The Ricoh Group offers a diverse range of products and services that raise the productivity of customers around the world. Today, in addition to our heritage business of multifunction devices, printers and other office imaging equipment, our portfolio comprises integrated solutions and services including network communication products, document management systems, IT services and production print solutions. These are designed to meet the evolving needs and workstyles of our customers in keeping with our corporate mission to deliver value to all our stakeholders through innovations that enhance the way people live and do business.
The core business of the Ricoh Group is Imaging & Solutions, which generates about 90% of consolidated sales. We have built an extensive lineup of products in this segment, showcasing equipment for commercial printing, such as production printers, and a large selection of MFPs, printers and other imaging equipment for office use. This all-round assortment of products and associated solutions are directed primarily toward corporate customers.
Today, Imaging & Solutions is on the verge of a huge transformation, spurred by changes in the demand market. Customer needs and workstyles are evolving, a process that reflects the vigorous pursuit of M&A opportunities and restructuring to achieve a sharper competitive edge as well as the appearance of new trends in society. As a group, we are quick to respond to emerging developments, but we also cast a corporate eye to the future, and by anticipating possible demand scenarios before customers themselves may be aware of them, we are able to provide value that exceeds expectations. This customer-oriented perspective is what fuels corporate growth.
New workstyles and venues
Today’s socio-economic environment is so much different than it once was, driven by increased globalization, growth of emerging economies and a wider embrace of network technologies.
Customers’ business environments are also changing, which necessitates a different set of responses, as management concentrates energy into new directions, be it more efficient operations or higher productivity. Against this backdrop, customers are seeking another kind of value, shifting from “ownership of products” to “use of services.” This presents us with the potential to expand our market presence by going beyond products to new businesses derived from services and solutions.
In addition, the workplace is being redefined by innovative methods of communication utilizing video, audio, images and other data formats, reflecting widespread use of mobile devices—namely, smartphones and tablet PCs—and a heightened use of cloud computing. In this new workplace, people want to access and share required information and print it out anywhere as easily and securely as they would in a conventional office.
New business model
Ricoh understands these market changes and is working to upgrade its business model for continued success. We will draw on the global network we have built so far—a network that encompasses some 200 countries—and our close relationships with customers to provide products and solutions for document-related operations and beyond. This will lead to a stronger and wider revenue base.
For example, in developed countries, workstyles are evolving at an accelerated pace, which presents a different set of management issues for our customers to tackle, from workflow reforms and reduced total cost of ownership to enhanced compliance practices. We are working on a revenue model that enables us to provide solutions and services that effectively address these customer issues.
Meanwhile, in emerging markets that continue to exhibit tremendous growth, we are expanding our presence by making MFPs and printers more appealing to local customers and by raising cost-competitiveness while reinforcing our sales and service networks. In addition, emerging markets are likely to undergo rapid changes similar to those that have taken place in developed countries, and we are keen to establish a platform that will support the shift to solutions and services.
The Ricoh Group offers one-stop services that support customers’ business activities in many situations. Our managed document services (MDS) free customers from all document-related workflow and operation and management tasks, and our IT services ensure appropriate equipment layout, PC and network environment configuration, and installation of office management systems with thought given to the placement of equipment and traffic flow in the office. We have also ventured into domains where our expertise makes communication processes more comfortable and convenient.
The ability to accurately identify customer needs and create new value is supported by forward-looking R&D, a structure for harnessing technologies cultivated through the imaging equipment business and generating new technologies, a concerted effort to listen to customers and utilize valuable feedback, and global R&D, sales and service networks. By interlinking these individual approaches, we can respond quickly to customer needs and, ultimately, meet future needs even before customers themselves are aware of them. Going forward, we will continue to create a steady stream of customer value by bringing together all the capabilities of “One Global Ricoh.”
At Ricoh, we tackle R&D from a perspective that anticipates how changes in society will affect the evolution of office environments and workflows. We also strive to cultivate businesses in new markets where our strengths can be put to good use in building the foundation for communities that are safe, comfortable and offer convenience to those who live and work there.
Ricoh has harnessed the core technologies incorporated in the cameras, diazo copiers, photo-sensitive paper, plain paper copiers, facsimiles, MFPs and other products and solutions sold to customers. Our emphasis is on technologies related to optics, chemical materials, electrophotography, mechatronics, telecommunications, semiconductors, inkjet printing, image processing, software and IT.
The results we have achieved through these R&D pursuits have yielded 48,446 patents worldwide, as of March 31, 2014.
To see things from a customer perspective and respond swiftly to changing customer needs, we utilize our customer relations management (CRM) database and customer satisfaction surveys. We also maintain call centers, customer helpdesks, technology centers and other points of contact all over the world, through which we garner insights about customer needs and wants. We implement fine-tuned responses matched to actual conditions in each country and utilize customer feedback on products, sales, services and R&D to enhance our lineups. In addition, we have a process in place to facilitate timely delivery of products and services customized to user needs, such as the configuration of settings into equipment prior to delivery so that it is customer-ready upon arrival.
To ensure that we are able to provide leading-edge technologies to customers around the world, we have laid out a global R&D structure and pursue activities that draw on and interconnect local aspects. Our sales and service activities center on four regional headquarters—Japan, the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific and China—and extend across approx. 200 countries. We strive to meet local needs while ensuring consistency in our global strategies. We are constantly reinforcing these structures through various approaches, including M&As, to expand the solutions business.
The key to further growth lies not only in excellent products and services at competitive prices as well as a strong support network, but also in solutions that we, as a partner in dealing with issues of concern, fine-tune to customer circumstances. By fulfilling our social responsibility as a corporate citizen and striving to improve corporate value, we will meet customer demands and maintain their trust. Tomorrow, as today, we aim to be relevant—our products, services and solutions needed by customers and society at large—and toward this end we will upgrade our business model and tackle reforms to grow along with our customers.