Ricoh Transitions From Paper and Shareholders Get Excited
[This news story was originally published with the headline: “Ricoh Says it Will Quit Paper and Shareholders Go Crazy.”]
As reported in November 2020, Japanese-based Ricoh Co.—best known as a maker of copiers, printers and faxes —has unveiled an ambitious shift away from paper and into the digital realm, aiming to transform into a digital services provider.
According to a Bloomberg report, “Investors cheered the move, with the stock surging 16% in Tokyo on Thursday. That’s the most since 1992, and came even as the Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 2.1%.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is being blamed for forcing companies around the world to change long-held practices including downsizing offices and changing travel into video conferencing as more staff work from home. The Bloomberg report cites how the pandemic has helped propel a long-overdue shift to the digital space in Japan. “The administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga [has] promoted a move away from faxes, company seals and other vestiges of physical offices.”
According to Ricoh’s five-year plan, it will seek to become a “digital services company,” and has pledged a 300 billion yen ($2.8 billion) “war chest for acquisitions, promising ‘aggressive investment and M&A’ in Europe. The firm aims to get the majority of operating profit from digital services by fiscal 2025, seizing on opportunities to help other workplaces shift online.” The company will also spend as much as 100 billion yen on a share buyback program over the next year, and plans to retire all its treasury stock once the repurchase is complete.
Like many of the world’s top printing brands, Ricoh was founded in Tokyo, Japan and launched its first office copier in 1955. Today, it’s one of the world’s leading printer manufacturers with operations in over 200 countries. Ricoh has a workforce of about 97,000, including more than 2,400 employees in Canada. Ricoh printers and copiers, or multifunction printers (MFPs) as they are also called, are known for their quality, versatility, capacity, speed and graphics capabilities. The Ricoh product line is diverse, offering everything from basic desktop printers to feature-rich multipurpose devices that scan, fax, print and copy.
According to the Canadian-based Office Interiors, a few things make Ricoh stand out in a crowded market:
- Sustainability focus: In 2014, it was named one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations for the tenth time. And Its sustainability initiatives recently earned the company a prestigious ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Online product support – The Ricoh @Remote service remotely manages your printer and copier online. If it breaks down, the copier sends a message that the device needs servicing. Ricoh promises to call back within one business hour after your service call. You’ll also find free manuals, drivers, how-to videos and FAQs online to help you troubleshoot issues on your own.
- MPS market leader – In 2018, Ricoh led the Managed Print Services (MPS) market for the seventh year in a row, according to a report from the analyst firm Quocirca.
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