Sunday, October 20, 2019

Ricoh Expands Solutions, Services in Puerto Rico

By on February 28, 2019

Editor’s note: The following originally appeared in the Feb. 28 – March 6, 2019, issue of Caribbean Business.

Ricoh, the global company known for its advanced printing systems and cameras, continues to expand its portfolio of solutions and services with the inclusion of emerging technologies in the Puerto Rico market to support companies and individual customers from various industries in their digital transformation processes.

In addition to its 60 percent share of the Puerto Rico market for document management solutions, commercial and industrial printing and industrial systems, among the most innovative technologies Ricoh is unveiling locally are the integrated development, implementation and maximization of “business intelligence” solutions.

“Among the areas where we are incorporating products and services is business intelligence, since nowadays there is a lot of past and current data available, but it is not structured. Part of our job is to help clients structure, analyze and make [that data] predictive, not only to produce reports but also to anticipate new trends and consumer requirements,” said Mickey Carrero, vice president of Ricoh Latin America.

“We are working on all these types of technologies with clients and developing them in our vertical markets to achieve the integration of customers’ needs with peripheral devices, software, hardware, secure data-transmission protocols, among others, to achieve the digital transformation of all customers,” he added.

In addition, Ricoh also continues the development, implementation and training of personnel for a variety of areas, such as its Steam Lab Solution (for science, technology, engineering, arts & mathematics) for education, voice recognition, solutions to facilitate health diagnoses, as well as consulting and IT services, solutions for process automation and information security, audiovisual communication and digital and 3D printing.

Changing landscape

Based in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in about 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ended March 2018, it had worldwide sales of about $19.4 billion.

“There are studies that indicate that 40 percent of the companies that are currently part of the S&P 500 will not exist in the next 10 years,” Carrero said. Therefore, he stressed, “companies that want to remain relevant in the market have to expand their offering and pay close attention to the customer experience.”

To do just that, Ricoh has undertaken several initiatives, including the provision of increased resources, continuous specialized training, improvements to its infrastructure, as well as a $1.2 million investment for its new Puerto Rico headquarters as part of the celebration of its 50th anniversary on the island.

“One of the most significant changes has been a refocusing of the sales force, specialized according to these industries and in the development of solutions. We are constantly investing in training our talent to specialize in these areas and fully understand our clients, their processes, their industry and, above all, their [inherent] challenges,” said Ricoh Puerto Rico’s general manager, Iván Fraticelli.

The executive said that beyond the new product and service offerings that are being brought to the market, much of the company’s achievement is due to having the largest service network in the industry.

“We have over 200 employees, 35 percent of whom are dedicated solely to the support and technical service area. As the company grows, our human resources increase. As part of our growth on the island, we have a plan to recruit specialized personnel to meet the needs of our customers and the market,” he assured.

“With the investment we are making in our resources and in the solutions, we are planning to expand, we expect to grow in the double digits, between 12 percent and 15 percent, for the next three to four years, based on such critical segments serving health, education and retail,” he explained. “In addition, we expect to invest close to $500,000 in 2019 in the renovation of warehouses and the logistics part of Ricoh Puerto Rico,” he added.

Meanwhile, the president & chief executive officer of Ricoh Latin America, Diego Imperio, highlighted the importance of the local market for the company, as well as the broad base of customers it has on the island.

“In Puerto Rico, we have more than 3,000 clients that consume services of all types of technology, and in addition to the printing area, we have other types of solutions. Our strategy is based on being the only service provider for our clients in technology; for that, we began with our current customer base but without limiting ourselves to having other customers in the market that see us as a service and technology provider,” Imperio said.

“We have a high rate of contract renewals because of the good service we provide in the country and this establishes trust with clients, so a big opportunity exists. Today, more than 20 percent of Ricoh’s billing worldwide is for services outside the printing area,” he added.

Meanwhile, the corporate vice president at Ricoh Co., Kiyoshi Shimizu, pointed out that with the continuous changes of technology, the workforce’s demographic profile and the new ways workers collaborate are having a great impact on the way people work. He further said the offices of the future will be more data-driven, agile and fluid.

“As technology becomes more sophisticated, the interaction between people will be more personal. The use of artificial intelligence will also increase, digitization will evolve and be adapted to each company’s specific situation,” Shimizu said, and anticipating that, “in 2019, we will see the transformation of the concept of workplace as people know it. It will now be one that will improve processes, enrich spaces, and where technology will evolve and empower people.”

 

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