Reflections on drupa 2016

After 11 frenetic days of meeting with our customers, listening to their needs and challenges and showcasing how our range of products, solutions and services support our clients’ needs, I want to take a moment to reflect on our drupa 2016 adventure.

Our theme for this year’s drupa, ‘Open New Worlds’ was developed to focus on the opportunities and challenges that our customers see in their sphere. What we wanted to let our visitors know was that no matter their size, sector or ambitions we can help them build from their strengths, creating more opportunities for them to grow and evolve. Welcomed in our theatre, customers, press and industry analysts enjoyed hosted tours to experience this first hand.

On the product side, we presented the latest versions of our cut sheet printers including the Ricoh Pro™ C7100 series and the Ricoh Pro™ C9100 series. In the continuous feed sector we put the spotlight on our newly enhanced Ricoh Pro™ VC60000 high speed inkjet platform. Live demonstrations of these in the Commercial Print, Direct Marketing, Publishing and Corporate zones, and in our lean manufacturing Smart Factory, highlighted the innovative applications, quality output and the broad range of services our presses offer.

Many of our clients agreed and signed on stand deals. Among the sales we celebrated were a Pro C7100 for Cicero, and Nationwide Print who chose MarcomCentral to support production on its new Pro C7100. Cicero also ordered a Pro C9110 as did Magneet Communicatiecentrum, Ecograf, Datum, Deltor, Impremta and CFH Documail – to name but a few of our clients trusting our technology to support their growth.

We were also very excited to celebrate the sales of our Pro VC60000. EDC was our first customer in Eastern Europe, while Adare ordered two lines and CFI opted to add a second. This latest addition to our portfolio is gathering market momentum, as our clients learn and embrace how its combination of productivity and high quality can help them be more cost effective and profitable.

We had a very busy industrial print zone, where we showcased the powerful opportunities offered by additive manufacturing, industrial inkjet printheads, direct to shape coding and marking as well as branding product decoration.

To add to that, we announced our entry into the vibrant signage market, by adding EFI VUTEk flatbed printers to our portfolio. The decision builds on the success of our large format portfolio of print production solutions.

There was a lot of discussion surrounding the overall theme of drupa 2016. Connectivity was a topic that ran through the show like a red thread, for all solutions and in every sector.  Many of our visitors were looking for software and services that will enable them to connect and integrate different workflow streams and production environments.

In our Studio, many visitors discovered the capabilities of our TotalFlow portfolio including TotalFlow Cloud Suite, and learned how they could improve productivity, add value and open up new opportunities.

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Graham Moore -Director Business Development, Ricoh Europe

Finally, it’s important to remember that an event like drupa is only as good as the people who make it happen. It’s been a real pleasure for us all working with colleagues to make drupa such a powerful event. We couldn’t have made it the success it was without all the hard work that people put in. Ricoh really is a company that is driven by passion and dedication, and where imagine.change is not just a brand, but an expression of the talent and commitment of our team.

 

Corporate Zone at drupa

In this zone we’ll be focusing on increased promotional output and print room integration that can grow in-house print services for government, education and ­financial services operations, among others.

Not to be missed

  • examples from a variety of different vertical markets, and use cases for alternative media, transactional print, monochrome printing and banner
  • many promotional print applications in this zone including our rock band merchandise, posters, banners and a T-shirt printed on our Anajet t-shirt printer
  • CAD print and archiving solutions will be featured.
  • Corporate Workflow in action

 Key Applications

These are just some of the samples we are planning to show. Look out for more surprises at the show itself !

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Workflow

Ricoh’s corporate printing workflow solutions optimise printing and output processes across the entire organisation.

Corporate Workflow

 

Ricoh at drupa button

The Importance of Communication Management Platforms

Benoit Chaterlard

Benoit Chatelard Vice President, Production Printing Group, EMEA

In an age where there are so many ways to communicate, it can often be difficult to blend the right mix of channels to deliver a specific message.

With critical customer communications (such as messages that organisations send to their customers and prospects to promote or advertise their offerings  or to inform them about business transactions) there is an additional challenge. Not only do you have to make sure your message, no matter which channel you choose, is conveyed in such a way that pleases your audience but your message also needs to meet governmental regulations.

There are a huge volume of customer communications of this type – worth (according to InfoTrends*) $56B worldwide in 2013 and this volume is forecast to grow by 6.9% CAGR (InfoTrends*) . So managing customer communications can be a logistical nightmare if you’re not prepared for it.

Introducing Ricoh’s  Customer Communication Management (CCM) platform

Fortunately, Ricoh’s CCM platform makes those goals easily attainable for businesses of many sizes and types, including large enterprises, commercial printers, and small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Our CCM platform leverages a variety of software – both homegrown and from our partner companies – to help organisations looking to reach big audiences do so, with defensible audit trails and automated workflow features included.

Components of Ricoh's CCM platform

Components of Ricoh’s CCM platform

When sending out these kinds of communications, it is critical that the document goes to the right place – whether that’s a mailing address, email inbox or branded web portal customers can access at will.  This can often be more than just a question of effective communication; it can be a question of regulatory compliance and avoiding costly fines.

That’s why, beyond accurate addressing protocols, our software helps enact security measures – from secure electronic presentment to encrypted data streams intended for email bodies, attachments, or printed output – to keep customers’ information safe. Additionally, CCM software diligently tracks and records the movements of these documents, so they don’t just know their data is safe, but they can also show it is, making meeting regulatory requirements that much easier.

How  Credit Mutuel  in France uses CCM

Credit mutuel-banner

As a result of Ricoh’s CCM solution mail optimised processing and multi-channel delivery has cut postal costs by more than 20%. Print costs have fallen too, with more documents printed using cost-efficient, production systems.

 “The simple web-based interface is used to generate professionally presented documents. The integrated solution has increased core business productivity and improved customer centricity. It is also saving the bank money”” Crédit Mutuel Arkéa

Find out more

Getting messages across

While keeping personal data safe is clearly important, at its heart, communication is about getting messages across. You can’t get your message across if no one’s reading your communications.

Latest research** has found that people were much more likely to respond to a bill if prompted by a letter through the post rather than via email (80 per cent vs 54 per cent).

That’s why programs within our CCM platform strive to make listening to what organisations have to say as easy and enjoyable as possible for customers.

It is with that in mind that Ricoh and its developer partners designed CCM software with preference management capabilities – that is, allowing communicators to leverage a database matching customers with the channel they’d like to be contacted through and automatically routing communications accordingly: Customers who prefer to be contacted via email get emails, those who prefer printed mail get printed mail, and so on.

Ricoh’s CCM platform goes beyond addressing customers where they want to be spoken to, helping users address customers how they want to be addressed, too. Emails are created by dynamically pulling critical information into readable templates that not only sound like one human being addressing another but also are less likely to get caught up in a spam filter than less sophisticated approaches. Electronic presentment options allow users to customize and brand their content portals, creating a pleasant viewing experience for visitors. Printed communications get a boost, too, leveraging variable data to customise collateral to directly address recipients, potentially boosting response rates.

Whatever the type, format or channel of communication, Ricoh has the expertise and CCM workflow tools to help.

Visit ricoh-europe.com/ccm for more information.

____________________________________________________

Notes:

“The Value of Customer Communications – Sizing & Forecast 2013-2018”, InfoTrends July 2015

**‘Managing Money Online’ – Keep Me Posted with London Economics, Sept 2015

 

#HID2015 is a Wrap! So What’s Next?

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To say that Hunkeler innovationdays 2015 was a success for Ricoh would be a big understatement. As we continue to take our message of the power digital print technologies brings to print service providers who are seeking new ways to communicate with their clients around the world, this latest event in picturesque Lucerne was a high point for us.

Always known to be a show that “gets right down to business,” HID 2015 did not disappoint.  With its no frills approach, HID 2015 brings together serious print buyers who want to roll up their sleeves and really get into the ins and outs of the technology and solutions.  This show is exciting and helps the adrenaline to start pumping.  This year was a non-stop rush from beginning to end – and we enjoyed every second of it.

The buzz around Ricoh and on our booth was unavoidable.  It was as if you could feel the energy under your skin – and it wasn’t just the speed of our machines! With the recent launches of our Ricoh Pro VC60000 and the Ricoh Pro C9100 series, and also the Ricoh Pro C7100X (which wasn’t even on the floor, yet still caused a stir!),  the Ricoh booth was clearly a must-see for attendees.  This year we talked with commercial printers looking to take their first step into digital, publishers who sought proven inkjet colour and monochrome offerings, service bureaux in need of better batching solutions, and so much more.  It was non-stop, but it was a great experience.

Not only were our technology demonstrations a hit, but one could argue the range and quality of our samples made its way around the floor even faster.

In fact many people – including some members of the press – commented that Ricoh has set a new bar for quality in colour inkjet.

Visitors to the stand could not only see the technology, but there were also plentiful samples from the Ricoh portfolio. This included samples from the Ricoh Pro VC60000 printed on offset-coated stock, the market-leading InfoPrint 5000, the Ricoh Pro C9100 series and the Ricoh Pro C7100X.  From trade books and marketing collateral to coffee table books, there was something for everyone to touch, feel and take home.

Benoit Chaterlard

Benoit Chatelard General Manager Solutions, Production Printing Group, EMEA

If you were unable to join us in Lucerne, or even if your schedule did not allow the time to explore in depth how Ricoh might support your businesses evolution, you might consider visiting our new European centre of excellence, the Customer Experience Centre, in Telford, UK.

If you missed what we had to share at HID 2015, visit this blog to hear more about our technologies and applications.  You can also visit us on Facebook to see pictures from the show or follow our @RicohEUBDriver Twitter feed for flashbacks.

Danke, Switzerland.  Looking forward to 2017!

A brighter future for print

Erwin Busselot Commercial Print Solutions Director Production Printing Ricoh Europe

Erwin Busselot
Commercial Print Solutions Director Production Printing
Ricoh Europe

Today’s print communications ecosystem is complex with a number of supply lines. Each one has weaknesses and strengths, but I see three main drivers of change – all of which are moving volumes away from offset to digital printing.

The first is the economic crisis. It was bad for some operations but good for others. Commercial printers found it hard to get loans to make capital equipment investments, and marketers spent less. Meanwhile, packaging specialists thrived for the simple reason people went to restaurants less, which meant they cooked at home more.

The second is the growing adoption of production inkjet printing for a broad range of applications previously produced using offset technology, driving the adoption life cycle of inkjet.  There has been a lot of generic talk about digital printing based on toner, but that technology has never replaced offset. Although the quality was good, digital toner-based printing was never able to offer the speed or reach the price point of offset over long runs. Full colour production inkjet is a relatively new entrant to the market. Ricoh announced the IP5000 in 2007 and had a first installation in the UK.  It is non-impact printing technology, so there is no need for a blanket or photo imaging plate. Inkjet uses heat, pressure or electrical impulses to push ink directly onto the substrate. It delivers speed, increasing quality and the ability to print on many substrates, helping it become a viable alternative to offset. Now we see production inkjet printing being adopted in book, newspaper and direct mail production and, increasingly, in general commercial applications.

The third is the change in media habits. Readership is going down. Last year in the U.S., more than a quarter of adults didn’t read a book – regardless of whether it was an ebook or printed book. However, there has been increased talk about the different penetration rates of various media including tablets and e-media. Many direct mail campaigns have been using digital for some time – either in a hybrid manufacturing model or, increasingly as full colour inkjet.  Another habit affecting print media is the use of smart phones or tablets to take advantage of interactive print capabilities using technologies such as a QR codes, Clickable Paper or page recognition in books, direct mail or newspapers. The Ikea catalogue is a very good example of this.

This is how today’s market is shaping up, and there is a further development on the way that will impact operations in the longer term – functional printing. This term encompasses an array of sectors from 3D to textiles and packaging. Frank Romano stated a few years ago that, in 20 years’ time, functional print could represent 40% of a printer’s business. It offers improved efficiencies in production for products such as solar cells and touch screens, which are labour intensive to produce with current processes. Some operations are already pioneering printed electronics with this end use in mind. This approach could be expanded so a book printer could be responsible for creating single-use electronic books, printed in short runs, on demand, by high volume inkjet presses. And for those concerned that this might create more waste, the end product is much easier to recycle than traditional electronic goods.

Currently inkjet presses are frequently replacing web fed presses for limited applications such as books, newspapers and direct mail. But I expect there to be a growing volume of true commercial print applications produced with production inkjet printing, such as catalogues, brochures, fliers, etc., as many of the big players look over the shoulders of pioneers. And those that doubted that inkjet could conquer the true playing field of commercial print can turn their attention to installations in operations such as Zalsman, in the Netherlands who have invested in a Ricoh ProTM VC60000.  Zalsman is a successful mid-sized commercial printer that believes production inkjet will help it continue to grow and thrive – for me that is proof that this is going to happen throughout the industry. Inkjet is not going to stay in its corner, and Zalsman is proof of that.

Some people have the view that the graphic arts sector is not an interesting business any more. I disagree with that and can see the transformation that is happening. Steve Jobs said it all comes down to innovation, and innovation is the difference between leaders and followers. There is a great deal of innovation happening in our industry, especially as it relates to production inkjet, and that makes it an exciting business.

I see two ways in which production inkjet is bringing innovation to the graphic arts industry – as a communications technology and as a functional printing technology. If you stick your head in the sand, these opportunities will pass you by; but if you go after them, there are tremendous opportunities for growth. I will be discussing all of this and more during the EBDA Seminar at Hunkleler Innovationdays, 26 February 2015, in Lucerne, Switzerland. Drop by and hear more about how Ricoh can help you investigate the best way to secure a brighter future.

Three Ways Inkjet Has Evolved

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” -Alan Kay, American computer scientist.

This is a great time to be a brand owner or a publisher. The latest innovations in digital print technology have created new opportunities to re-evaluate the role of print in customer communications, marketing and publishing.

Once focused on forms replacement for transactional documents, production inkjet has blossomed into a versatile and powerful tool that companies like yours are using to take advantage of cutting-edge applications – and even create new ones. The marketing landscape’s shift to digital is spurring new demands from brand owners, making it imperative for the industry to shape the future of print, rather than simply responding to the status quo. Here are three ways that production inkjet – and the printers who use it – are innovating print applications and technologies:

White paper in, full colour out

In today’s world of immediacy, companies are expecting what they want, when they want it, no questions asked. For a print shop, this requires digital technologies that are nimble enough to deliver a transactional production run just before one for direct mail, with minimal downtime.

Throughout the past ten years, production inkjet has evolved into an affordable and effective route to white paper in, full colour out applications. Whether it’s a full colour transactional document, glossy direct mail piece or graphics book, inkjet technology can meet the needs of each demand with precision and high quality.

Short runs

Being able to produce short runs of varied output is also a key advantage of inkjet. In the case of books for example, while offset is still the go-to technology for producing high quantity runs of books, inkjet is enabling book printers and publishers to produce shorter runs that are just the right amount for a given purpose. Review copies used during the editing process and marketing copies distributed during the promotional phase of a book launch are two such applications where low quantities are needed. What’s more, inkjet is enabling books to never truly go “out of print” by making it easier for printers and publishers to meet one-off demands for old and rare books from consumers. In the educational market, class-customised booklets that might be used only by one or a handful of professors, and versioned textbooks are yet other opportunities to put inkjet’s short run capabilities to use.

For example, we will be showing at the Hunkeler Innovationdays show this month in Lucerne a full colour book, The Cult of Porsche: In the Beginning. This is digitally printed on offset stock, delivering the impact and quality that, until now, has been associated only with offset printing. Originally produced in short runs and shown at last year’s London Book Fair, it will be inkjet printed for the first time for Hunkeler Innovationdays.

Personalisation /variable data

The opportunity to customise direct marketing output has never been greater. As more transactional communications transition to intangible, digital forms such as email and mobile apps, the value of printed communications is increasing. The clients of printers are demanding high quality output that grabs attention with relevant content and interactive elements such as QR codes and interactive print solutions like Ricoh’s Clickable Paper. By virtue of the sheer amount of customer data available to agencies and their brand clients, items like coupons can be customised with items that go beyond the usual name and gender information. Deeper demographic and psychographic information can be incorporated and reference the recipient’s recent purchases, buying habits, and other information that ensures the direct marketing content is being received at the right time, by the right people with the right message. Inkjet’s heritage in variable data, coupled with its continued evolution as a graphic communications tool that rivals the colours and print quality of offset, further empowers marketing agencies and brand owners to take advantage of this opportunity. Have a look out for the The Bianchi catalogue on our stand. With its challenging brand colours and high quality bike imagery it will demonstrate the results inkjet is capable of such as readily reproducing work previously the preserve of offset.

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Graham Moore -Director Business Development, Ricoh Europe

All of these innovations will be on display in the Ricoh booth at Hunkeler Innovation Days. Stop by to learn more. We look forward to seeing you at the show.

This article is from European Printing Industry Coverage from WhatTheyThink

 

A Great Innovation Opportunity!

Peter Williams, Executive Vice President, Head of Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Europe

Peter Williams, Executive Vice President, Head of Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Europe

As its name suggests the unique Hunkeler Innovationdays, held every other year in Lucerne, Switzerland, showcases the latest innovations designed to meet the challenges of high volume production in today’s multichannel communications landscape.

This year it runs from February 23 to 26 and Ricoh will again be demonstrating its latest capabilities in document printing solutions for transactional print, publishing, commercial print and direct mail in end-to-end multi-vendor configurations.

Ricoh fully supports Hunkeler Innovationdays because it differs from traditional trade shows in a number of ways.  Highly focused, it gives you the opportunity to meet one-on-one with experts from Ricoh Europe, its partners, other key suppliers to the industry and your peers. As a result you can gain a broader perspective on your document printing needs and review and investigate innovative solutions that will enhance and future-proof your business.

We’re showing a number of exciting new innovations at the show.  For the first time ever, the brand-new, highly modular and scalable Ricoh Pro™ VC60000 production inkjet press will be on display in its full configuration, including undercoat and protector coat capabilities.

We will also be demonstrating how our solutions combine with the Hunkeler Signature, Booklet and Budget Binder to create a complete production system, including variable-sized booklets, and book blocks.

Alongside the Ricoh Pro VC60000 production inkjet press, we are excited to show the new Ricoh Pro™ C9110, our first digital colour press designed specifically for heavy production.

We’ll also be showing  a variety of workflow solutions designed to make your operation more efficient and competitive, including TotalFlow BatchBuilder, a new solution to help you become a super-efficient operation that enables you to accept more jobs, lower total cost of print and grow your business.

I am personally looking forward to Hunkeler Innovationdays as this year it promises to be the best and largest event, ever.  I am especially keen to greet Ricoh’s current and future clients from around the world. Our new range of products and solution means that Ricoh now even more to offer Print Services Providers . Not only do we have an opportunity to provide advice and guidance but we also have the opportunity to learn a great deal from attendees’ feedback, helping us to inform our future development plans.

You can register for the event on www.ricoh-europe.com/hid2015 and we also welcome you to contact your local Ricoh team to schedule one-on-one meetings in advance.  We’re looking forward to showing you how our New Dawn approach can help give your business a new lease of life.

See you in Lucerne!