Case Study: Global Retailer
How a global retailer reduces its invoicing process by $20,000+ each month
About our customer
This iconic multinational corporation designs, develops, manufactures, markets and sells footwear, apparel, accessories, equipment and services throughout the world. Based in the U.S., the company has billions in annual revenue and employs tens of thousands of people globally. This beloved brand also has a thriving retail operation with more than 1,000 brick-and-mortar stores worldwide, an e-commerce site and sells to thousands of retail accounts, independent distributors and licensees.
Reduced invoice processing costs while driving efficiencies
Current invoice print and mail vendor closing facility
Need to find experienced print and mail partner quickly
Invoices and statements with multiple setups increase costs
Color printing adds complexity and cost
At the time, this global retailer was processing approximately 45,000 invoices per month at an off-site facility about to cease operations. In need of a new partner to keep invoices flowing and payments coming in, the retailer approached Ricoh for support. We had a long-standing relationship with the retailer, providing hardware, managed services and business optimization services to help the organization become an efficient digital workplace.
However, the retailer’s desire to continue with business as usual and not alter its processes presented issues. Its invoices and statements had multiple setups that increased costs. Information was also being printed in color — a practice typically reserved for marketing collateral — when invoices were only seen by business partners receiving products.
The retailer already had a managed services agreement with us, making it easy to add outsourced invoice printing and mailing without having to issue an RFP. They turned to us to devise solutions that would meet SLA requirements such as 24-hour turnarounds, preserve the integrity of their data and drive down costs.
Conducted a proof of concept at our Business Information Services center
Converted to a window envelope with a cover letter insert
Eliminated color printing
Combined multiple invoices into a single mailing
We had an established Business Information Services center dedicated to print and mail in Cleveland, Ohio, which handles printing and mailing for large enterprises just like the retailer. However, we suggested altering the retailer’s established workflow to reduce print and mail costs.
We showed the retailer the benefits of eliminating steps, using a standardized envelope with a larger window and adding a cover letter. With this standardized envelope, more information could be printed on the cover letter and revealed through the enlarged window — eliminating the need to print on the envelope. We persuaded the retailer to abandon color printing on its envelopes and invoices as this information isn’t a marketing tool that needs to stand out. We continued their established process of householding, which indexes information for each buyer and groups all their monthly invoices into one envelope rather than sending invoices separately. We also demonstrated how the data we process is secured because we destroy it all within 24 hours of producing an invoice statement.
Once the retailer was comfortable with our process and procedure, we embarked on a proof of concept— running jobs in tandem with the previous vendor for a trial period. The retailer sent us their data through their billing systems, and we printed each piece and commingled as much mail as possible for postal discounts. We ran generic filters for incorrect addresses and culled out atypical pieces intended for P.O. boxes or military posts. When the envelopes were ready to mail, our RICOH Process Director print workflow software automatically generated a mail manifest and the envelopes were tagged for post office delivery. After reviewing the information produced during the proof of concept, the retailer was confident we could meet the SLA requirement of 24-hour turnarounds from data receipt to mailing and reduce costs.
$20,000-plus in monthly cost savings
Fast, 24-hour turnarounds from data receipt to mailing
New acquisition onboarded in U.S. and Europe
Since moving its invoice printing and mailing to our Business Information Services center, the retailer has saved nearly $20,000 in monthly costs. This was achieved by eliminating color printing on non-marketing-driven invoices, commingling mail pieces and continuing the retailer’s practice of householding — bundling multiple invoices sent to a single buyer. The SLA with 24-hour turnarounds is consistently met. The retailer also receives daily reports and analytics that document each mailed invoice and help the company make informed decisions that could improve the process and further reduce costs. The retailer is so pleased with our invoice print and mail services that it had us onboard a new global acquisition into our process — first in Europe, then in the U.S. and Canada. If new lines of business are added in the future, invoice processing for those acquisitions may also be integrated into Ricoh’s Business Information Services centers.