Ricoh hosted printers from across the nation in Pattaya, Thailand, with the company launching its newest digital cut sheet range.
The event, Alive with Colour, took place at Ricoh’s Customer Experience Centre and production facility, with the company recruiting feedback for its technology development.
The company gave demonstrations of its latest presses, including the Pro C7200 and C9200 series digital cut sheet printers, recently launched in Australia along with the Pro T7210 flatbed and VC60000. Visitors also had previews of the new VC70000 continuous feed inkjet press and a prototype for the Pro L5160 roll to roll wide format printer, to be released around the end of the year.
The VC70000 continuous feed inkjet press is an upgraded version of its predecessor, the VC60000, aimed towards mainly the commercial segment. Ricoh says it should be available in Australia from the first quarter of next year.
Visitors also toured the Rayong factory, occupies around 120,000 sqm and employs close to 4,000 workers.
Simon Lane, national manager, commercial industrial print says, “This is the one place in the region where we can show what Ricoh is doing and what Ricoh is bringing to market.
“The key elements with the cutsheet range, is broader substrate ranges and they are much more productive in terms of the processing power. They are generation two of what we have already brought out and we have listened to customers in terms of what they did and did not like.”
Out of 46 total visitors from Australia, around 30 were established Ricoh customers.
[Related: Ricoh launches new digital printers]
The company called out for feedback on its own progress and prototypes, with one on one sessions with attendees. It says rather than receiving feedback at the end of its R&D, it is now integrating customer’s needs throughout the development pipeline.
Ricoh, which makes US$20bn a year, is planning to invest around US$1bn in new technology for the commercial and industrial print segment over the next three years.
Lane says, “The two days were for everyone to understand who we are and what we do but more importantly, it was for us to understand what they want. We absolutely want to act on customer feedback.
“I have sat with research and development folks who already a long way into developing new technologies, who have changed mid stream in response to what we get from customers.Input from customers is vital to our future and the stuff we place on the market.
“This is an industry that has been going through change for the last five years and people are feeling it and they want to be heard. Printers want to be heard by vendors.”
The event also gave a preview of its Business Booster programme for its Australian customers, an online portal filled with content with the aim to help business owners develop their skills.
Lane explains, “What it does is provide you with online training on how to run a sales team, how to sell wide format solutions, fifth colour solutions, it provides vertical development kits. It provides training programs that are based around webinars and podcasts.
“It is all online and it is free of charge to our clients because we understand we are not a trusted partner unless we help to grow businesses.”
George Fryer, general manager of Sales, Ricoh Australia says, “As vendors it is an opportunity and our duty to listen to printers, but also to show them who we are and what we are. We can shine a light on what we do not know and understand them a little better.”
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