Business challenge

Ricoh Latin America needed to improve maintenance services for copiers, printers and other office equipment. The goal was to reduce costs and help technicians deliver a superior customer experience.

 

Transformation

Ricoh engaged IBM Services – Multi-Vendor IT Support Services to work directly with thousands of its customers, freeing the company’s resources to develop innovative solutions that improved and expanded its business.

Results

Reduced operational costs

by outsourcing multi-vendor support services to IBM

Improved customer service

by giving technicians AI-based mobile apps to increase first-time fix rates

Helped the environment

by reusing parts to achieve corporate environmental sustainability goals

Business challenge story

Upholding Ricoh’s global reputation

For nearly 80 years, Ricoh has been at the forefront of workplace innovation, revolutionizing the modern office with its products and solutions. Today, Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces by connecting people to information. Operating in approximately 200 countries and regions, Ricoh provides the resources of a global company with the benefits of local expertise and support.

Around the world, Ricoh is known for its high-quality copiers, printers and office equipment. With a history of providing maintenance services for these products that protect investments and maximize uptime, Ricoh prides itself in doing what’s best for its customers. In Brazil, Ricoh was challenged to maintain this reputation with its existing mode of operation.

Ricoh Brazil partnered with 200 local resellers to maintain and repair Ricoh office equipment in thousands of customer locations across the country. However, this business model did not cost-effectively provide the level of support Ricoh felt its customers deserved. The company looked for a solution that would address multiple objectives, including reducing costs, better equipping field technicians and giving them digital tools that would enable a superior customer experience. To meet these needs, Ricoh Brazil chose IBM Services as its business partner.

When we talked with IBM, we knew that a partnership would be really useful to reduce costs and improve operation of the whole solution in the field.

Marcos Rodrigues, Regional Sales Manager, Ricoh Latin America

Transformation story

Delivering enterprise-class support throughout Brazil

Ricoh and IBM Services implemented their partnership in three phases. In the first phase, Ricoh replaced reseller maintenance teams with more than 1,500 IBM technicians located throughout Brazil.  The partnership authorized IBM Services to repair and maintain Ricoh printers, copiers and office equipment in Ricoh’s name.

Next, IBM and Ricoh looked for opportunities for synergy in accounts where they serviced the same customers. Ricoh outsourced management of parts and logistics to IBM to improve the customer experience. IBM Services provided access to more than 40 locations for parts and world-class logistics for managing, shipping and tracking.

In April 2019, the partners began phase three, a parts recovery program that supports Ricoh’s commitment to environmental sustainability. One of Ricoh’s main goals is to reduce its environmental footprint through resource conservation, pollution prevention and energy conservation. By reusing parts, the company is directly aligning with this initiative, as well as improving SLAs for its customers.

I’m so proud of this project. Ricoh headquarters in Japan has recognized our partnership with IBM with an award for how we enhanced our services.

Marcos Rodrigues, Regional Sales Manager, Ricoh Latin America

Results story

Building a smarter digital transformation business

Partnering with IBM Services has given Ricoh’s technical leadership more time and resources to focus on broad-scope business transformation initiatives that will further differentiate the business from competitors. To that end, Ricoh opened a Cognitive Development Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where it already has developed a database of technical manuals, parts catalogs and service guides that leverage IBM Watson® AI technology.

The Watson™ solution makes smart recommendations to field technicians, who access the application on their mobile devices. Regardless of experience level, technicians are better-equipped at customer sites and first-time fix rates are greatly improved. Customers have noticed Ricoh’s focus on AI and digital solutions and are asking Ricoh for help with their own digital transformation initiatives.

The IBM partnership helps Ricoh create a clear competitive advantage through improved service delivery, increased customer satisfaction and innovative digital solutions. As a result, Ricoh plans to expand the scope of its partnership with IBM Services throughout Latin America and potentially other parts of the world.

Our partnership with IBM Global Technology Services enhances the way our customers view Ricoh and positions us ahead of the competition. And we know by far that this is just the beginning.

Marcos Rodrigues, Regional Sales Manager, Ricoh Latin America

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About Ricoh Latin America

Ricoh Latin America is the sales and marketing unit for Ricoh products throughout Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. The company delivers products, services and solutions to help its customers make the most of their information and to work faster, smarter and more successfully. Headquartered in Weston, Florida, Ricoh Latin America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ricoh Americas Corporation.

Take the next step

To learn more about the IBM solutions featured in this story, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following websites:

•    IBM® Global Technology Services® – Multi-Vendor IT Support Services

•    IBM Watson®