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Customer Contact Capability

Growing with our customers

The Ricoh Group always takes a customer perspective, seeking to discover customer needs even before the customers realize themselves. From the development of products through manufacturing, sales, and after-sales services and support, our overriding objective is to create new value for our customers through ingenuity and solutions not available from any other company.

Identifying customers’ potential needs and innovating

Today’s socio-economic environment is vastly different from what it used to be and the transformation process continues, driven by increased globalization, growth of emerging economies and a wider embrace of network technologies.
Customers’ business environments and needs are changing, with management focusing on everything from transforming workflows and cutting the total costs of ownership to ensuring compliance with laws and ordinances.
Customer needs, however, are not always clearly defined. We have to perceive feelings and expectations not yet expressed in words and proactively shape solutions from a customer standpoint.
To pinpoint customer changes and expectations, we bring together all the capabilities of “One Global Ricoh” and draw closer to customers while reshaping our own business model.

Composition of workforce by region

Composition of workforce by region

Operating globally and building our supply chain

In sales and services, we have built a global network stretching across some 200 countries and maintain a four-point regional headquarters structure—Japan, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. In addition, we constantly work to expand the service business and strengthen the structure through M&As while taking steps to foster local harmony and consistency in our global strategies.
To ensure that we are able to provide leading-edge technologies to customers around the world, we have set up R&D hubs in Japan, the United States, China and India, and pursue development of technologies attuned to local market characteristics and globally strategic technologies.
In delivering products and services to customers, we utilize four global production hubs and maintain an optimum production structure emphasizing the most favorable location for maximum efficiency. This approach combines two production formats: “intensive production,” which outputs core modules common to many products as economically and efficiently as possible, and “local production for local consumption,” which swiftly addresses the needs of customers close to the point of production.
Meanwhile, we have worked to achieve a supply chain that remains uninterrupted even in a disaster or other emergency situations so that customers will never have to halt operations. Within the Ricoh Group, we ask suppliers to reinforce business continuity capabilities through redundant production bases and parts procurement channels and larger material and component inventories, and we encourage them to be socially responsible and take a rigorous stance on CSR procurement and issues of child labor and conflict minerals.
These efforts underpin our commitment to customer satisfaction through supply chain management implemented from a customer perspective while simultaneously pursuing profit opportunities.

Supply Chain Management

Structure-strengthening M&As (January 2014–June 2016)

2014 January Saral Buro Pazarlama Limited Sirketi, Merkezi (Turkey)
February mindSHIFT Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Ofisteknik A.S. (Turkey)
Ofisteknik LTD. (Turkey)
June Commonwealth Legal Inc. (Canada)
July FutureTech Ltd. (South Korea)
FutureWare Ltd. (South Korea)
October Npo Sistemi S.r.l. (Italy)
December PTI Marketing Technologies, Inc. (United States)
2015 May Ridgian Limited (United Kingdom)
June Graycon Group Inc. (Canada)
July NASSION Systems (Malaysia)
Capa 4 (Mexico)
Impromat CZ spol. s.r.o. (Czech Republic)
Impromat Slov spol.s.r.o. (Slovakia)
December Upfront SPRL (Belgium)
2016 January AnaJet LLC. (United States)
June Eye-Fi Inc. (United States)

Products that consistently delight and inspire customers

The Ricoh Group believes it is important to provide products and services that customers can use with confidence and that deliver a sense of value that exceeds expectations. This ideal is captured in the RICOH Quality declarations with the words “consistently delight and inspire our customers,” and we strive to ensure quality, particularly the aspects of safety and reliability.

RICOH Quality

Standards/Frameworks to ensure confidence and safety

  • Basic Policy for Product Safety Activities
  • Action Policy for Product Safety Activities
  • Multifaceted market quality information management
  • Quality management system

Constant improvements in pursuit of customer satisfaction

Sales companies in each country have opportunities for direct contact with customers. It is these companies which operate and maintain customer relationship management (CRM) databases and track customer equipment information and maintenance histories. Customer contact sites utilize CRM databases, repeatedly survey and analyze customer needs, pinpoint issues, and suggest products and solutions based on future predicted customer needs in mind. Our support continues after delivery, as well, through the 24-hour @Remote on-site maintenance and remote monitoring system, which executes automatic diagnostics and enables quick servicing for worry-free equipment use with little to no downtime for customers.
With @Remote, we can verify the operating status of equipment and provide continuous improvements and suggestions fine-tuned to each customer based on captured status data, which contributes to greater management efficiency at customer sites.
In addition, we have established and utilize systems to apply feedback gleaned from customer satisfaction surveys conducted periodically on a global basis to measure how well we have achieved RICOH Quality, and then apply the feedback to make products and services even better.

Systems for collecting and applying customer feedback

  • CRM databases
  • @Remote
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Call centers
  • Customer centers
  • Technology centers

More extensive, in-depth responses to customer needs

The Ricoh Group’s Global Value Proposition Conference takes place once a year to refine value proposition capabilities. Here, excellent customer case studies selected from operations worldwide are presented and evaluated by participants. The goals are to share knowledge, boost morale and link our efforts to higher sales throughout the Group.
We conduct Technical Advisory Conferences for the IT managers of corporate customers in Europe and the Americas. Participants engage in group discussions, exchange information, and identify common issues. Our objective is to visualize latent customer needs and reflect comments in future products and services.
Through these opportunities to reinforce customer contact, we will meet customer needs while growing our businesses.

Broadening the potential of production printing with our customers

The Ricoh Customer Experience Centre of Ricoh UK Products Ltd. maintains its own production printing environment to deepen understanding of customers’ businesses, feed back information in development, planning, and manufacturing processes, and provide customers with innovative solutions.
The facility proposes ways for customers to enhance business processes by drawing on expertise from years of production at Ricoh and offering operational consultation services. This effort is reinforcing Ricoh’s trust and presence in the commercial printing market.

Customer Experience Centre initiatives

  • Conducting demonstrations and verifying business flows
  • Validating printing paper
  • Producing print samples
  • Business process improvement and environmental solutions consulting services
  • Conducting technical assessments and supporting sales activities
  • Education and training
Ricoh Customer Experience Center
Ricoh Customer Experience Center

Ricoh Customer Experience Centre (Ricoh UK Products Ltd.)

New Initiatives in Education

Ricoh Campus Service

Ricoh Campus Service
Ricoh Campus Service

The Ricoh Campus Service offers convenient and useful solutions as the fruit of our track record in streamlining university administrative processes.
The service sets up on-campus lounges that offer print services using Ricoh equipment, collaborative areas for students, shops, and other facilities.
We developed the my print app for mobile devices that enables students to output anything they need at any time through machines within lounges and everywhere else on campuses.
We offer the service at universities in the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Spain, and France, and look to extend it to Japan.
We aim to expand our business and earnings from this area, providing new solutions that enhance campus experiences for students.

Success Story

Ricoh delivers next generation Managed Print Services (MPS) to Unilever across Europe

Vnilever office
Unilever office

Unilever, one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods, extended the scope of its Managed Print Services Agreement with Ricoh from five (in 2004) to 48 (in 2016) countries across EMEA, APAC and LATAM. Ricoh provides efficient and cost-effective solutions for Unilever’s office and home working employees. These enhanced services will provide further return on investment by delivering increased efficiency across all of Unilever’s operations.

Flexible and Cost Effective

The Next Generation Print Project includes the implementation of a range of solutions and services in the Ricoh portfolio that meet Unilever’s requirements. The objective of the project is to implement a flexible and cost-effective document management solution that focuses strongly on Unilever’s Green IT strategy—the Sustainable Living Plan. Ricoh and Unilever are thus collaborating to:

  • • Further optimize the print infrastructure beyond their initial focus on Europe
  • • Meet the latest Energy Star requirements
  • • Introduce a Global Print Policy to enhance awareness of print costs and environmental impact
  • • Reduce paper waste and power consumption
  • • Offer greater functionality on new products
  • • Introduce IC card-based personal authentication management to deliver greater levels of control and management
  • • Reduce the number of MFP and printer model types through global bulk purchasing

Katy Cory, Global IT Service Manager at Unilever says, “I am pleased that we have extended our focus and success beyond Europe to other territories with Ricoh. We are now focused on working together to streamline our fleet through the implementation of a new Managed Print Transformation Service and print policy we call MPS 2.0. The Next Generation Print Project will enable us to improve our environmental performance and monitoring as well as generate further reductions in both direct and indirect costs.”

Revealing Hidden Costs

Ricoh’s MPS will be offered as a flexible two-tier model where the scope of the service varies according to the size and requirements of each Unilever site.
The service includes an assessment of the current document output including security and document bottlenecks. It reveals hidden costs and optimizes devices while reducing the environmental impact of energy and CO2 emissions.

Reducing Environmental Impact

Ricoh and Unilever agreed on a selection of MFPs and printers that will be connected to Unilever’s network. Ricoh’s home office solution includes its energy-efficient GELJET printers. These highly efficient printers not only conserve energy resources, but also cut energy costs.
Ricoh provides reporting at site, country and regional levels, utilizing its @Remote Enterprise-Pro remote management tool. This increases Unilever’s visibility of energy consumption, print volumes, CO2 emissions and toner recycling. This environmental reporting is also incorporated into Unilever’s overall Green IT metrics.
Moreover, a bespoke print policy has been developed and is helping Unilever achieve its cost and environmental objectives.
Ricoh has been the primary supplier to Unilever for general office print solutions since 2004. Unilever retained Ricoh as a business partner for its customer driven approach, ability to offer flexible MPS and extensive European footprint. This ensures service and support across all of Unilever’s European sites. Furthermore, Unilever’s recognition of Ricoh’s sustainability initiatives also contributed to their continued partnership.
Maurice Beelen, General Manager of Ricoh Global Services Europe says, “Unilever continues to take a strategic and innovative approach to its document management. As a result, it will benefit from greater transparency, efficiency and reduced cost as well as environmental impact. With Ricoh expanding support to other territories, Unilever can focus on moving its business forward and achieving its overall business objectives.”

About the Customer

One of the world’s leading suppliers of consumer goods, Unilever meets the everyday needs of people around the world for food, hygiene and personal care. The company’s portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands, including Knorr, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Dove, Axe, Omo, Cif and Vaseline. Unilever employs 174,000 people globally in almost 100 countries.