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24 Feb 2016

How the feeble rand, drought and recession will change the way you work

Robert Janssen Director of Direct Sales Operations at Ricoh SA

Smash the final frontier of customer service or prepare to be slaughtered at work

The recession of 2011, the rand plumbing new lows against foreign currencies, and in the context of severe drought resulting in failing crops and starving, thirsty livestock, are honing consumer purchase decisions. These factors and trends mean that companies can no longer ignore their business document environments.

Customer service, perceived and real product and service value, and customer retention have never been so keenly highlighted as they are today. Companies must aggressively pursue good customer service if they want to survive.

One of the final frontiers of process, operational and cost efficiency is your business document environment. Get it right and customers will love doing business with you. Get it wrong and they’ll turn their backs on you faster than the rand can drop 6% against the Greenback.

It is telling that Gartner says these print trends are currently in their peak of its hype cycle:

• Automatic Content Recognition
• Managed Content Services
• Nanography
• NFC Printing
• Context-Enriched Experiences
• Printer Server Consolidation
• Direct-to-Nonpaper-Substrate Printing

The first two, automatic content recognition and managed content services, relate directly to managed print services (MPS) and managed document services (MDS).

The world in which we all operate is changing. It is faster. It is more aggressive. Businesses must be able to respond quickly and decisively and foster structures that enable them to be agile, flexible, and responsive. That means knowing what’s happening, immediately, to be able to swiftly adapt to changing circumstances.

Business transactional documents contain swathes of information to feed those goals and other customer documents do too. But digitising and automating those documents alone doesn’t fulfil the need to improve customer experiences. The processes around those documents are equally, if not more, crucial.

Understanding the need in context

Understanding this need, holistically, in the context of the current economic and business climate, locally and globally, is behind our success in this field. Gartner has positioned our service in this space in its “Leaders” quadrant of the “Magic Quadrant for Managed Print and Content Services Worldwide” for the sixth consecutive year.

We achieved that by developing a single, customisable MPS plan that empowers you with the ability to seamlessly capture, transform and manage information.

Drive value, reduce IT burden

We also deliver managed content services (MCS) across the IT side of printing, business process automation and business process optimisation. We embed services in a comprehensive needs assessment and solution development process that evaluates how your company manages information and business processes, with a goal of driving value and reducing the burden on IT departments.

Many MPS offerings focus tightly on devices and print management. We take a more holistic approach with our five-phase Adaptive Model. It helps us deliver a unique offering for each customer that focuses on understanding, improving, transforming, optimising and governing the overall services process.

Optimise environments, manage change

This customer-focused approach to MCS offers consultative help to optimise the IT aspect of print environments, business process automation and business process optimisation, along with a crucial change management methodology.

The five-phase Adaptive Model we employ creates a journey of continuous improvement that increases the value of the services we deliver and promotes long-term partnerships with customers. This approach enables us to be flexible and address customers’ changing needs, no matter where they are in their journey, and caters for MPS industry evolution.

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