Ricoh Canada Inc. is an owned subsidiary of Ricoh Corporation that pioneers in the development of computer-networked and digital multifunctional document systems. They are also market leaders in color and black/white digital imaging systems, facsimile products, printers, scanners, digital duplicators, document management, and wide format engineering systems.
Ricoh Canada offers a wide variety of document and printing solutions directly and through strategic alliances with companies like FabSoft, who have been working with Ricoh for more than a decade. Recently, Ricoh Canada decided to implement some improvements in the document processes within their own organization, in particular, their warehouses. They immediately recognized that they could use FabSoft’s Reform VDP as their solution.
Ricoh Canada Challenges
Ricoh Canada has several locations across the country which include substantial warehouse locations as well as smaller warehouses within their sales branches. These locations receive numerous orders for equipment and use pick tickets to instruct warehouse staff of the items needed to be shipped to their customers or resellers. Previously, multipart / pre-printed forms were purchased and inventoried at all of their locations and pick tickets were printed using line printers.
The Drawbacks With This Method Are Obvious:
- Frequent printer jams
- Wasting multipart forms
- More space needed to store multipart / pre-printed forms
- Expensive form redesigns
- Slow print speeds
Additionally, the format of the pick tickets was disorganized and consisted of multiple pages. This made it extremely complicated and difficult for the warehouse staff to keep track of what items were picked and what remained to be picked.
Solution Implemented By Ricoh Canada
By implementing FabSoft’s Reform VDP, Ricoh Canada was able to enhance this inefficient process. With Reform VDP, they are now able to recreate a more professional looking form that can be printed on printing paper with a high speed MFP or laser printer. To ensure that Reform VDP can be utilized in all of their locations throughout the country, Ricoh Canada uses a Baan ERP system which does mainframe printing to save a printer or print queue for each location that sends the jobs to the Reform VDP server.
Because the Baan system output is not uniquely recognizable in any way by the content, the Baan printer that was set up for each location uses a different LPR queue name. By using FabSoft’s LPD Server option, the unique LPR queue name for each job automatically associates to the correct form. This enables Reform VDP to see which output device to send the job to out of the many different devices throughout the country.
A representative from Ricoh Canada says:
“The bottom line is that it works more easily than the old method. It’s faster, quieter, and easier to read, uses fewer pages and presents a more professional image to our customers and partners, etc. In the future, we can convey marketing messages using this exact same infrastructure or even have our pick-lists re-ordered to sort multiple jobs into an aggregated job, sorted by aisles, then bins, etc. (almost like a postal sort to improve efficiency in the warehouse) and then have the shipping confirmation and packing slip print elsewhere to verify the orders. We already have a multipart form configuration for our main warehouse.”
Reform VDP Benefits For Ricoh Canada
- Ownership Through Local Uniqueness – Since both branches/warehouses had input as to what their requirements were for forms, there is now an immediate sense of ownership in handling the documents. Now, they can have the extra statements that pertain to their region.
- Consistent, Professional Looking Documents – There is now a complete level of consistency in appearance. The orders will all arrive with similar paperwork which helps the customers’ receiving teams assemble orders shipped from different locations.
- Improved Productivity – With the old method, pick tickets were unclear and sometimes missing, causing a lot of downstream communication errors and orders were sometimes shipped twice. As a result, double-checking each pick ticket, along with the pulled items, became a regular function. Now, since documents are well formatted and contain fewer pages, productivity increased. With the new Reform VDP system, the warehouse staff feels they have more control over their activities. Even the administrators in the office can prepare their orders faster by reviewing the screen content with the page content.
- Cost Accounting – Ricoh Canada was incurring substantial costs from managing pre-printed forms and line printers. They constantly purchased, inventoried, and loaded pre-printed forms. With the Reform VDP system, forms are now printed on regular printing paper using an MFP or laser printer. Changes can be made to forms on-demand without having to worry about ordering additional forms and wasting old ones.