Ricoh setting expectations for post-pandemic success

Edge support provided to various print service providers during the pandemic

Ricoh setting expectations for post-pandemic success
Ricoh setting expectations for post-pandemic success

By Mark Hinder, responsible for Business Development EMEA, Graphic Communications Group, Ricoh Europe– We saw many agile and creative print specialists adapt their ways of working during the pandemic. We talked about a number of them here. They expanded their portfolios, added new revenue streams, and responsively addressed the needs of their clients.

Mark Hinder speaking about Ricoh’s EDGE support

Mark Hinder, Responsible for Business Development EMEA, Graphic Communications Group, Ricoh Europe
Mark Hinder, Responsible for Business Development EMEA, Graphic Communications Group, Ricoh Europe

But, as we all scan the future and set expectations, what changes have made a positive impact, what adaptations will remain, and what ways of working require improvement? We spoke to leading print service providers who were supported during this challenging time by EDGE – the Ricoh consultancy that delivers tailored post-sales support with tools, advice, and methodologies.

They shared their experience of the pandemic and described the actions taken to ensure the continuing success of their operations.

Spencer Slee from Print Evolved Ltd says The technology-inspired print company offers bespoke web to print solutions to enable clients to sell and source print.

Spencer Slee, Managing Director, Print Evolved, GB
Spencer Slee, Managing Director, Print Evolved, GB

“The timing when we started working with the team couldn’t have been better. We were in the process of planning for our new year, and the government road map had just come out for us to get back to normal. EDGE really just helped us in navigating through that. Also, at that time, we were in a period of commercial inertia because of the way we had been operating over the previous nine months. My team, I wouldn’t say, was dysfunctional, but it was not firing on all cylinders.”

“For us, there are two points of value. One – we have got a lot out of subsequently bringing the team together. We have started to work more efficiently and effectively. Structure and discipline are a key-value we are getting from working with the EDGE team. Two – I have worked with lots of consultancies over the years and, whilst we will always get value from going through a process like this, we get extra value working with Ricoh and the EDGE team. They understand not just our industry but also our business because we have worked with them for a long time. As well as feedback, we also get the insights in terms of the trends and the marketplace that we wouldn’t necessarily get from a general consultancy.”

“We have completed some quite robust testing of our existing value proposition and what it delivers to our customers. It would not have been as vigorous if we were doing it ourselves, and it has led us to re-evaluate our business plan. The same can be said with our marketing and sales plans. We have always been a very sales-driven business, but I think it is true to say our planning wasn’t as detailed as it now is. I am excited to see the results and how much of a difference that’s made to our operations.”

Riccardo Pesce, CEO of PRT Group, Italy, says, The group of operations develops agile document management processes and customizable platforms.

Riccardo Pesce, CEO, PRT Group, Italy
Riccardo Pesce, CEO, PRT Group, Italy

“We started in May 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. The first positive fact was that we were able to share business development opportunities at a time when it was really complicated to do so. Another important value was the expertise in developing ideas with the use of effective tools and strategies that allow you to carry out a business development approach with analytical methods.”

“The online meetings organized jointly by Ricoh and IPN (International Printers Network) helped us a lot. We are now working on sales and marketing, and we are involving more people from our company, including those who have just joined our organization.”

“Every aspect of the program has helped us. From understanding how to start to evaluate a new opportunity to reviewing how to structure your plan and launch it. We have used this approach successfully now to launch a direct to online garment business.”

Philip Dodd from Healeys Print says the company provides world-class, sustainable, high-quality print and marketing services to agencies, businesses, organizations, and individuals.

Philip Dodd, Managing Director, Healeys Print, GB
Philip Dodd, Managing Director, Healeys Print, GB

“I think there are many positive things that have come out of the pandemic for our business. I saw the reduced turnover as an opportunity to review what we do. As a business, we get to a point where we really believe, what I call, our own stuff. We have always done it a certain way and have got to this point over a number of decisions.”

“I saw the EDGE program as a perfect opportunity to actually question some of these deeply held practices, processes, and beliefs. Because I realize we don’t know it all. We do get stuck in the day-to-day. I believed that there would be a great value to be found in a deep dive and being asked questions from an external source on the way we operate.

It was challenging, and at times frustrating because business owners don’t like their thinking being questioned. It’s quite a difficult position to be put in. But actually, as I got into it, the more I looked at it in greater detail. We have had some very searching discussions, but with every one of them, we have gone away and thought about where they have come from and how we can improve the business. There are certain things that we have already put in place and some we are looking at. I am looking forward to more of it.”

To learn more about how you can review, assess and enhance your operation with Ricoh’s EDGE, visit Ricoh Europe’s official website.


2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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