Ricoh Develops a Merged Reality Field Service Solution
Ricoh, a Japanese Multinational imaging and electronics company which has over 300 product lines and 3400 field technicians operating in about 200 countries, has recognized how difficult it is to keep its field service employees’ knowledge up to date on its ever expanding product line.
As the number of products increases, so does their investment in keeping field service technicians knowledgeable and up to date on all of Ricoh’s products, as well as troubleshooting and reaping them. To deal with this growing pain, Ricoh has digitally transformed their business. Ricoh has invested tremendously into researching and developing a new technology they call “Smart Hands”. Smart Hands brings together Subject Matter Experts, a field tech wearing a voice controlled head mounted device, and a plethora of knowledge repositories into one robust “Merged Reality” solution.
Edward Krzysik, Director of Service Programs at Ricoh USA stated in a recent CIO Interview that “Merged reality puts the eyes, ears, and voice of a highly trained remote technician in the same room as the field technician, allowing both to draw on their deep and varied expertise while studying the evolving issue in real time.”
Ricoh’s Merged Reality solution has immediately yielded gains for the company. After Smart Hands went live, Krzysik stated that their techs were able to rebuild 5000 computers in under two and a half months, compared to the estimated 6 months a project of that size would have taken previously. By adopting this Merged Reality solution Ricoh was able to see an immediate increase in First-Time Repair and Mean Time to Repair rates, tremendously increase the ability of their Field Technicians to troubleshoot and repair, and provide their customers with a more effective service experience which will ultimately lead to long term customer retention.