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BTA Hotline: News

Ricoh Announces RICOH Return Mail Services

Monday, May 7, 2018  
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Ricoh USA Inc. has announced RICOH Return Mail Services, an end-to-end solution that helps businesses better manage the more than 6 billion pieces of undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail. These UAA mail pieces are not only plentiful, but they can also be costly. Return Mail Services offer businesses a repeatable, value-added handling process that reduces the burden of returned mail and provides accountability, control and transparency of the entire process. It is a hassle-free service to a previously manual, inefficient process involving collecting and storing UAA mail, sorting it according to sender and physically delivering it to the correct department. With this service, not only are those steps automated, but businesses now have access to reporting and analytics that can help improve customer relationships, identify lost customers and enhance customer experience.

"In today's business world, if you're not focusing on customer experience, you can potentially lose them. And returned mail is a direct indicator that you're running the risk of just that. Our new service helps businesses reconnect with these valuable customers," said Bill Webb, vice president of services & strategy development, Ricoh USA Inc. "Return Mail Services provides insights into why the piece is returned so adjustments can be made to reduce costs, boost efficiencies and stay connected to customers."

According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), every year, millions of people move without alerting the post office. Moving without a forwarding address is a primary cause that contributes to nearly 6.2 billion mail pieces being UAA last year. Of those, more than one in five were returned to sender. At a time when producing and sending mail can cost organizations several dollars apiece, uncovering unnecessary costs is a must. Further, correcting and re-sending those – often time-sensitive – mail pieces manually can take days or even weeks, potentially harming customer relationships. Another avoidable cost is the risk of incurring fines if first-class mail is unaccounted for in an audit.

Return Mail Services collect return mail, either via specially designated P.O. box or on-site pickup and can update the address with up-to-date proprietary databases. A proprietary process classifies return mail by department or document type, enabling 48-hour turnarounds to the person responsible for the returned mail piece, so he (or she) can quickly decide how to proceed. From there, users have the choice to update their customer relationship management (CRM) databases with the customer's new address and re-send at the push of a button, or stop mail and contact the customer via other channels.

Via a cloud-based portal, real-time transparency is accessible anywhere. Users can access key data, such as total scans, records to be remediated, number of movers, reason for return, the quality of optical character recognition (OCR) data, SLA performance and cost savings, among others. These insights across the entire process can help further optimize and provide insight into ROI, as well as aiding compliance with external audit requests.

In other news, with a December deadline fast-approaching, Ricoh USA Inc. has unveiled RICOH Lease Administration Services, a new comprehensive, end-to-end service that accurately and effectively helps businesses bring their leases into compliance with forthcoming requirements. This service eases a common burden felt by businesses: the inefficiencies of tracking and managing leases, often done today with inefficient spreadsheets. Lease Administration Services, a business process outsourcing (BPO) offering, aids companies with compliance by relying on Ricoh's scalable legal expertise, proven strategies and software-as-a-service (SaaS) to implement and maintain new processes.

The new Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) changes will require companies to be compliant beginning on Dec. 15, 2018 (exact dates can be found here). Ricoh's Lease Administration Services helps businesses come into compliance with these new regulations. It delivers just the right combination of calculation and data management tools, automated process support, and scalable legal resources needed to find data in lease and contract documents and use it to meet compliance requirements with the new standards. At the same time, Ricoh's data capture, aggregation and analytical capabilities empower customers to turn their lease administration data into actionable insights to drive better business performance.

Leases, such as vehicles, office equipment, computers, furniture, machinery, cell towers, etc., have historically been managed by individual or regional offices, making them unlikely to be seen by investors. These new requirements address this regulatory blind spot by moving the accounting of leases to companies' balance sheets, providing a more complete financial picture of the business. Ricoh's Lease Administration Services organizes and manages information more efficiently than prior processes by reducing dependence on time-consuming manual tasks.

"Moving leasing information from a footnote to the balance sheet might sound simple, but it is anything but an easy process," said Bill Webb, vice president of services & strategy development, Ricoh USA Inc. "It requires intensive labor and expertise to do it right. RICOH Lease Administration Services provides businesses with end-to-end support to meet these regulatory requirements, from data extraction to processing, on through to management. We are empowering workers in digital workplaces to focus on their core business activities while we manage this process with our strategic, holistic approach. While they deliver on their business priorities, our experts aggregate and manage the information in ways that can provide actionable insights into procurement processes."

Under previous regulations, companies generally had to collect and manage approximately 10 data points about each lease. Under new rules, they will need to collect and manage an estimated 25 to 70 points. Many current lease management systems were not designed to handle this level of granularity and extracting the data presents its own challenges. Additionally, leases often experience frequent turnover, so new data will near-constantly need to be entered into the system.

The implementation of Lease Administration Services is simple and may be completed in a fraction of the time needed for other companies that package disparate software and services. After an initial walkthrough assessment and in-person workshop, Ricoh assigns a group of off-site legal experts to evaluate and digitize key data points tied to regulatory compliance within leases. This team comprises practicing lawyers who are managed by Ricoh's eDiscovery experts. Once the data has been entered, the software incorporates these data points in workflows that centralize, monitor and manage the information to deliver simple, compliant accounting.

This data can also be incorporated in a variety of other workflows for analytical purposes, providing previously unavailable levels of insight into a company's procurement processes. These insights can help uncover inefficiencies to drive cost and time savings, such as automating monthly payments.

RICOH Lease Administration Services can continue to help customers reap benefits after the initial implementation. As leases often experience frequent turnover, a continued subscription helps companies maintain compliance, as well as continue to drive increased visibility into procurement processes. Through this ongoing partnership with Ricoh, businesses can be assured the cumbersome lease management process is managed with a strategic, holistic approach.

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