CentraLizeD CuStomization anD Configuration Center enSureS

Centralized customization and
configuration center ensures
efficient European fulfillment
Ricoh provides technology that transforms business processes. By streamlining professional document and information management,
Ricoh helps businesses become more productive and profitable. Operating in 180 countries, Ricoh has global annual revenues
of 14 billion Euros and over 100,000 employees. The company’s European Distribution Center (EDC) for EMEA in Bergen
op Zoom, Netherlands is managed by DHL Supply Chain. Following a successful 16–year relationship, DHL is now managing
warehousing and value added services within Ricoh’s EDC facility. This includes the supply of complex, Pre-Sales Technical
Services for printers and multi-function devices before delivery.
customer challenge
Ricoh EDC delivers and installs around 600,000 MultiFunctional Products (MFP) and printers a year for customers
across 19 European countries. Of these, one in eight requires
extensive pre-configuration before delivery for end customer use.
Historically, Ricoh-owned operating companies performed
the last-minute configuration for end customer requirements
themselves. Alternatively, engineers visited the customer site.
Both scenarios were costly, duplicating skills and labor.
Over the years, thanks to DHL’s involvement, Ricoh has
achieved a centralized customer configuration operation in
the Bergen op Zoom EDC using DHL’s Pre-Sales Technical
Customer Challenge
•• Optimize centralized configuration of MFP and printers
•• Reduce per unit cost
•• Manage technical complexity
•• Fluctuating volumes between 100 – 800 units per week
DHL Supply Chain Solution
•• Manage Ricoh’s EDC warehouse
•• Pre-Sales Technical Services including customization
and configuration
•• 60 expert technicians with flexible contracts
•• 70,000 MFP and printers configured per year
Customer Benefits
•• Cost per unit reduced by 26% over 18 months
•• Seven figure savings
•• Skilled and flexible staff to ensure cost efficiency, quality
and accuracy of complex orders
Customer Benefits
The level of customer configuration required for a product is
complex and technically demanding. Ricoh needed configuration
completed by well-trained staff. Their product quality standards
are also exceptionally high. Any outsourced configuration activities needed to comply with current Ricoh factory protocols for
technical processes and final product testing.
Configuration volumes fluctuate between 100 – 800 MFP
and printers a week, demanding a scalable, yet highly skilled,
labor supply.
Ricoh required a solution that reflected a competitive tariff
for each configured product, comparable to that achieved by
Ricoh operating companies themselves.
DHL Supply Chain Solution
New Ricoh copiers and multi-functional printers arrive at
the warehouse from Asia Pacific and two factories in Europe,
equipped only with standard, basic equipment and software.
Ricoh operating companies place their orders for each customer
on their central system. Taking this order data DHL, through
pre-sales technical services, configures each MFP or printer to
the agreed end customer’s specification.
A banking customer, for example, might order 500 printers
from a Ricoh operating company. On carrying out a central
configuration order, the DHL Supply Chain team will:
Un-pack the printer
Assemble, by adding requested components like paper
trays, document feeder, scanner screen, fax unit
Configure, by installing software, setting language,
network data/IP address, country information, service
call number and adding any customer data
Test and quality assure printer to factory quality standards
Re-pack the printer ready for dispatch to the operating
company’s mall partner
The average DHL workforce for the process is 120 employees,
of which 60 are trained pre-delivery install technicians.
Flexible contracts provide efficient labor management for
both high and low configuration volumes.
DHL Supply Chain has delivered considerable savings through
continuous improvement. In 2011, this figure stood at
600,000 Euros. Adopting the DMAIC (Define, Measure,
Analyze, Improve and Control) improvement process, part
of the group’s First Choice program, DHL has accomplished
savings while safeguarding process quality and accuracy for
complex Ricoh orders.
Over the last 18 months, by implementing further lean projects
and process improvements, the average cost to configure a
printer has fallen by 26%. This reduction is despite a rise in
the average configuration workload required. With 70,000
MFP and printers currently configured in one year, this alone
generates seven figure savings. By 2014, the configuration
forecast is 100,000 MFP and printers per year.
In addition to the savings generated by the process improvement,
the solution brings more flexibility and cost reduction due
to the expert flexible workforce that ensures a high quality
Looking ahead, DHL is in discussions to explore further
opportunities for Ricoh in other logistics disciplines, including
global forwarding, freight, service parts logistics and supply
“The central solution made possible by DHL means it’s
very efficient for us to fulfill complex configuration
orders accurately, to a high quality. We are delighted
with DHL’s ability to work seamlessly with us to
achieve continuous improvement.”
Eugene Kersjes
VP Ricoh Europe Supply Chain Management BV
For further information
Contact our supply chain experts:
[email protected]