Covid-19 Impacting the Printing Industry: Curb the Slowdown and be Future Ready

The covid-19 outbreak in China and its subsequent spread in Europe, the Middle East and the rest of the world have brought massive economic slowdown and printing businesses are no exception.

With back to back cancellation of the world’s leading print exhibitions, there is a lot of uncertainty and panic within an industry that is traditionally run through interactions and collaboration.


In past decades, globalization in the printing industry has opened up many doors for print service providers to expand their business. The world has now become a center-stage for anyone to grow and serve a worldwide clientele through a network of partners and vendors. Still, many printing companies resort to the traditional way of conducting business offline, where most of the deals are closed in-person. But, Covid-19 have frozen the movement within the industry, as exhibitions are being cancelled, offices and production facilities are getting temporarily shut, global shipments are stuck amid chaos and finances are stand still with fewer payouts.

Somehow, the current situation has made business owners realize that world economies are inter-twined and any natural calamity, health hazard or economic crisis in one country can impact businesses world-wide and its repercussions can spread over months or longer.

During one of our recent sales staff meeting, we have notices that in last 4 weeks, there is almost 40% rise in our prospects intending to implement an online printing store before Q1 ends. The most common reason of being that the slowdown has deeply impacted their offline sales because that is majorly driven by in-person client meetings, in-store orders and major deals coming in from deals executed during exhibitions. And many print service providers are now realizing that, amid such global crisis how important it is to equip their business with omni-channel customer acquisition and client servicing. Printing businesses now getting ready to collaborate online and maintain the spirit of the business.

All of us can follow the strategies listed below to curb the slowdown and be future-ready.

Keep Safe

Take steps to prevent worker exposure to COVID-19. Follow the safety instructions and implement all workplace safety measures like limiting business travel to corona hit areas, mandatory masks for all staff members, use of hand sanitizer and thorough hand-washing by employees, regular health check-ups and monitoring etc. It said that prevention is better than cure, and protecting your staff from the deadly daemon is your responsibility.

For more information, please refer:  Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19

Communicate with Your Staff and Stay Connected

In case you have shut down your premises temporarily, stay connected with your team over e-mails, calls and video conferences. The team that stays connected stays together.

Have Risk Mitigation Plan In-place

No one can predict how soon we’ll overcome the crisis and the aftermath can be disastrous to many businesses. So, plan ahead, communicate with your staff about possible pay-cuts or payroll delays and convince your customers to keep hold of your current contracts and future deals. Continue your operations remotely and mitigate the risk as much as possible by online collaboration and coordination.

Be Future Ready

In general, key decision-makers do not invest time in understanding what it takes to plan for disruptions until they are in one. Use the downtime to review and revive your business strategy. Have a plan in place to invest your money and resources to make your business future-ready and resistant to external factors. Train your staff to work remotely in emergencies and created an approach that’s centered around the customers both in-store and online and creates a single customer experience across your brand by unifying sales, support, and marketing that accounts for the spillover between different channels. Try different print commerce and web-to-print solutions out there and choose one that supports setting up both, online stores and offline sales with POS integration or order creation from back-end and offers integrated workflow management to help your sales, support and marketing teams to collaborate centrally through the system.

In China, for example, while consumer demand is down, it has not disappeared—people have dramatically shifted toward online shopping for all types of goods, including food and product delivery. Companies should invest in online and set up a good web-to-print solution as part of their push for omnichannel distribution.

Review and Revise Your Plan Regularly

Stay updated. Follow the news and day-to-day developments in your industry. If required, review and tailor your plan regularly until the economy is back to normal and businesses start recuperating from the impact.

Stay Healthy, Stay Safe. Keep Printing!


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