There’s no doubt that printing businesses will be hit by the current COVID-19 pandemic. So … what a printers can do? Panic? Nah. Plan? Yes. To protect your print business in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak, you need to be willing to take some precautionary measures.
So, how can printers survive the turbulent times coming ahead in 2020? There’s no easy answer; however, here are a 10 must few points to start implementing and planning at least for the next six months.
1. Take care of yourself and your staff
Implement all recommended safety measures at workplace to prevent health hazards. Prevention is better than cure
2. Prepare and review the team skill matrix
DO NOT start layoffs until unavoidable. Instead, look for opportunities for re-training or cross-functional training for those who are ready to go an extra mile and be resourceful and stick around despite challenges like pay-cuts or extra working hours. Once your business is back to normal, this will help you to do much more than earlier with the same staff. It’s hard to find competent resources, and this can be time to ensure they stay long-term.
3. Review end-to-end internal processes
Review end-to-end internal processes right from client sourcing to delivery and client servicing. Identify those that can be easily automated so that you can remove manual inefficiencies out of your system and thus reduce operational costs.
4. Assess the exiting software and systems
Assess the exiting software and systems that you already purchased and check if they have been implemented effectively. Evaluate and seek a trusted system to integrate your order entry and prepress automation so that all the software pieces work together thus creating a centralized interface for your team, and the humans can all stay in sync from wherever they office.
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Once you have right software and systems in place, then this is the ideal time to force their implementation and automate the processes to build trust in your systems. With employees working from home, everyone should be open to embrace the change in these uncertain times. Grab that opportunity.
6. Revisit your product portfolio
Do an overhaul to include new products and services that are in demand recently as a result of the pandemic e.g. floor signs, covid-19 signages and banners, personalized face masks etc. and depreciate the once that have become irrelevant currently.
Connect with your vendors, suppliers, and resellers. Discuss possible collaboration so that you can keep your machine and people busy by accepting short-run orders.
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8. Talk to your customers regularly
Talk to your customers regularly and assess their current needs. If required, partner with a 3rd party vendor to produce and deliver products that you do not produce in-house to retain your customers. Assure them of safe and uninterrupted service
9. Analyse your competitors and changes
Analyse your competitors and changes around in the industry. Keep yourself abreast of market dynamics. Do not haste in making important business decisions that can later prove fatal to your business
10. Keep a check on your finances.
No one is sure how long businesses will need to deal with current slow-down. Setup a contingency plan in place to avoid financial struggles. Take help of your financial advisor to take benefit of government initiatives to help your business sustain.
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Remain positive. Remember, print is inevitable and essential to human kind. It may change its form, but cannot vanish. If certain products may disappear, the new ones will pop-up. You may just need to re-align your business as per market demands.