Published on the 03/10/2014 | Written by iStart
Ricoh New Zealand has been undergoing significant. iStart caught up with Ricoh New Zealand’s senior management and discovered the principles its new head office in Auckland is built around are the foundations of a bigger concept...
“New Zealand is a rock star in the world of Ricoh,” says Mike Pollok, managing director for Ricoh New Zealand. “We are well beyond thinking about product along the lines that Ricoh has traditionally. We really focus on the customer’s needs – the hardware and software offerings, and more recently commoditised IT Services, come second.
“After four years of having the consulting division in place, our sales team is now going into businesses with a very good listening ear, they approach things with a ‘how can we work with you to fix these problems’ attitude, rather than ‘do you want to buy this machine?’ as has sometimes been the case in the past,” says Pollok.
“Automating processes, storing data and documents in the cloud, failsafe IT systems…these things all add up to providing resilience and sustainability to our customers, and we think that’s really important.”
Mike Pollok, Managing Director, Ricoh New Zealand
Marketing manager Murray Clark says it has often been a case of educating the market about what Ricoh stands for. “We have made an effort in recent times to explain the wider capability that the business now brings to clients. The cheeky campaigns around the ‘I didn’t know Ricoh did that’ line have started to change how the company is viewed, as has the ‘we run the things that run your company’ radio campaign for IT Services,” Clark explains.
“New Zealand is a small market and we pick up things really quickly, we can trial things easily and find out what works. The Ricoh Solutions arm has been one example that has delivered significant growth to the business and been a poster child for Ricoh worldwide. Our relationship with Laserfiche (the document management and workflow solution provider) is another example – Ricoh NZ won an international award from Laserfiche two years in a row,” he adds.
The new office environment will ultimately demonstrate Ricoh’s diverse capabilities by showcasing how they have been embedded into Ricoh’s own processes. “We want to say ‘let us show you how we use it’ and open up our internal processes,” says Pollok.
“These concepts are a vision. We need to change our own processes to bring them up to a level that can be showcased, so we have a way to go ourselves,” says Pollok. “What we are doing with the office has created focus and momentum on completing our internal change initiatives.”
Pollok says the new premises are being designed with Ricoh’s very high standards regarding work efficiency and sustainability in mind. “We now have over five years of extensive metrics on sustainability, and by that we mean true sustainability – actually measuring the environmental impact of everything that we do, so that we can deliver better results,” he says. According to Pollok, there is only one other organisation that has a similar level of metrics – Toyota. “The sustainability initiative came from head office, but Ricoh NZ, being the nimble Kiwi firm that it is, has done it better and done it quicker. A central vision for Ricoh globally is ‘imagine change’ and we have really embraced that here.”
In one sense, the fallout from the Christchurch earthquakes has helped redefine the meaning of sustainability for New Zealand’s business community, advancing it from narrowly focused environmental initiatives to a more holistic sense of business sustainability. There is a strong interest in creating resilient business processes, and that translates into sustainable business. Pollok elaborates: “That sense of being in for the long haul is central to the Japanese heritage behind Ricoh as a company, and is core to the sustainability focus we have in everything we do,” he said. “Automating processes, storing data and documents in the cloud, failsafe IT systems…these things all add up to providing resilience and sustainability to our customers, and we think that’s really important.”
Pollok reinforces the message of continuous improvement by quoting Ricoh CEO Kiyoshi Ichimura: “There was a quote from Ichimura that was used at the global sales conference a couple of years back which has stuck with me. His words were, ‘The reputation you earned in the market two years ago may not be what the company is now,’ which to me really embodies our challenge as a company. By showcasing ourselves – opening our internal workings in quite a public way – we will deliberately be demonstrating our journey and our vision for the future.”
Clark explains that the ‘One Ricoh’ global initiative has created momentum for New Zealand’s head office project. “One Ricoh, for us, has coalesced in this idea of a single office demonstrating everything that we do and stand for.
“The new tenancy has come about because of our growth. We ran out of space in Stanley Street and have been forced to spread our divisions across several sites, which is not ideal, so to consolidate onto one site will bring together the business both physically and literally.”
The new site is under wraps, so to speak, with the refurbishment project under way inside a large construction wrap at 200 Victoria Street West in Auckland’s CBD fringe, but it will accommodate 220-plus staff across three floors, one of which will be the showcase open for clients and prospects to browse through various live business processes using Ricoh’s solutions.
Looking at the plans, the new digs will make quite a statement in the Victoria Street landscape.