Welcome to ideasUK



We have worked with organisations all over the world with the aim to introduce and enhance innovation in the workplace. As we steadily approach our 30th year in operation, we know the importance of reassessing and reevaluating in order to stay current and relevant.


With that in mind, this year has seen big changes for us across the board, with our website having undergone one of its biggest changes to date.


We have got new tools, new content and a fresh new feel to the site.... and that's just the start.


Have a look around, see what you think and if you have any feedback for us, then do let us know as we are always eager to hear your thoughts on how we can improve ourselves further.






There are many factors that contribute to the success of an idea scheme/involvement programme within an organisation; the engagement of employees, having a scheme that is well resourced, reward & recognition and all of these are positively influenced through the support of an enthusiastic sponsor.

In 2016 idea networks in the UK, Germany, USA, Dubai and Austria all held individual competitions to search for a highly committed senior leader who supports the innovation culture within their organisation.


CONGRATULATIONS to the WINNERS from each country who are:


ideasUK: Richard Firmstone from RICOH UK Products Ltd
ideasUK: Mohamed Al Shehhi from Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi
Ideas Germany: Maik Hopfeld from Kali and Salt
Ideas America: Tom Blades from Grote Industries
Ideas Austria: Grasser Mansuet from Georg Fischer GmbH &Co KG


The winners from each country competition have now been enrolled into the global competition. The first GLOBAL WINNER will be announced at the ZENTRUM IDEAS Conference in Germany on 30th March, however we would like to take the next few weeks to highlight our country winners, so look out for the weekly updates!

Today the focus is on Richard Firmstone from RICOH UK Products Ltd

Richard is a great example of a leader who publicly supports all aspects of the suggestion scheme. His dedication to employee engagement and his support to the Ideas Manager of the scheme is second to none. Richard firmly believes that by encouraging employees to participate in the suggestions scheme, great benefits will be had by the individual and the organisation.

Richard is the senior sponsor of the scheme and has shown leadership and ownership since the start. He ensures the scheme is part of the agenda at the senior team meetings; attends the weekly review panel meetings; presents monthly awards with personal interaction with nominees and leads the Annual awards ceremony.

Richard agrees the yearly targets of the scheme and uses the monthly progress report to continue to encourage and challenge both managers and employees to continue to submit ideas, personally contacting teams if implementation is not on target and providing support where required.

Richard has ensured the targets for the team are built into the annual personal reviews for all employees to ensure there is a culture of continual improvement throughout the organisation.

The passionate support Richard has provided over many years has been essential to RICOH maintaining a successful Platinum winning suggestion scheme for 9 consecutive years.

Ricoh UK Products Ltd (RPL) was established in 1983 as the first European production subsidiary of Ricoh Company, Japan and production began in 1985 with Selenium Drum and Toner manufacturing. Office Machine (copier ) production began in May 1986 and in the years that followed our product portfolio steadily grew to include Machines Recycling, Supplies Recycling, Moulding business, Production Print machine manufacture and Production Print Services. Drum production was later transferred to a centralised production location in Japan.

In 2014, Project Darwin saw the realignment of Ricoh's European manufacturing activities, removing duplication across the European factories. For RPL this resulted in the following changes:

* The establishment of a remote annexed production site (the Ricoh European Production Centre) in the Netherlands as the centre for all Office Machine configuration across Europe
* The transfer of RPL's Supplies Recycling and Chemical Toner production activities to our sister factory Ricoh Industrie France in Colmar.
* The transfer of RIF's Toner Bottling and Moulding activities to RPL
* The acquisition of RPL Stirling (formally known as GRAM) which has added Digital Duplicator supplies to our product portfolio
* The opening of RPL's Customer Experience Centre to support Production Print business growth and development
* The introduction of Inkjet & Additive Manufacturing services

This intense period of change saw RPL transformed into a multi-site operation with a wide and varied portfolio covering all three of Ricoh's major business markets, namely'; Office Machines, Commercial Print and Industrial .


The transition process was managed smoothly with no disruption to the customer, and this in no small part was due to the high levels of employee engagement that have been fostered across the RPL sites.


Our employee engagement approaches are centred around our Ricoh Way Production System which promotes a culture within which "everyone, every day, strives to do something a bit better than they did it yesterday".


This commitment to Continuous Improvement ensures that change is seen as a normal every day business challenge and something to embrace rather than fear.




Photo Gallery 2016


30th International Conference - Hensol Castle @ The Vale Resort & Spa Cardiff, 9/10 November 2016






How does your suggestion scheme compare to the best of the best?

Achieved Silver or Gold Accreditation and looking to gain Platinum?

Already achieved Platinum and looking to ensure you retain Platinum?

Then the ideasUK Accreditation is a must have for you and your organisation!

The ideasUK Accreditation programme is the way for organisations to give both internal and external prominence to their employee innovation scheme. The Accreditation process subjects your employee innovation programme to an external assessment by ideasUK. An end to end review of the programme is carried out and guidance given on areas of strength and where to focus improvement efforts.


Based on the levels achieved organisations will be awarded a Silver, Gold or Platinum Certification, presented at our annual conference in November.


Previous winners of Platinum Certification will be awarded a supplementary number to signify the 'consecutive' years that they have maintained this level of excellence.


This year the questions have been updated and an employee engagement section added. The new questions are available for you to review on the members section of the website.


Whilst accreditation is carried out in September/October, we are now taking bookings and fixing dates. The form is available to complete on the website and can be accessed by clicking here.


Also available is a scheme 'health-check', an early scheme review prior to full accreditation. This is free to members, although for our friends in the Middle-East there will be a charge for travel and accommodation.







You can now be a part of the ideasUK community by either subscribing as a member or by signing up for individual services tailored to you.
Ideas Management      specialist Educational & Networking     events
ideasUK Toolbox Webinars
Accreditation Free awards entry

Full details of our prices and services are available to view on our Services Page.





Ask the Expert

Have you got a burning question about ideas, innovation or ideasUK? If so then please enter your details below and we will do what we can to help answer your question.


zena Cox Operations Director, ideasUK


 Zena Cox



 Operations Director ideasUK  



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