New whitepapers available

Ricoh has commissioned Smithers Pira to create a series of whitepapers. These look at opporunities for Print Service Providers to open new worlds in a number of key market segments.

Whitepapers available now:

Ricoh Pira whitepaper – Corporate Print: bringing the world in-house

Ricoh Pira whitepaper – Digital commercial print: the new world order

Ricoh Pira whitepaper – Direct Marketing: printing the personal

Ricoh Pira whitepaper – Retail point-of-sale: the new frontier for consumer engagement

Ricoh Pira whitepaper – The new world of publishing with virtual stock

Corporate Zone at drupa

In this zone we’ll be focusing on increased promotional output and print room integration that can grow in-house print services for government, education and ­financial services operations, among others.

Not to be missed

  • examples from a variety of different vertical markets, and use cases for alternative media, transactional print, monochrome printing and banner
  • many promotional print applications in this zone including our rock band merchandise, posters, banners and a T-shirt printed on our Anajet t-shirt printer
  • CAD print and archiving solutions will be featured.
  • Corporate Workflow in action

 Key Applications

These are just some of the samples we are planning to show. Look out for more surprises at the show itself !

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Workflow

Ricoh’s corporate printing workflow solutions optimise printing and output processes across the entire organisation.

Corporate Workflow

 

Ricoh at drupa button

Infographic – Customer Communications Management

Digital media is disrupting corporate communication requirements and
spending. Below are some key findings from a recent survey conducted by
InfoTrends in Western Europe across vertical markets.
As communication investment grows in online and mobile, indications are
that print is still an important element of an integrated customer
communication strategy, but managing a mix of channels is still challenging
for many organisations.

 

Ricoh Infographic - Critical Communications Management

Ricoh Infographic – Critical Communications Management

Download as a PDF – Ricoh_CCM_infographic v1

 

Customer Communication Management trends – the growing complexity of managing customised, multi-channel corporate communications

Many of today’s corporate communication strategies are being driven by the need to serve and communicate with customers that have different delivery requirements and preferences. So it is no surprise to learn from a recent InfoTrends study that many corporate organisations are pursuing a multi-channel communication strategy to control the growing complexity of related processes.

Despite the migration of many communications both to online and to mobile delivery the study also highlighted that organisations are increasing their use of blended communications, incorporating print with digital channels.

Ricoh Infographic - Customer Communication Management

Ricoh Infographic – Customer Communication Management

Although traditional print continues to decline, it still represents 40% of respondents’ communication spending in the last year. But its future role hinges on its ability to integrate seamlessly with other channels.  And, where respondents are using print as part of an integrated blend of communications (indeed 31% state they already are), it’s achieving some of the best customer response rates. Up to 27% in some cases.

Growth in the use of digital media is reshaping the way organisations manage the growing complexity of communication processes.  The study found that up to a third of organisations are already managing their communication processes in-house. And over a third of firms in financial services are managing their own data analytics to optimise targeted customer communications. This suggests that many organisations are already taking more central control of the content and creation of communications.

InfoTrends conclude that in order to react to ever changing customer demands and market environments, organisations will require investment in technology and workflow automation enhancements that improve productivity, delivery speed, and cost.

Having the flexibility of managing content and the creation of communications in-house, and then fulfilling production of it onsite through a CRD or offsite via external service providers, can be the best overall strategy in many cases. This depends largely on the nature, scale or urgency of the requirement.

There are many solutions and services available to organisations providing the desired level of control over a broad range of communication types – from general customer correspondence to marketing or transactional documents.  Ricoh can help organisations formulate a communications management strategy using a range of technology and services from Precision Marketing consultancy to implementing a multi-channel communication workflow that facilitates onsite or offsite fulfilment – or a combination of both.

Download the Infotrends white paper – Key Trends in Customer Communication Management

Find out more at: ricoh-europe.com/ccm

Transforming transactions to engage customers

Letters, bills and statements are the largest part of the customer communications iceberg.

They are central to the customer experience. Yet the chance to say something powerful usually remains beneath the waves. That makes transactional printing a massive, largely
hidden marketing opportunity.

It has the potential to transform itself from transactional documentation to become a central force in customer communications – and a fundamental part of the marketing mix.

Inforgraphic - Transforming transactions to engage customers

Inforgraphic – Transforming transactions to engage customers

Download in PDF format: RICOH Infographic_transactional_FINAL

The Green Advantage: how Digital printing on demand enables more sustainable printing

It allows short run lengths and quick turnaround printing.
It enables customised content that can be tailored to individual requirements.
It results in less waste and inventory and minimises your organisation’s carbon footprint.

Infographic - The Green Advantage

Infographic – The Green Advantage

108451 Environment Info Graphic 274x210mm_FINAL

Find out more about Ricoh’s Environmental solutions for Production Print

 

Educating the Education Sector: The Future of Print

Speed of change Education

Across Europe there is a drive to strengthen higher education to create leading-edge facilities and services that enable remote learning and ensure finite resources are used more efficiently. In fact, in new research from the Economist Intelligence Unit sponsored by Ricoh Europe, it was found that 98 per cent of Education leaders in Europe revealed that they are now under pressure to change faster, more than they have, in the past three years.

Separately, the European Commission projected that 414 million students, worldwide, are expected to be enrolled in higher education by 2030. And even more, across Europe specifically it’s estimated that 90 per cent of jobs will require digital skills in the near future[1]. It is easy, when looking at these powerful data points, to understand why there is increased pressure on leaders to adapt their operations and training systems as quickly as possible.

If we consider higher education establishments, they must address how to stay attractive to prospective students while competing with other similarly ranked institutions, as well as with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Ensuring a modernised environment is essential. Technology itself will play a part; however, the real route to success is by ensuring the back office operations are optimised.

European leaders within the sector agree. The EIU research, The Challenge of Speed, asked respondents to identify areas where adapting to change was most crucial, and most cited responses were back office related. First is improving core business processes (44 per cent) followed by recruiting new staff (42 per cent) and adopting new technologies (40 per cent).

Now is the time for the print room to shine and be a central point to optimise core business processes. For example, targeted communication is one highly effective way of attracting new students and making a positive first impression. This can range from customised prospectuses specifically for each student, created via an online form, to multichannel communications. Based on the registration of their interests, potential students can receive tailored information about their preferred course, information about where they can pursue their hobbies or even learn about the best entertainment venues based on their favourite music.

The information gathered can also be used for broader communication such as integrated campaigns and direct e-shots, or even facilitate impromptu communication that is related to topical situation or updates on course information, all of which will add to build lasting relationships with the students.

Educational establishments can also streamline their print requirements through software that simplifies the dissemination of information on demand. Moore says, “Instead of lecturers printing course notes themselves, they can order online what they require for the next day, upload supporting content to an online portal or send students the link for them to download to their tablet or other mobile device. Relevant information or publications can be provided on a ‘just in time’ basis in a highly efficient and cost effective way and lecturers can use their saved time on meeting the learning needs of their students.

So what is holding them back?  Education leaders said the top two bottlenecks to achieving greater agility are difficulty in getting employees, business units, or functions to adopt a common approach (44 per cent) and bureaucratic decision making processes (35 per cent).

A smooth, quick and responsive line of communication can address these issues. For example the back office administration can be linked to various data sources for easy and timely invoicing or other mandatory documents. A web portal can also be created for the simple sharing of information and as a way to communicate university news and updates more effectively.

Efficient business process communication, all-round streamlining of operations and addressing bottlenecks via multichannel communications, from print to mobile devices and augmented reality, will ensure operational wide improvements. This approach to multi-communication has far-reaching effects from speeding up information for students to smoother, more effective back office operation. As a result, the corporate print room can transform into a communication centre driving efficiencies and being instrumental in introducing a number of different formats and channels that streamline information flow.

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Graham Moore -Director Business Development, Ricoh Europe

With this full service system in place, the print room will not only be able to support educational establishments as they rapidly change, but will have an active role in enabling this change. The truly developed print room can speed up the pace at which schools develop through improved critical communications, management of data, and even decision making through enhanced visibility of information. In this new era of digital transformation, the print room can truly take centre stage as not only the enabler but a driver of change in the education sector.

Sources:

[1] European Commission Education and Training http://ec.europa.eu/education/policy/strategic-framework/education-technology.htm

Ricoh Infographic – the power of Direct Mail

Direct mail is a vital node in the ‘connected world’ we live in. It’s a powerful medium. People like it. Respond to it. Act on it. In a blended campaign, Direct Mail creates an impact that’s more effective than digital marketing alone. In fact, in 2013, Central Mailing Services figures showed that nearly half the UK population responded to traditionally printed direct mail over the past year. Below are the seven reasons why integrating Direct Mail into your next campaign will help you market most effectively today and for many years to come.

  1.  The Mail moment – Consumers regard personalised direct mail as the trusted medium for customer communication
  2. Make People Act – 79% of consumers react to direct mail immediately
  3. The Sensory Experience – Direct Mail has a long shelf life – two thirds of consumers keep their mail
  4. Precision Targeting – top three reasons why people open mail:  contact from known brands and companies (51%), Personally
    addressed (47%), information about products or services of interest 40%
  5. Get creative – structural dimensional mail can have 20 times the penetrating power of flat direct mail
  6. Fantastic ROI –  most important more often than any other touchpoint in the consumer’s purchasing process
  7. Effectiveness – 48% of UK adults have done something in the last 12 months as result of mailing
The Power of Direct Mail

The Power of Direct Mail

 

Ricoh Direct Mail Infographic (PDF)

Find out more about Ricoh’s Solutions for Direct Mail

More statistics about Direct Mail – see: http://www.centralmailing.co.uk/

 

The green colour of money

[GUEST BLOG]

Clare Taylor, Owner, Clare Taylor Consulting

Clare Taylor, Owner, Clare Taylor Consulting

How can being greener help your business?

Where savings can be made?

What can an environmental policy do for you?

Green policies and practices make sound business sense and help you to save money from your bottom line, raise your profile and equip yourself to compete against larger rivals. To make savings, the starting point is measuring to understand where your money goes.

Energy

A significant amount of energy is used for simply running a building full of people, and savings can be made that are independent of the amount of work going through. Good areas to look at are heating, particularly preventing heat losses or waste, cooling and lighting.

Older buildings can be very costly to heat, but simple measures such as draught proofing not only make them more comfortable but also cut your bills. Canny use of controls on boilers and air conditioning can also cut energy waste.

Businesses can save up to 15% of energy costs*

Waste

Waste costs more than just disposal costs – even if you’re being paid for paper recycling, it won’t cover what you’ve paid in purchase and processing costs. The best savings are therefore from prevention, and ways of managing workflows that help you deliver quality will also help you prevent waste.

For unavoidable waste, reuse or recycling is cheaper than paying for disposal. Suppliers may take back containers, there are many waste companies who offer recycling and Local Authorities offer a range of business waste recycling services. A waste audit will help, and some government bodies, as well as waste companies, offer this service.

Businesses can save as much as 25% from the total cost of waste**

Water

Savings can be made on more than just process water used. There are opportunities for reducing domestic water consumption too, which, unless you have very few staff, can quickly pay for themselves.

Savings on water can be as much as 30%***

Policy and promotion

Your environmental policy is your mission statement – stating what your goals are and acting as a framework for action. The action plans behind it, results of measuring and evidence of progress can also be used as the basis for raising your profile: for example, entries for environmental awards.

Customers with environmental programmes of their own will often only add printers to shortlists or preferred customer lists if they have green credentials of their own. It’s not a guarantee of work, but an effective door opener. Being known for what you are doing also helps here and, particularly for companies whose work is mainly local, entering local green business awards can be a very effective way of achieving this.

Green _1_smallStrong environmental programmes will help you punch above your weight by reducing bottom line costs and by taking you above the crowd – but you have to work at shouting out what you are doing as well as at having something to shout about.

To find out more, read our Article – “Pruning costs by going green”

This is available from Ricoh Business Driver or, if you are not a member, request it here.

References:

* Source: Carbon Trust Printing case study CTS094 “We estimate that the sector could cut its energy bills by 15% through basic energy saving measures.”

** Source: 2Degrees Sustainability Essentials: Zero Waste “The true cost of waste is often 3% to 4% of revenues, and it is generally possible to save around 25% of this.”

*** Source: WRAP Saving money through resource efficiency: Reducing water use “Water costs can be between 1 and 2% of a company’s turnover. Savings between 30 and 50% can be achieved by investing in no- and low-cost water reduction techniques and technologies.”

Transformation strategies for the CRD – a ten point plan

In Ricoh’s latest Business Driver Report,  Transformation strategies for the CRD, published by  Smithers Pira, in association with Ricoh Europe PLC, we outline a 10-point plan for helping CRDs transform. Here is a short summary.

A ten point planBusiness trends may be putting pressure on the CRD but those with the right strategy and ethos can thrive despite the tough economic climate and changing working practices. Even with the impact of today’s technology and demands for print and other media, it is possible to steer a successful course if you follow this 10-point transformation plan for success in the CRD.

1.  Understand the place of the CRD in the overall organisation.

Knowing how your products and services reflect the brand and ethos of the organisation is crucial to proving the worth of the CRD and to maximising its benefit.

2. Behave like a commercial operation.

A service-based philosophy that ensures that jobs are on time, to specification and the highest quality at a realistic price backed with exemplary service ensures other departments support and appreciate the CRD.

3. Keep your production platform relevant.

Changing technologies and market situations may mean it is necessary to change the printers and processes used in house. Many sites have already dropped litho for digital and some are finding it necessary to add wideformat equipment to meet new requirements.

4. Offer more than just print.

Multi-channel communications and cross-media campaigns are now the norm and print needs to prove its own worth and work together with other channels.

5. Understand the importance of software and systems.

Job submission, web-to-print and rules based jobrouting software all enable the inplant to improve efficiency and customer service while also saving costs and providing a layer of management and control.

6. Make sure senior management understand the role of print.

Ensure you have a champion in the C-suite who clearly understands and can help communicate the value of an internal print resource to support the objectives of your brand and the business.

7. Be flexible and work with other departments to deliver value.

In some instances it is not possible to provide all print-related services via the CRD. If your corporate structure means working with other teams such as IT,design, marketing, procurement and legal be prepared to cooperate for the best interest of the business rather than play internal politics.

8. Ensure you have a multi skilled and flexible workforce.

A well trained and flexible workforce ensures you can rise to any production challenge and provide the best advice to customers.

9. Focus on delivering best value.

Consider if print is the right medium, and if so if it is best produced in the CRD, at the point of need in the offices/on the desktop or by a specialist external supplier.

10. Maximise value of being an internal supplier.

Harness the department’s unique position as part of the business with special knowledge of print to align your products and services with brand guidelines and sustainability policies.

The full report, ,  Transformation strategies for the CRD, is available to Ricoh Business Driver users. Alternatively, request a copy by completing this form.

Pirareport