The Ricoh Group has actively been working to reduce the use of packaging materials. In 1994, we introduced “eco packaging” which uses less cardboard.
In 2001, we introduced resin-based “resource-recirculating eco packaging” materials, which can be used repeatedly, in the market for the first time.
The packaging materials are mainly used for our recycled multifunctional copiers shipped within Japan. In addition, the Ricoh Logistics System Group has introduced RFID (radio frequency identification)technology to manage and improve the “resource-recirculating eco packaging.”
Ricoh provides customers with a factory kitting service. Specifically, for product to be delivered to a customer, the company attaches optional items and configures the necessary settings, including IP addresses, according to the specifications of the customer. Ricoh then directly delivers the product and all other items packed as one unit to the customer. This service helps shorten the installation time of the machine, and also contributes to a substantial reduction of packaging materials compared with the traditional delivery of items separately packaged in cardboard.
Moreover, the factory kitting service contributes to substantially improving the efficiency of logistics operations through direct delivery from the factory to the customer, and also increasing the transportation efficiency by reducing the overall shipping volume.
Being the largest in term of weight and size among the image products made by the Ricoh Group, production printers were previously transported packed with cardboard and on wooden pallets. This was resulting in large costs for packing materials as well as a substantial environmental impact. In addition, unpacking at the user’s site took a long time and required a lot of space, among other inconveniences and problems related to delivery. Moreover, since large-sized products are produced in small numbers for each model, resource-recirculating eco packaging would not be cost effective and the reduction of environmental impact could not be expected.
These problems led the Logistics Innovation Group to develop the “packageless” delivery of production printers. The group started a project with the cooperation of all divisions involved in the processes from product design to distribution and sales and conducted a series of tests of different kinds. As a result, we found that wrapping the products allows for the packageless transportation of production printers. Since January 2010, we have been expanding the areas where packageless delivery is used.