Ricoh has the smart way forward

Ricoh has the smart way forward

Taking advantage of the growing market share over the past 30 years, Ricoh has secured its position as the second largest supplier of office imaging equipment.   “Ricoh’s strength in Australia and worldwide, is in mid- to high-range colour multifunctional devices,” comments Mike Betts, National Operations Manager. 

Ricoh’s broad multi award winning range of print products extends from basic economy printers to large format production devices with advanced cloud connectivity and integrated software solutions.  Ricoh’s clients range from small-to-medium businesses, educational institutions to large government agencies, and the financial sector, including three of Australia’s four major banks.

Workplaces are transforming with businesses printing fewer copies than in the past, moving towards storing documents electronically and reducing waste.  To remain competitive, in recent years Ricoh has made a strategical shift to expand their services and products to workplace technologies while continuing to be world leaders in the manufacturing of multifunctional printers.   Ricoh has been very successful in providing a one-stop-shop for IT services, Managed Documents services and Unified Communications.  “Our business model is changing, and it will continue to evolve quite rapidly over the next couple of years,” said Betts.  

Warehousing & Logistics

“We’re looking forward to a big year,” said Betts. “We’ve successfully secured a number of sizeable contracts and are scheduled to move a significant number of units over the next 12 months.”

Most products come directly from Ricoh’s local and overseas factories.  Betts is responsible for managing the relationships involved with distribution and installation of devices within Australia. His target is to operate with a 30-day inventory at all times, which allows for a buffer when unusually large sales take place.          

There’s no new innovative technology involved in Ricoh’s warehouse logistics. It relies on good communication processes to keep the team across all transactions in the pipeline.   “It’s my job to ensure I have enough stock but not too much.  It’s a balancing act,” said Betts. “A lot of it is attention to detail and accurate sales forecasting. We spend a lot of time consulting with each department and having open dialog.         

“Good internal communication within the company is critical. We do a pretty good job of that, whether we are working remotely or in different locations, we have the support of our unified communications to interact regularly.”

A green present and future

When Ricoh built its new warehouse two years ago it was the only one of its kind to have a five-star green rating in Sydney.  “The warehouse was built to be an environmentally sound and innovative building,” said Betts. “It’s been a huge success for us, and we are now seeing it being used as a template for other buildings.”

Ricoh also has a toner-recycling program, where the company picks up and re-uses emptied toners. Betts estimates 50-60 per cent of all toner cartridges will be recycled, which reduces landfill usage.

Similarly, once printing machines hit end of life, they’re collected and recycled. While it’s a selling point for the company, it also provides a feel-good factor.

“Traditionally, this industry has generated a lot of waste,” said Betts. “Now we meticulously collect everything and make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Smarter workplaces

Ricoh’s new head office is an interchangeable open workplace.  Opened in September 2015, it is what is known as a “smart workplace environment,” where no one has a designated office space and working remotely is supported.

The new activity-based working environment has increased staff connectivity, collaboration, and productivity.  Most importantly, it is underpinned by Ricoh’s own technology.  “One of the reasons behind this is that our staff stand by our smart workplace philosophy by utilising Ricoh’s multifunctional printers, interactive whiteboards, IT Services, Managed Document Services, projectors and so on. 

 “We want to ensure the environment in which we and our clients work, is productive and collaborative, and an inspiring and pleasurable place to be, where staff enjoy coming to work,” said Betts.

Mike Betts