallus for the label business, will create a unique platform for our very specialized narrow web solution,” he says. “We are already serving our first US customers, and will now be able to reduce the time to market considerably.” CERM existing partnerships will remain in place.