Ricoh UK – Sustainable Customer Service Model

The Sustainable Products and Services Award, Finalist 2015, Reaccredited 2016.

Ricoh UK (RUK) has cut its CO2 emissions and use of resources through new ways of working, saving money and increasing customer satisfaction.

Environmental impacts

  • Reduced CO2 emissions by 1,800 tonnes in three years.
  • Reduced waste through closed loop recycling and reusing parts within the supply chain.
  • Improved resource efficiency by reducing the fuel used by RUK’s service engineer fleet and the volume of stock carried by engineers.

Business impacts

  • Improved customer satisfaction ratings from 87% in December 2012 to 92% in September 2014.
  • Reduced operational costs by £2.65 million.
  • Improved service engineer efficiency by resolving more customer service calls remotely.

Ricoh logoCustomer service within RUK is responsible for servicing and maintaining Ricoh products for UK customers. In terms of environmental impact, fuel consumption from its fleet of vehicles accounts for over 75% of RUK’s carbon footprint.

Reducing emissions through working remotely

The company has introduced new ways of working to improve its efficiency and reduce its dependency on natural resources. A designated Process Improvement Team of five people is responsible for managing this business transformation.

RUK has reduced its environmental impact by resolving more customer service calls remotely, without sending a service engineer to the site, so reducing fuel use. The percentage of remote fixes increased from 13.5% in 2012 to 15.6% in 2014, cutting CO2 emissions by 1,800 tonnes. The company has set a target of a 20% remote fix rate by the end of the 2016 financial year.

Customer relations increase efficiency

RUK has also changed its business processes to cut down on the volume of stock its service engineers carry. This has reduced the need to import and store stock and the risk of having to dispose of obsolete items. Instead of customers being allocated an engineer on availability, engineers are now allocated to customers. This means engineers carry stock to meet their customers’ requirements and do not need to order and carry non-essential items.

So far this financial year, the business has saved £1.25 million on spare parts – an average of £200,000 a month – and is projected to save £ 2.5 million by the end of the year. As well as saving money, allocating engineers to customers has also improved customer satisfaction. Service engineers have been able to build a greater rapport with their customers and spend less time travelling between jobs.

As a result, response times have improved and service engineers are now meeting their service level agreements in 92% of cases, up from 77%. Overall, customer satisfaction ratings have increased from 87% in December 2012 to 92% in March 2015.

RUK is also recirculating more components back into the supply chain, reducing its dependency on virgin raw materials and saving money. The company receives rebates from Ricoh Europe for the reuse and recycling of the consumables, which offsets the logistics and processing costs. Between 2012 and 2014, RUK received £700,000 in rebates for returning recyclable parts. 

What RUK's CEO said:

“Customer centricity and sustainability are core Ricoh values and are embedded across all areas of our business. Customer service is vital to the performance and continued growth of our business. Operating in a manner which improves customer satisfaction, reduces environmental impact and increases the profitability of the business makes absolute business sense.

“I’m immensely proud that Ricoh is a leader in sustainability, delivering an outstanding, sustainable customer experience and that we proactively engage with our stakeholders on this profound matter.” - Phil Keoghan, CEO

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