Reflections on drupa 2016

After 11 frenetic days of meeting with our customers, listening to their needs and challenges and showcasing how our range of products, solutions and services support our clients’ needs, I want to take a moment to reflect on our drupa 2016 adventure.

Our theme for this year’s drupa, ‘Open New Worlds’ was developed to focus on the opportunities and challenges that our customers see in their sphere. What we wanted to let our visitors know was that no matter their size, sector or ambitions we can help them build from their strengths, creating more opportunities for them to grow and evolve. Welcomed in our theatre, customers, press and industry analysts enjoyed hosted tours to experience this first hand.

On the product side, we presented the latest versions of our cut sheet printers including the Ricoh Pro™ C7100 series and the Ricoh Pro™ C9100 series. In the continuous feed sector we put the spotlight on our newly enhanced Ricoh Pro™ VC60000 high speed inkjet platform. Live demonstrations of these in the Commercial Print, Direct Marketing, Publishing and Corporate zones, and in our lean manufacturing Smart Factory, highlighted the innovative applications, quality output and the broad range of services our presses offer.

Many of our clients agreed and signed on stand deals. Among the sales we celebrated were a Pro C7100 for Cicero, and Nationwide Print who chose MarcomCentral to support production on its new Pro C7100. Cicero also ordered a Pro C9110 as did Magneet Communicatiecentrum, Ecograf, Datum, Deltor, Impremta and CFH Documail – to name but a few of our clients trusting our technology to support their growth.

We were also very excited to celebrate the sales of our Pro VC60000. EDC was our first customer in Eastern Europe, while Adare ordered two lines and CFI opted to add a second. This latest addition to our portfolio is gathering market momentum, as our clients learn and embrace how its combination of productivity and high quality can help them be more cost effective and profitable.

We had a very busy industrial print zone, where we showcased the powerful opportunities offered by additive manufacturing, industrial inkjet printheads, direct to shape coding and marking as well as branding product decoration.

To add to that, we announced our entry into the vibrant signage market, by adding EFI VUTEk flatbed printers to our portfolio. The decision builds on the success of our large format portfolio of print production solutions.

There was a lot of discussion surrounding the overall theme of drupa 2016. Connectivity was a topic that ran through the show like a red thread, for all solutions and in every sector.  Many of our visitors were looking for software and services that will enable them to connect and integrate different workflow streams and production environments.

In our Studio, many visitors discovered the capabilities of our TotalFlow portfolio including TotalFlow Cloud Suite, and learned how they could improve productivity, add value and open up new opportunities.

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Graham Moore -Director Business Development, Ricoh Europe

Finally, it’s important to remember that an event like drupa is only as good as the people who make it happen. It’s been a real pleasure for us all working with colleagues to make drupa such a powerful event. We couldn’t have made it the success it was without all the hard work that people put in. Ricoh really is a company that is driven by passion and dedication, and where imagine.change is not just a brand, but an expression of the talent and commitment of our team.

 

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

 

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Direct Marketing zone at drupa

In this area, we will show why the rejuvenation of Direct Mail is such a great digital printing opportunity and why seamless integration across the full range of multichannel communications is so important.

Not to be missed

  • data analytics and data cleansing solutions
  • real time printing of a  dedicated mailer for the drupa show which includes personalised vouchers
  • Ricoh’s Direct Marketing Workflows in action
  • Examples of single pass full colour transactional applications

 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 direct marketing and critical communications workflow solutions harness the power of direct marketing for a more profitable future.

Direct Marketing Workflow

 

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Publishing zone at drupa

In this zone we want to show you how Ricoh’s solutions can help Open up New Worlds for you in publishing and book printing.

Not to be missed

  • real examples of books and journals from major Publishers like HarperCollins and Elsevier
  • books and book covers printed live on Ricoh’s heavy duty Ricoh Pro C9110 cutsheet press
  • Books printed live on Ricoh Colour Inkjet Pro VC60000 on offset stocks
  • Ricoh’s new Digital Book Workflow in action

Key Applications

Here are just some of the great print samples you will be able to see in the Publishing zone.

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Workflow

Ricoh’s digital book printing workflow solutions allow Book Manufacturers to adapt their processes for the new world of short run, fast turnaround books and journal printing.

Digital Book Printing Workflow

 

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Commercial Printing Zone at drupa

Ricoh’s Commercial Printing Zone at drupa is intended to show the broad range of solutions that Ricoh can now offer Commercial printers – from high productivity cutsheet to banners and signage.

Not to be missed

  • Ricoh’s latest cutsheet devices Pro C9110 and Pro C7110 along with versatile feeding and finishing options
  • live end-to-end production on lean manufacturing principles for efficient production of high quality print samples and a diverse variety of show and visitor collateral.
  • see our Commercial Print 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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Workflows

Ricoh’s commercial printing workflow integrates offset and digital environments for
a more productive hybrid print operation

Commercial Printing Workflow

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An Intelligent Choice for Brands Combating Overextension

Benoit Chaterlard

Benoit Chatelard Vice President, Production Printing Group, EMEA

In a world where consumers’ attention is increasingly spread thin and organisations’ IT and marketing departments are spread even thinner, now can be a frustrating time for marketing departments and service providers. Everyone wants faster turnaround times, higher-quality output, cross-platform promotions, and they want it now – even when “now” isn’t during business hours.

Introducing Ricoh Intelligent Marketing Solutions

The solutions we offer aim to address these concerns, helping marketers create consistent, high-quality marketing collateral while reducing costs and lessening burdens on their organisation. In this way we can help make your marketing communications more effective and less costly. Importantly we can also make it an easier, less time-consuming activity for busy marketing departments.

Intelligent Marketing Overview

Intelligent Marketing Overview

Our solutions address these typical challenges:

  • Are your operations far-flung, making total monitoring and management difficult?
  • Does your brand struggle with inconsistency, especially across platforms and regions?
  • Are you finding certain aspects of the process are costing them productivity, money, or both?
  • Do increasingly high expectations for short turnaround times and 24/7 service make your job harder to do and your customers harder to please?
  • And, perhaps most importantly, is managing it all proving to be just too much, taking away from core business practices and potentially causing their bottom line to suffer?

How Ricoh can help

Products like MarcomCentral aim to streamline the transition from customer order to print-ready job, 24/7; while the FusionPro Product Suite enables a variety of marketing applications (including pURLs, VDP imagery and other customization).. Each of these products targets a different area or aspect of a Marketing Communications workflow, but they share a simple goal: making marketing departments  work easier and more efficient.

Case Study – The World Bank: Marketing Asset Management  lends a helping hand to Printing & Multimedia Services

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The World Bank’s core mission is to reduce global poverty and encourage healthy economies. That’s why they depend on their peoples’ own ‘grass roots’ marketing to educate others about the cause.

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They needed a multi-cultural, multi-lingual environment where all offices could access, localise and distribute the latest marketing materials using a new solution that was fast, flexible and web accessible.
The Results:

  •  Full deployment in less-than 6 months
  •  Tens of thousands of assets available
  •  Huge savings using system’s translation services
  •  Reduced creative workloads by 25%
  •  96% Reduction to processing time for the field (15-18min production time cut to 30secs
  • Increase labor savings per year by just giving users the ability to customise wall maps
  • Positive ROI achieved within first 3 months

Read the full case study

Empower your in-house marketing capability

Find out how Ricoh’s Intelligent Marketing Solutions empower your in-house marketing capability and let you take control of your brand and communication costs.

http://www.ricoh-europe.com/services-solutions/production-printing/corporate-print/intelligent-marketing-solutions/index.aspx

The Importance of Communication Management Platforms

Benoit Chaterlard

Benoit Chatelard Vice President, Production Printing Group, EMEA

In an age where there are so many ways to communicate, it can often be difficult to blend the right mix of channels to deliver a specific message.

With critical customer communications (such as messages that organisations send to their customers and prospects to promote or advertise their offerings  or to inform them about business transactions) there is an additional challenge. Not only do you have to make sure your message, no matter which channel you choose, is conveyed in such a way that pleases your audience but your message also needs to meet governmental regulations.

There are a huge volume of customer communications of this type – worth (according to InfoTrends*) $56B worldwide in 2013 and this volume is forecast to grow by 6.9% CAGR (InfoTrends*) . So managing customer communications can be a logistical nightmare if you’re not prepared for it.

Introducing Ricoh’s  Customer Communication Management (CCM) platform

Fortunately, Ricoh’s CCM platform makes those goals easily attainable for businesses of many sizes and types, including large enterprises, commercial printers, and small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Our CCM platform leverages a variety of software – both homegrown and from our partner companies – to help organisations looking to reach big audiences do so, with defensible audit trails and automated workflow features included.

Components of Ricoh's CCM platform

Components of Ricoh’s CCM platform

When sending out these kinds of communications, it is critical that the document goes to the right place – whether that’s a mailing address, email inbox or branded web portal customers can access at will.  This can often be more than just a question of effective communication; it can be a question of regulatory compliance and avoiding costly fines.

That’s why, beyond accurate addressing protocols, our software helps enact security measures – from secure electronic presentment to encrypted data streams intended for email bodies, attachments, or printed output – to keep customers’ information safe. Additionally, CCM software diligently tracks and records the movements of these documents, so they don’t just know their data is safe, but they can also show it is, making meeting regulatory requirements that much easier.

How  Credit Mutuel  in France uses CCM

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As a result of Ricoh’s CCM solution mail optimised processing and multi-channel delivery has cut postal costs by more than 20%. Print costs have fallen too, with more documents printed using cost-efficient, production systems.

 “The simple web-based interface is used to generate professionally presented documents. The integrated solution has increased core business productivity and improved customer centricity. It is also saving the bank money”” Crédit Mutuel Arkéa

Find out more

Getting messages across

While keeping personal data safe is clearly important, at its heart, communication is about getting messages across. You can’t get your message across if no one’s reading your communications.

Latest research** has found that people were much more likely to respond to a bill if prompted by a letter through the post rather than via email (80 per cent vs 54 per cent).

That’s why programs within our CCM platform strive to make listening to what organisations have to say as easy and enjoyable as possible for customers.

It is with that in mind that Ricoh and its developer partners designed CCM software with preference management capabilities – that is, allowing communicators to leverage a database matching customers with the channel they’d like to be contacted through and automatically routing communications accordingly: Customers who prefer to be contacted via email get emails, those who prefer printed mail get printed mail, and so on.

Ricoh’s CCM platform goes beyond addressing customers where they want to be spoken to, helping users address customers how they want to be addressed, too. Emails are created by dynamically pulling critical information into readable templates that not only sound like one human being addressing another but also are less likely to get caught up in a spam filter than less sophisticated approaches. Electronic presentment options allow users to customize and brand their content portals, creating a pleasant viewing experience for visitors. Printed communications get a boost, too, leveraging variable data to customise collateral to directly address recipients, potentially boosting response rates.

Whatever the type, format or channel of communication, Ricoh has the expertise and CCM workflow tools to help.

Visit ricoh-europe.com/ccm for more information.

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Notes:

“The Value of Customer Communications – Sizing & Forecast 2013-2018”, InfoTrends July 2015

**‘Managing Money Online’ – Keep Me Posted with London Economics, Sept 2015

 

How to Drive Efficiency and Savings in your Enterprise Print

Benoit Chaterlard

Benoit Chatelard Vice President, Production Printing Group, EMEA

In today’s print environment, there are more document systems and processes than ever before.  Poorly managed output can lead to resource waste, inefficiency, inaccuracies, and even security issues, as sensitive information is potentially sent to incorrect parties or “orphaned” prints sit on office output trays. These losses are, of course, unacceptable yet they happen all the time.

The need to centralise print and the management of these processes are becoming even more important when organisations want to take control of cost, waste and integrity of their document and information flow.

Introducing Ricoh’s Managing Enterprise Output: One workflow to connect all print and output related processes: office and production

Ricoh’s Managing Enterprise Output (MEO) allows organisations to do this and by centralising print through a dedicated print room or CRD with Ricoh production printers. It either redirects output from systems like SAP or office MFPs, In this way businesses can benefit from improved document costs and efficiencies.

MEO 3D Pie

MEO connects all print and output related processes. Under its umbrella, organisations can connect all print streams, system generated output, and multi-channel communications via one workflow solution. That means one control point to focus on  for all of a customer’s output devices and channels.

Simplicity isn’t MEO’s only strength, though. The software facilitates continuous optimisation of enterprise output by improving visibility into and automation of the critical – if repetitive – processes that drive enterprise output. Automated workflows reduce manual touch points, concomitantly cutting errors and inefficiencies. Additionally, with comprehensive business rules applying least-cost routing, we can ensure that no matter the type of document, our customers can intercept or redirect jobs to find the most cost-effective printer or output channel in the print room or other location.   Also, MEO enables our customers to manipulate jobs to fit their exact output needs, re-engineering documents or executing automated transforms from multiple systems if needed.

Customer success:  Continental Tyre Group

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Implementing an effective print strategy based on MEO transformed Continental Tyre group’s work processes, improving flexibility and eliminating cost. The benefits:

  • Single workflow solution
  • In-house production facility
  • 70% reduction in printer fleet size
  • Reduction in print volume / cost
  • Central management of print streams

Read the full case study here

Manage both office and production print from a single control center

This offering is particularly helpful in that it is well-suited to help customers efficiently and easily manage both office and production printing environments from a single, effective control center. The level of visibility and management this provides can help customers improve operations across the board – and can help you demonstrate the added value of related hardware, output management software and services.

Find out more

 

Benoit Chatelard
Vice President
Production Printing Business Group

What do book manufacturers need to do to deliver what publishers are looking for?

[GUEST BLOG]

Introduction: Publishing is changing

Director, Print Research International Ltd

John Charnock, Director, Print Research International Ltd

It is very clear to see how publishing is changing in the world today; first music publishers, then newspaper publishers and now magazine and book publishers are finding that their markets are changing beyond recognition. These changes are a double-edged sword. On the one hand it represents a significant opportunity but on the other we will see traditional volumes decline and the traditional manufacturing model become increasingly inappropriate.

Traditional manufacturing equipment is no longer adaptable enough for this changing market. I doubt that a 30,000 books per hour binding line like the Muller Martini Corona I installed into a major UK Book Manufacturer some 10 years ago will ever be needed again in most markets.

Why? Well, the needs of the modern book publisher are changing and as suppliers we need to adapt.

Historically trade book print runs were 2000 – 3000 copies and these were bulk packed and supplied to the publishers warehouse. Publishers had millions of pounds held in inventory within in their warehouse. Volumes and margins were sufficient to have time to manufacture and store on a quarterly cycle. Today, with financial pressures on publishers and the ebook pushing down price, the market is much less predictable. Having lots of inventory and the risk of holding unsold stock is becoming unattractive to today’s publishers.

Even using traditional equipment regular orders of 500 copies is not uncommon but the trend for lower quantities and more frequent order cycles is obvious.  So where is the trend going and what are publishers really looking for in the longer term ?

What is the Holy Grail for publishers ?

Trade Mono books have been the fastest to change, because they are relatively cheap, they are much less predictable in terms of sales and within the UK there is still a large proportion produced in the UK. Colour books however, are still mostly produced in the Far East or countries with a low cost base.

Let’s deal with mono trade books first, We have seen a significant investment in digital mono trade books in the UK with Clays, CPI and many others like Ashford and TJ International investing in inkjet production.  This investment means that the mono trade book market is largely manufactured on a retail “on demand” basis.

I believe that once the mono trade book supply chain is established it will not be long before the colour trade book market will follow similar lines.

The reason for this belief is as follows:

Publishers need to react to the market place, sales are less predictable and it is becoming more and more difficult to be sure which titles will be successful and which ones will not.  A publisher once said to me “ I have 5000 titles – I know 30% will be big sellers, I just don’t know which 30% that will be”

We also know it takes 3 days to get a book into a publisher’s warehouse and process it.  It then takes 3 days to get it out again.   6 days is too long in today’s publishing world – Publishers need to be able to look at the retail and internet sales that occur in the prior week and order or replenish for the following week – it is that simple.

That means that ultimately we will need to produce orders of 200-500 on a 3-day turnaround  as a minimum, even with traditional equipment. Looking forward, there will continue to be pressure to offer increased availability in order to service publishers at the level that they require which will mean that digital colour production will be a requirement. (In my experience Litho simply can not do that).

The switched on printers are taking that principle one stage further. If a printer is delivering an order in 3 days – why not bypass the publishers’ distribution system and warehouse altogether and deliver direct to store? Not as single jobs, but as a mixed batch of titles based on that stores sales the prior week?

If this is possible, with minimum impact on unit cost, this would be the publishers’ “Holy Grail” In some quarters I think that this is happening already. I believe that this is why Penguin/ Harper Collins moved all their trade titles from a two-supplier agreement (St Ives, Clays and CPI) to a single supplier agreement (Clays). The fewer suppliers means better manufacturing and distribution efficiency.

This means that printers will need to print orders of 5- 500 on a weekly or daily order cycle, but these orders will be in significant annual volumes; because the trade market consumes many millions of books per year.

This requires that digital book manufacturing needs to, and is, gearing up to this challenge.

Move To Colour

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Once inkjet can achieve acceptable colour for the publishers there is no reason why a trade book printer could not migrate to colour and fulfil the majority of titles to the trade market. This represents a significant opportunity for them as colour books have higher value and is a market that they previously did not serve.

Digital inkjet colour is here and many book printers are building their expertise in this area and offering publishers an opportunity to repatriate colour book production from China to the UK and Europe.

This raises some challenges however:

  • For both colour and mono books to be produced in the same factories there needs to be some significant infrastructure changes. There is a need for better quality systems, better workflow and a fully integrated sales order system that integrates with the publishers and retailers ERP systems.

 

  • The Colour market has a significantly higher colour quality requirement, and so colour management and batch to batch consistency will need to be managed. The fear for publishers is that the quality of their brand names and authors names is reduced. Colour books still need to have a high value perception by the general public irrespective of the production process.

 

  • Manufacturing equipment will need to be more automated, more flexible and able to change from one format to another seamlessly. Paper changes and section layouts will need to be able to cope with B format, Royal, A4, A5 as a minimum.

 

  • The logistics of tracking signatures, covers, jackets, cases, and getting the right components in the right place at the right time so that they can be produced efficiently and with a minimum of waste. MIS, barcode and signature recognition, motorized changeovers, JDF and inter device communication as well as integration with external data sources – Carriers, Retail systems will be needed to make sure the supply chain runs smoothly.

What’s the point ?

This seems like a lot of investment, a lot of effort and a significant risk for all involved?  But the benefits are equally high – just look at how Clays has secured a 100% supply deal with Penguin/Random House. This means that the print service provider becomes a much more significant partner to the publisher. Once the supply chain is integrated and the savings have been made for the publisher, the printer becomes a logistics partner, a strategic partner , supplier that is involved with circulation, distribution and is ultimately responsible for making the publisher competitive in a very difficult market.

If I am right about colour inkjet it will meant that a significant amount of colour book production will be repatriated to the local market from the Far East and other regions meaning that a traditional trade book printer can grow significantly- After all there aren’t many traditional colour book printers left in the UK or Europe.

This supply chain model will enable publishers to publish more titles with less up front risk, it will open up local and self publishing opportunities for retail stores and make the book very competitive against other electronic publishing technologies.

Other opportunities will be to open up the deep back catalogue so that publishers can sweat their assets and printers can produce one off products and potentially deliver direct to consumer. As the supply chain and speed to market increases we could see  new products like personalised books, especially for children, to become an every day way of adding value to what was once a commodity product as well as book stores offering more time sensitive products like magazines and newspapers.

As publishing the supply chain changes we will see more products produced locally in order to fulfil the time sensitive needs of the publisher.

John Charnock
Print Research International Ltd

 

This article was commissioned by Ricoh to bring you independent opinions from industry experts. We hope you find our guest speaker’s views interesting and stimulating. We would appreciate your feedback.

#HID2015 is a Wrap! So What’s Next?

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To say that Hunkeler innovationdays 2015 was a success for Ricoh would be a big understatement. As we continue to take our message of the power digital print technologies brings to print service providers who are seeking new ways to communicate with their clients around the world, this latest event in picturesque Lucerne was a high point for us.

Always known to be a show that “gets right down to business,” HID 2015 did not disappoint.  With its no frills approach, HID 2015 brings together serious print buyers who want to roll up their sleeves and really get into the ins and outs of the technology and solutions.  This show is exciting and helps the adrenaline to start pumping.  This year was a non-stop rush from beginning to end – and we enjoyed every second of it.

The buzz around Ricoh and on our booth was unavoidable.  It was as if you could feel the energy under your skin – and it wasn’t just the speed of our machines! With the recent launches of our Ricoh Pro VC60000 and the Ricoh Pro C9100 series, and also the Ricoh Pro C7100X (which wasn’t even on the floor, yet still caused a stir!),  the Ricoh booth was clearly a must-see for attendees.  This year we talked with commercial printers looking to take their first step into digital, publishers who sought proven inkjet colour and monochrome offerings, service bureaux in need of better batching solutions, and so much more.  It was non-stop, but it was a great experience.

Not only were our technology demonstrations a hit, but one could argue the range and quality of our samples made its way around the floor even faster.

In fact many people – including some members of the press – commented that Ricoh has set a new bar for quality in colour inkjet.

Visitors to the stand could not only see the technology, but there were also plentiful samples from the Ricoh portfolio. This included samples from the Ricoh Pro VC60000 printed on offset-coated stock, the market-leading InfoPrint 5000, the Ricoh Pro C9100 series and the Ricoh Pro C7100X.  From trade books and marketing collateral to coffee table books, there was something for everyone to touch, feel and take home.

Benoit Chaterlard

Benoit Chatelard General Manager Solutions, Production Printing Group, EMEA

If you were unable to join us in Lucerne, or even if your schedule did not allow the time to explore in depth how Ricoh might support your businesses evolution, you might consider visiting our new European centre of excellence, the Customer Experience Centre, in Telford, UK.

If you missed what we had to share at HID 2015, visit this blog to hear more about our technologies and applications.  You can also visit us on Facebook to see pictures from the show or follow our @RicohEUBDriver Twitter feed for flashbacks.

Danke, Switzerland.  Looking forward to 2017!