The Smart List: Ricoh Latin America transforms customer experience with AI
Office equipment maker increases its focus on innovation with AI-powered solutions
By Erin Poole | 2 minute read | December 19, 2019
The Smart List features innovative stories of leading IBM Services clients and partners. View more client stories here.
Ricoh operates in approximately 200 countries and regions and is known for its high-quality copiers, printers and office equipment. The company prides itself on doing what’s best for its customers, and engaged IBM multi-vendor IT support services when it needed a cost-effective way to enhance customer service across Brazil.
The result? Ricoh’s customer support is more efficient, and first-time fix rates have significantly improved. That gives the company more time to focus on developing innovative solutions to differentiate itself in the market.
Sales Director of Ricoh Latin America Marcos Rodrigues and IBM Services Brazil’s Marcelo Borges recently discussed Ricoh’s business transformation and what’s next.
Tell us about Ricoh and its technology vision.
Marcos: Ricoh is a Japanese company, and we’re nearly worldwide. We’re known for our leadership in office automation for printing outsourcing. Ricoh is also very focused on innovative solutions to grow our digital business strategy globally. This is a digital transformation as well as a future strategy to evolve the way we do business.
Describe Ricoh’s technology support challenge.
Marcos: In Brazil, which has a huge [customer support] coverage area, we initially worked with 200 local resellers. We needed to enhance field technicians’ productivity while providing a better customer experience, so we replaced reseller maintenance teams with IBM Services to help us improve these operations.
Marcelo: Along with IBM technician support, Ricoh outsourced parts and logistics management to IBM Services to improve its customer experience. That included access to more than 40 locations for managing, shipping and tracking.
What business transformation results are you seeing?
Marcos: IBM helped us provide a better technology support experience to our customers, so we could spend more time enhancing services with cognitive solutions. We opened a Cognitive Development Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which developed a database of technical manuals, parts catalogs and service guides that use IBM Watson AI technology. Field technicians access the application on their mobile devices and are better equipped at customer sites. Our first-time fix rates are greatly improved.
What does building smarter business through technology mean to you?
Marcos: Our relationship with IBM Services has helped us enrich the way our customers view Ricoh and positions us ahead of the competition. We know that this is just the beginning. Customers have noticed Ricoh’s focus on AI and digital solutions and are asking for help with their digital transformation initiatives.
Marcelo: Ricoh sees the value of using solutions such as IBM Watson and blockchain to bring new solutions to customers and differentiate itself from competitors.