Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Today was a day unlike any other day for Ricoh Dealers
This morning Ricoh and Ikon employees were notified that Matt Espe (Ikon) was crowned CEO of Ricoh Americas Corporation and Jeff Hickling (Ikon) will take on a new role as President and CEO of Ricoh U.S.
Today was a day unlike any other day for Ricoh Dealers. A blast email from the P4P Hotel forums notified 1,600 P4P Members and within minutes the chatter began. Comments ranged from "CANT BE RIGHT CAUSE THE INDYS WILL RAISE HELL!" to "The beginning of the end". Seems like most dealers are quite upset and I think they have a right to be. Ricoh dealers, the ones that are left are passionate about their Ricoh devices, the Ricoh Brand and the Ricoh support. I was PM'd a few times as how can Ricoh Japan let this happen, Ikon in recent years was a losing proposition, they lost millions of dollars. Most Dealers felt they lost millions of dollars because their sales force just plain gave the equipment away or continually sold systems lower than most dealers could buy from Ricoh Corp.
Ricoh Dealers have a right to be upset, having to compete with the likes of RBS and Ikon has hurt many dealers, especially before the "Rules of Engagement", and however before the "Rules of Engagement" were put in place many dealers and or sales people had already lost their biggest accounts. I know this for a fact because I had it happen to me.
Can Ricoh Americas Survive?
The banter among dealers is that they are subsiding the likes of Ikon and RBS. Dealers HAVE to make a profit to survive whereas RBS and Ikon can ask "Mommy" for additional funds when they lose millions of dollars each year. So of course the Dealer Channel is of the utmost importance to Ricoh, because it probably the only channel they get a profit from. In a late conference call today, Ricoh Execs repeated this comment six times "Committed to Dealer Channel" and 3-4 times for "Rules of Engagement".
Whatever the fall out is.....I want a strong Ricoh, I want Direct Branches and Ikon to be responsible for "turning a profit", matter of fact we'd all like to see all of the manufacturers branches turn a profit, right?
Here's a few more comments, btw, two of these four comments that I've posted here were by former Ikon people.
"I was hoping to live long enough within the organization to see this. Now it is a little anti-climatic for me."
"There are some wonderful people working at Ikon, some of them even know what they are doing, albeit a small number. However if they try and install their convoluted policies and processes into or on top of Ricoh’s watch out! The company formerly known as Ricoh will be dragged under by the Anchor formerly known as Ikon. Let the shedding begin."
To Matt & Jim, Congrats! The Print4Pay Hotel wishes you the best and wants to see you guys succeed and prosper however don't under estimate the dealers and their desire, determination and dedication to succeed, with or without .............
PS......Just visited the IKON web site and there are 8 members on the Management Team, 5 of those 8 are now hold top spots with Ricoh Americas Corp.
Ricoh USA " GIANT Changes Ahead"?