Friday, October 17, 2008
Ricoh Vision Observations from P4P Hotel Members
Special Thanks to P4P members, IT Dude and Old Glory for this valued information on the 2008 Ricoh Dealer Show held in Orlando, Florida from 10/13-15.
"It was refreshing seeing Yoshida back at the helm, however Ricoh obviously has a tremendous amount of damage control to do within the dealer channel. There were a number of dealers not present at the dealer awards dinner, and Ricoh obviously had no knowledge of this as they called out names only to get no replies. Quite a few whispers about Cannon aggressively seeking out these disgruntled Ricoh independents. Congrats to fellow P4P,er Drew Murrah as his company won an award in Black/White MFP category. Overall it seemed like the dealers that have been able to get away from just "box" selling to more of a solution type sell thru are making money and many had record years last year, and are expecting the same next year even with the bad economy."
"I felt the attendance was much lower this year, especially at the Awards Dinner which is a shame because the entertainment was awsome. Search Chris Bliss on YouTube and you will get an idea of what I mean. You can see his juggling there but his comedy was even better.
Regarding the new color boxes...the issue really isn't A3 vs A4, it is the issue of price and the assumption is that you can't get a lower price without giving up the ability to do 11x17. It may be true but Ricoh promises to be competitive despite having 11x17. I was told that the new low end color will be $2,000 cheaper (retail) than the current counterparts. Now they may do like they did with the new wide format color scanner and have a lower retail but no margin...won't know until we get pricing.
Ricoh put a lot of emphasis on environmental issues. Expect to hear more about Ricoh's Cradle-to-Cradle philosophy. I personally am not one that believes that climate change is manmade. However, our job is to fulfill the needs and wishes of our prospects and to that end, Ricoh has what it takes. No company within our industry (and few without) can claim anywhere close to the same record as Ricoh can. Ricoh says (and I believe it despite my personal beliefs) that 75% of the public will buy green when they perceive that quality and price are equal. Solution selling can mean a lot of things and for some companies, it may be providing a solution that includes recycling of toner bottles and end-of-life demanufacturing. In the past I have tuned out such rhetoric but I beleive now that is a mistake. We have a lot to offer in this area with much more to come. Be watching for the Ricohvalue.com website where you will be able to calculate things such as how many extra trees are necessary to print to an HP vs a Ricoh. (derived from Power=Energy=Carbon Emmissions=footprint, etc.)
Other thoughts about the show.
CAP - Card Authorization Package which allows an employee identification cards to provide network authentication into the system.
You owe it to yourselves to investigate DigiDocFlow. Very low cost embedded Document Management Solution.
Ricoh has a new (and according to Ricoh exclusive) offering that allows a user to email a print job to a device. The user then gets an email reply with the release code. They then go to the device, type in the code and out comes the print job. This is designed for use with internet hotspots. I can't tell you how often I wish I could print out an attachment that I have received on my BlackBerry but can't view because of the small screen. With this, I could walk into a Books-a-Million that has this and walk out with the print.
The new MFP Platform is called Cosmos. Be watching for Big Bang information coming the week of November 17-21. During this week, Ricoh will be launching the new color boxes in 25 different cities.
Ricoh's new selling strategy is called REV = Real Enhanced Value. Part of this initiative is 5 websites:ricohconnects.com for trainingricohpresents.com for PowerPoint presentationsricohproposes.com replaces eToolsricohsaves.com replaces the COG Calculaterricohvalue.com to calculate environmental impacts of decisions as well as present vs proposed calculations.
All of these offer significant enhancements over their predecessors except for ricohvalue which is new."
Great job from these P4P'ers and we hope to have a few more observations from other P4P members in a few days!