Over many years, Ricoh had developed a strong relationship with a major global retailer. In addition to providing print technology and a host of other services at the corporate headquarters, Ricoh provided a large team of on-site personnel to perform daily operations of the print center while also providing support to employees for mail and package services.
Then the global retailer decided to partner with the real estate services provider for facility and vendor management — and the provider took over the contract for both areas, including the global retailer’s employees in the mail and package operation. The services provider and Ricoh began working closely to not only accelerate innovative ideas that Ricoh had been suggesting to the global retailer, but to also identify new areas that had the potential to deliver process improvements and operational efficiencies to their now shared client.
The process for handling mail and package deliveries at the headquarters campus had not been holistically evaluated in over a decade. The print center, tasked with producing complex marketing pieces, store collateral, training and HR materials, was not well advertised to the global retailer’s staff — who continued sending work to off-site print retailers. The services provider and Ricoh set out to address these challenges.
Through marketing and cost savings achievements — nearly $400,000 in one year — more of the global retailer’s employees are now turning to the print center for high quality, quick-turn printing. The route optimization innovations implemented for mail and package services dramatically improved delivery and shipping times. And despite an increase of 5,000 more incoming packages a month, the service level agreements (SLAs) between the global retailer and the services provider continue to be met.
The global retailer has also achieved significant sustainability benefits from the program. Having internal staff handle mail and package delivery has saved nearly 15,000 driving miles compared to using off-site vendors, which translates to more than 16,000 pounds of carbon emission saved. Furthermore, the practice of recycling more than 340 bottles of toner from the print center each month has saved 2,400 square feet of landfill space, 200 pounds of carbon emissions and 20,000 gallons of oil.
In addition, the services provider and Ricoh now have a unified, trusted partnership to present best-in-class solutions and best practices for processes to the global retailer going forward. While the global retailer did not historically invest in automation for mail, packages and printing in the past, the global retailer now sees the benefit and has reinvested savings gained so far from the program into new innovation.
The services provider and Ricoh had a strategic partnership in place when the services provider took over the contract to oversee mail and package services and the print center at the global retailer. They have worked together at other major companies across the U.S. to transform business operations. Once again united, they set out to leverage this partnership to identify ways to optimize and increase efficiency for the print center at the global retailer. The goal — wow with innovation and technology solutions that would convince the global retailer to take their mail and package services and production printing operation into the future.
In the span of about six months, the services provider transitioned the global retailer’s mail and package services personnel to Ricoh and existing staff became Ricoh employees. We proposed tracking software for mail and packages to gain visibility into inbound and outbound mail. We also brought in a fleet of dedicated trucks and vans to streamline and speed up mail and package delivery throughout the large campus and reduce costs.
In the print center, we implemented a web-to-print digital portal for online ordering and added a wide-format printer to expand the center’s in-house color printing capabilities. We also implemented a free recycling program for printer toner and solicited outsourced quotes from off-site print centers to understand the savings with performing the work in-house. In addition, we revamped the print center to look like a high-end retail print environment and provided personal shipping services for the global retailer’s employees. The staff at the print center provide added value by collaborating with the global retailer’s employees on files and final output. To drive business into the print center, pop-up shops were set up around campus to showcase Ricoh printed material, assist with digital submission and provide substrate samples.
Going forward, the services provider and Ricoh have proposed a further increase in automation for a modernized mailroom. They envision implementing a fully automated sorting, tracking and highly secure package delivery solution to reduce time, labor and cost — similar to the modern automated environment at Google and Amazon. They will also add a credit card module for online submissions to the print center — eliminating cumbersome cost centers for chargebacks.