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Ricoh Reorg Places Production HQ in US

Ricoh announced on April 4th that it had reorganized its Production Printing business into Ricoh Production Print Solutions (

By Cary Sherburne
Published: April 10, 2011

Ricoh announced on April 4th that it had reorganized its Production Printing business into Ricoh Production Print Solutions (RPPS), with headquarters in West Caldwell, NJ (co-located with Ricoh Americas Corporation). This move was anticipated by industry watchers, following the company's acquisition of Danka's European business, assumption of full control of the former IBM/Ricoh joint venture InfoPrint, and its acquisition of IKON Office Solutions. These moves effectively left Ricoh with several business units focused on Production Printing and what would appear to be a need to consolidate, or at least streamline, these operations. The release states that the new organization "incorporat[es] InfoPrint Solutions and the Ricoh Production Printing Business Group's (PPBG) marketing and planning resources from Japan."

We queried the company to gain more details and were told:


  • InfoPrint will operate as RPPS under the Ricoh master brand and logo. The InfoPrint brand will continue to exist on our products, such as the InfoPrint 5000 and the InfoPrint 4100.

  • When asked what this meant for the US Production Printing Business Group, Peter Lazaroff, VP of Global Marketing Communications at InfoPrint Solutions, said via email, "This does not affect the PPBG US team in any way; it just enables closer collaboration between the groups marketing and selling into the production space.

  • Lazaroff also indicated that there would be staff reductions that touch all parts of the InfoPrint business, but declined to comment on any specific individual or group.

  • According to Lazaroff, This reorganization does not affect the former IKON in any way.  IKON sellers, selling production print solutions, will have access to the InfoPrint branded portfolio of products ... more customers will have access to InfoPrint and Ricoh end-to-end solutions.


Lazaroff went on to state, "In the US, the sales team that was InfoPrint will be part of RPPS and will remain as a separate group from PPBG US and from the production print selling group (former IKON teams), since they sell to different customers and marketplaces ... there will be a much closer collaboration re: portfolios, marketing and selling." He indicated that the Boulder facility housing the former InfoPrint Solutions group would be retained.

Clearly, based on the Ricoh responses, there are some additional shoes to drop, and we will be watching to see how that plays out.

One wonders if this foreshadows what Canon will ultimately do with Oce once the acquisition is final.  Original word when the acquisition was announced was that Oce would remain as a separate operating company in the Canon family, retaining the value of the Oce brand.  In the case of Ricoh, the InfoPrint brand remains with products, but the organization appears to be now incorporated into the larger Ricoh Family Group in a more tightly integrated fashion.

It is also interesting to note that Ricoh chose to HQ the new business, which includes marketing and planning resources from Japan, in the US, recognizing the US as the world's largest production print marketplace.

The exact positioning of IKON and whether that brand name remains is still unclear to this writer. However that plays out, it is clear that Ricoh is working to better position itself to compete as a streamlined and unified operation in the growing worldwide production printing business.

Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

Please offer your feedback to Cary. She can be reached at cary@whattheythink.com.

 

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