I had an opportunity to chat with Tim Vellek, Senior VP Marketing and Jim Coriddi, VP of dealers of Ricoh about the recent and forthcoming changes to their internal organization. Ricoh has quietly started a pretty major transformation that should streamline their services offerings and create a stronger bridge between dealers and Japan.
Over the years, Ricoh has assembled a patchwork of solutions, services and other offerings that have been plugged in wherever they seemed to best fit. Service reported here, some solutions reported there, others reported elsewhere.
Ricoh has now simplified this and as of November 6, “professional services, traditional services groups and break fix services, all report under Mona (Mona Abutaleb, SVP, RAC Services and President & CEO, MindSHIFT) to increase delivery efficiency and better coordinate things from an operational side, making things more systematic,” according to Jim.
What it means to the dealer? First, it should improve Ricoh’s ability to delivery on CHAMPS. It also gives the dealer a single starting point no matter if their service issue is with solutions, break fix, IT-related, etc. It all goes into the same system.
According to Tim, “the Services piece of this is good news for the dealers because it eliminates some silos that dealers may have observed between solutions delivery and technical break fix. Those silos are going to be broken down because Mona comes from the services background and gets it.”
According to Jim, “Martin (Martin Brodigan, Chairman and CEO) wants to make sure that we continue to improve the delivery and that the sales side is in position to drive this. Martin will have all the vertical sales executives report directly to him.”
Ricoh has several major verticals impacted by this change (Global Accounts, Commercial, Healthcare, Public Sector and Higher Education) and each of these verticals has a senior executive that now reports directly to Martin. Again, another streamlining effect putting their senior executive a level closer to the field.
Martin also eliminated the senior position of sales for Ricoh US. Dave Greene, longtime SVP of US Sales has moved on and Jim now reports directly to Tim.
From where I sit, Ricoh essentially pushed Martin and Tim down a level closer to the dealers. When I asked about this they got very excited about the opportunities to bring dealers closer to the process and closer to Japan and product development.
Indeed, according to Jim, this will significantly increase the connection with Ricoh Japan because they’re a layer closer to Tim and Martin.
Ricoh has already been working on making the dealers a bigger part of their process, not only from a sales standpoint but also with respect to feedback on product development. For example, they currently have a new offering they’re testing with members of National Dealer Council (not elsewhere).
While these are internal changes that might go somewhat unnoticed by outsiders, Tim and Jim must have said a dozen times how important dealers are to Ricoh’s future. According to Tim, “dealers are a huge piece of our business. We still have a vision to be the biggest dealer channel in the US.” He and Jim stated they’re closing in on their target – 40% of US revenue from dealers.
Ricoh has done well for the last several years and they’re coming up on their fourth straight year of growth and more importantly, their fourth straight year of meeting or exceeding their manufacturer’s plan, which as we all know is often set at an unattainably high level typically used as a “dream target.”
They have certainly been busy down there at Ricoh USA. Once these changes start gaining traction it should make them considerably more efficient.