Are you rising to today’s industry challenges?

By Sander Sondaal, Director Commercial Print Sales, Ricoh Graphic Communications, Ricoh Europe

The operational business climate for Print Service Providers (PSPs) is under enormous pressure from some major challenges – high and rising energy prices, increasing paper costs and availability issues, and a shortage of skilled labour.

PSPs can mitigate the impact of these pressures in a number of ways. Here are three:

1. Print on demand

By printing only what is needed when it is needed, operations can better plan energy and paper consumption for a more transparent overview of costs. For your clients, print on demand allows runs to be tailored more accurately to budgets and applications extended or reprinted to flexibly meet demand.

Another benefit of vibrant and price competitive personalised and customised digital print is that every application is saleable, eliminating waste. Print on demand also enables just in time delivery, thereby removing the need for storage and additional transportation.

2. Technology choice

The latest production printing systems such as the brand new Ricoh Pro™ VC70000e and the successful Ricoh Pro™ VC70000 have been developed with energy reduction as a fundamental consideration. Smart Start features automate and execute press make-ready tasks before the workday begins, while patented drying technologies and fast warm up times help reduce costs and environmental impact in the production process. Being able to run uncoated and coated stocks without pre- or post-treatments supports a wider substrate choice for greater flexibility and responsiveness to changing availability.

Then there is the highly automated and user friendly setup that encourages operator confidence while an AI-powered, closed-loop web inspection system proactively monitors conditions and improves system settings, without operator involvement.

3. Software

With a suite of future proofing tools, less time is spent training staff and more time can be spent producing profit generating high quality work. Accurate data collection and analysis reduces waste, both in time and consumables, and helps with understanding operational uptime. It identifies capacity and processes that cause bottlenecks, creating greater efficiency.

Solutions include RICOH TotalFlowTM Advisor that checks system status, logs maintenance records, and proactively initiates service requests; while remote access logs reduce on site visits and allow for parts ordering in advance. RICOH SupervisorTM provides visibility throughout the organisation via custom dashboards. It helps eliminate manual data entry and helps gain insights into device use to identify issues based on printer performance per shift.

All these also help PSPs create a more effective business model. They can help find ways to cut costs, respond to paper supply issues and create an environment that supports employees as they expand their skills.

This enhanced operational approach can also enable PSPs to readily reallocate offset work to benefit from more cost efficient production opportunities. Run lengths can be adapted to respond to changing budgets. And costly setup processes can be eliminated.