Ricoh setting expectations for post-pandemic success

Edge support provided to various print service providers during the pandemic

73
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.

 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here