Ricoh Professional Services & Assessments: Enabling growth and uncovering opportunities
Most business leaders would agree that it makes sense to hire experts for legal, accounting, and real estate matters. Likewise, professional services relating both to daily processes and overall strategy have been shown to provide a great deal of value — and, in some cases, the resilience needed to succeed in a changing market.
For most organizations, the most sought-after asset is time, not advice. This way of thinking, however, poses a challenge in today’s business environment.
Focusing on the need for more hours in the day often means missing opportunities for growth.
By examining your customers’ changing needs and then streamlining your business processes to meet them, you can achieve profit and revenue growth.
An industry leader in professional services, Ricoh emphasizes the value of benchmarking current capabilities and establishing high-quality, repeatable processes that lead to growth. In this document, we will explore:
- When to seek professional services
- What to expect when you engage with Ricoh Professional Services
- How Ricoh Professional Services can help businesses meet and exceed their goals in terms of workflow, color management, customer communications management, and security
The Problem: Not Knowing You Have a Problem
Successful business leaders know how to play to their strengths and develop a “customer first” approach. A great customer experience hinges upon meeting deadlines with products that exceed expectations. It follows that print service providers (PSPs) include these traits in their value propositions, often identifying them as key competitive advantages. In some situations, however, producing high-quality products and delivering them on time means exerting expensive resources like labor and relying on trial-and-error to reach the required quality.
To put it another way, the demand for “faster and better” may leave little time for uncovering operational challenges that hinder profits.
Michael Gerber, author and business coach, stands behind the premise that many business owners are unable to envision their businesses as separate from themselves.
He states, “the primary purpose of your business is to serve your life. You can then go to work on your business, rather than in it, with a full understanding of why it is absolutely necessary for you to do so.”
Gerber’s ideas are related to the maxim that “you must be willing to work on your business, not in your business.” By working on your business, you can identify and resolve problems that might not be visible on the surface.
A surefire way to recognize an underlying problem is to benchmark your operation against similar businesses. Input through objective discovery will often point to the root cause of a problem that might be preventing customer satisfaction, better productivity, or higher profitability.
Impartially gathering data and comparing processes, products, or operations to other companies or industry best practices takes a high level of experience. Ricoh Professional Services has this experience, as well as the tools and resources to help you move forward in the most effective way.
By working with the Ricoh Professional Services team, you are applying the knowledge of industry experts and those with previous experience in successful print shops.
This knowledge extends well beyond print technology. Armed with reallife experience and extensive training, these experts are equipped to address the nuances of the processes required to better serve you and your customers.
The Ricoh approach relies heavily on data gathering, analytics and assessments to deliver fact-based guidance and support.
By understanding how organizations like yours have optimized their production efforts, as well as the investments required to stay aligned with your customers’ changing needs, you can better position yourself to strategize for ongoing growth.
When asked about the increasing demand for professional services, Derrick Rankin, Director of Production Professional Services and Operations at Ricoh, stated, “Business assessments highlight a customer’s opportunity to improve operations and achieve growth. The assessments are based on real manufacturing and operating data, which in turn gives our clients and prospects the confidence to invest in the right tools with a clear understanding of why they’re important.”
The Ricoh Professional Services team offers its expertise and assessments on a variety of topics. Four of the most pressing are Workflow, Color Management, Customer Communications Management (CCM) and Security. Each project includes an in-depth analysis of your entire operation and creates a step-by-step plan to enable positive change. Although assessments have traditionally been conducted on-site, remote assessments have been perfected due to recent changes in our business climate and are now a popular choice as well. Let’s look a little closer at a few of the opportunities your business can benefit from and what you can expect.
In simple terms, the goal of a workflow audit is to optimize your hardware and software investments. The process will often include defining measurable goals, evaluating what you have in place, learning more about your customers’ needs, sharing industry best practices and providing recommendations to streamline production.
Sounds simple enough, right? Even so, it’s safe to say that even the best “todo list” means nothing if the much-needed “findings” are not implemented.
The “secret sauce” of Ricoh Professional Services ensures that this will not happen. In addition to the valuable benchmarking information and data gathered during the assessment, Ricoh has a team of skilled, experienced professionals who can execute the plan. If you’ve ever invested in software that didn’t realize its potential because it wasn’t properly implemented (or worse, is still hiding behind a license string or sitting in a box), you’ll recognize the value of this unique approach. You can realize the true potential of your investments with Ricoh Professional Services. “Shelfware” becomes a thing of the past.
Brands invest a lot into color. According to research from CCICOLOR – Institute for Color Research, up to 90% of initial judgments about a brand or product are made based on color alone.
Based on this, the practice of printing requires a sound color management system, because the quality you deliver as a PSP will be reflected in color accuracy and consistency. Ricoh’s Color Management team of Idealliancecertified CMP Masters and G7 experts know that accurate rendering of color is critical to making decisions throughout the entire manufacturing process. Without a high level of color accuracy, waste costs are sure to rise and customer satisfaction will fluctuate. Ricoh addresses these issues and helps you unify the color management process, from viewing colors on screen to matching ink on paper.
Customer Communications Management
The demand for Customer Communication Platforms has grown due to customers’ evolving preferences regarding electronic and physical communications.
As omni-channel marketing, e-bill presentment, and a greater range of communication preferences become widely adopted and expected by customers, businesses simply can’t afford to neglect the need for a solid Customer Communications Management (CCM) system.
Implementing CCM software requires a solid strategy. All too often, organizations are dependent on disparate systems and processes when communicating with valued prospects and customers. The Ricoh Professional Services team will assess your business needs, demonstrate communication management benchmarks and provide a scorecard that ranks your strategies alongside best practices.
Data breaches, ransomware and malware can bring any organization to its knees in a matter of minutes. While it is important to note that some industries have more rigorous security requirements than others, any firm that has customer data cannot leave security to chance. Ricoh’s security specialists will conduct an assessment that reveals your security status. This detailed analysis provides consideration for network security standards as well as recommendations for backup, restoration, authentication, and compliance.
By executing workflow recommendations to create a more secure environment, you can minimize the risk of unauthorized parties gaining access to confidential information. As is the case with other Ricoh Professional Services offerings, those with limited IT resources can rely on Ricoh to take the guesswork out of the process.
Today’s PSPs must be resilient, able to anticipate and overcome disruptions, and ready to adapt to the needs of tomorrow’s customers. Without proper planning, the process of running a business and addressing any roadblocks can be daunting.
Ricoh’s unique Professional Services approach tackles the challenges that stand in the way of growth with a team of over 150 solution engineers, production experts and business specialists who are dedicated to your business health.
Their involvement is never an afterthought; they spend time learning about a PSP before any recommendation is made. This ensures that they have a thorough understanding of your business goals, the needs of your customers, and any challenges that may stand in the way of success.
Because recommendations are fact-based rather than theoretical, you can achieve continuous improvement in all aspects of your business and avoid the dangerous and expensive path of trial and error.
If you’re wondering if your organization can benefit from Ricoh Professional Services, ask the following questions:
- Do our production processes optimize labor costs, increase efficiencies, and reduce delivery time?
- Does our business plan include strategic and realistic goals to grow and enhance the customer experience?
- With more clients turning to e-commerce, are we set up for success?
- Are there any opportunities to integrate and take advantage of workflow best practices?
- As our customers’ needs continue to change, do we need to offer digital communications to complement print?
- When did we last explore opportunities to reduce postage costs?
- Do we understand today’s best practices when establishing selling costs?
- What is involved in a business continuity plan, and how can we be sure that business is not interrupted?
The Bottom Line
Running a profitable business has become more complex than ever. The good news is that help is available.
Ricoh’s Professional Services provide peace of mind for business owners. These solutions offer benefits that extend far beyond what is mentioned in this brief article, and they might be exactly what your business needs to shape its future with confidence.
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