Last updateThu, 29 Feb 2024 4am

Ricoh: A history of innovation

Ever since it introduced the concept of 'Office Automation' just under 30 years ago, Ricoh has been leading the way to a digitalised and networked document environment. In that time, it has many achieved many world firsts, including the world's first plain paper fax machine (1983) and marketing the first digital copier (1987).

Today, Ricoh is a leading service provider and global manufacturer of office and production printing solutions focused upon helping its customers move ideas forward. Built on a tradition of high quality copiers and printers, it has developed a worldwide presence as a provider of comprehensive document solutions, expert consultancy, outsourcing, production printing and managed document services.
Its diverse capabilities also include Ricoh Global Services, digital multifunctional copiers, fax machines, printers and digital printers, digital cameras, printed circuit boards and electronic devices.
Ricoh has been listed in the Global 100 most sustainable organisations for six years in a row, and in November 2008, was awarded the highest rating, AAA, in the Environmental Rating by Tohmatsu for the fourth consecutive year. Ricoh was the second Japanese company to sign the UN Global Compact.
Ricoh offerings in production printing
Ricoh's ability to provide an extensive global service and support network combined with the flexibility to adapt its solutions to meet its customers' needs has led to clients, other businesses and industry experts recognising 'service' and 'Ricoh people' (sales and service staff) as its greatest strength.
Ricoh's approach delivers continuous benefits over the lifetime of its partnerships. Its capability to deliver a truly global service and support network spanning 150 countries with 18,000 engineers ensures it has an in-depth understanding of its customer needs and is able to support them. Backed by this dedicated service, customers can focus with confidence on growing their business.
Ricoh offers tailored printing solutions focusing on the four main stages of the production cycle; Capture, Prepare, Manage and Output. Its solutions are customised and flexible to drive productivity and profitability. Ricoh experts work closely with each customer to first understand their needs and then to provide recommendations for solutions that will continue to benefit their business in the future.
In Europe Ricoh manufactures its own state-of-the-art, high-speed, production systems for corporate and commercial printers. It follows a strict environmental manufacturing process that entails zero waste to landfill. Ricoh UK Products Ltd., in Telford, UK, where the Pro C900 is assembled, received the UK Excellence Award and the 'Gold Medal' for Excellence from the British Quality Foundation in October 2009. Ricoh is only the second organisation in the UK to receive the prestigious Gold Medal.
A team of experts
Ricoh has more than 50 years of experience as a leading imaging solutions provider. Its expertise, wide partner network and dedicated Production Printing Business Group, enables customers to get the most from their production infrastructure, boost profits and develop their business.
During the last six years, Ricoh has increased its production print expertise and sales operation via a number of strategic acquisitions and partnerships. It acquired Hitachi Printing Solutions in 2004; Danka Europe (rebranded as InfoTec) in 2007; and IKON Office Solutions in 2008. Ricoh also entered into a joint venture with IBM to form InfoPrint Solutions Company in 2007.
In 2008, the Ricoh Production Printing Business Group was established. It combines the expertise and knowledge of all Ricoh Group companies to provide a dedicated team who are focused on enhancing the customer experience, standardising business processes and further strengthening Ricoh's approach to market.
Benefiting customers
Ricoh's production printing solutions fulfil the needs of many types of businesses:
• Larger design agencies that want to offer print services to their customers
• Digital copy shops that want to expand their business into high quality colour production work
• Mixed offset / digital printers that want to boost efficiency and lower production costs
• Traditional offset printers that want to deliver shorter print runs and faster turnarounds
• Direct mailing companies that want productivity, reliability, colour accuracy and excellent registration to keep their clients satisfied
• In-house corporate print rooms that want to extend their production capability to offer new levels of service and quality
• Data Centre environments that want to increase the efficiency of business critical document production
Ricoh's solutions enable its customers to:
• Create more print opportunities by complementing conventional offset printing with state-of-the-art digital printing and flexible inline finishing
• Increase profitability by choosing the most cost-effective printing platform for each job according to print run length, format, colour and finishing demands, and turnaround times
• Manage operational costs by taking advantage of the latest automated workflow solutions
• Extend service by offering new value-added print services, such as inline finishing, print-on-demand, web2print and variable data printing
• Grow their digital print profitably with a business development programme configured to their unique needs
Ricoh partners with other leading print services providers, such as EFI and Kodak, to increase flexibility. Such partnerships ensure that Ricoh can provide its customers with a comprehensive range of solutions for all their print needs.
In early 2009 Ricoh entered into partnership with Kodak's Graphic Communications Group. Under the agreement Ricoh Europe is selling and supporting the Kodak Nexpress digital colour presses and the Kodak Digimaster EX systems throughout Europe. The partnership enables Kodak and Ricoh to provide powerful solutions to an even wider range of customers.
The future
Ricoh's vision is to increase its presence in this market and establish itself as a leading force.
Ricoh plans to realise this vision by providing best-in-class service and support, staying ahead of the demands of its customers and continuing with its commitment to the production printing market.
Ricoh will also continue expanding its sales operation and establish further strategic partnerships, increasing the company's reach and creating new revenue opportunities.



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