Just like any other normal flu, COVID – 19 will soon vanish.
This myth soon got busted.
While the entire orb is disrupted by COVID-19, e-commerce giants like Amazon are re-inventing their business models. Once one-day guaranteed deliveries are now messages to consumers regarding the delays.
On the other side, the printing industry is receiving mixed responses in the wake of this dire pandemic. Most offline printing shops are experiencing less to no foot traffic, the 3-D print vendors are producing masks, gloves, and other medical supplies for deliveries.
Read this article further to know what printing industry is up to at present.
The Digital Shift
Offline Print shops are experiencing major dips in foot traffic. But this does not mean closing shops completely and wait for the situation to end. Vendors are leveraging the online space to receive orders even during the lockdown. Here are some opportunities available for printers operating offline:
If you have local warehouses, you can fulfill local orders as localized shipping doesn’t face stringent shipping restrictions or heavy costs levied by the government. Repro print express is still accepting orders online through their webshop and delivering locally. To leverage the capabilities of a webshop, they are enabling customers to customize products using the product design tool, and then place orders. A different initiative to attract buyers. For more details on this initiative you can also attend this webinar: Prepare for Tomorrow. It would cover critical aspects of the current market, helping printing businesses to navigate the change.
Due to the current restrictions, most of the print shop owners had to lay off the workers. Kevin Adams did this for the very first time since he opened j. Mack Studios over 18 years ago.
However, rather than closing it all, these vendors are designing fundraising campaigns to acknowledge health care workers serving on the front line of the virus and raise money to combat the pandemic. Taking one step at a time, they are offering t-shirts with a “Thank you” message. Now as per your area and customer demand, you can also choose your merchandise to start. Here having a website will help you get orders, and you can process and ship them as soon as it gets ready.
Another trend in the market is printing vendors offering help to small local businesses with an online shop. The Graphic Hive is supporting small businesses by setting up an online apparel store for free. So, if you think what you should do next in your local printing business, your competitors have already started. What are you waiting for?
3-D Printers – This is your time
What is the need of the hour? Masks, gloves, bio-suites, ventilators.
While the vaccination against Coronavirus yet to be discovered, all we know for now is if in a worst-case scenario I am stepping out, I need a mask before money. Because that’s what governments have ordered and is safe for the public as well. And 3-D printing industry with all its capabilities is doing its best to produce these items as much as possible.
A 3-D printing company from Sharjah increased the production of 3D printed masks, face shields to provide protection against COVIF -19 to a wider audience. Properly made face masks are believed to be 86 percent more effective in reducing the spread of coronavirus infection.
Immensa, a 3D printing company is also developing connectors for ventilators and other items for which there are shortages. Other items include spare parts for non-medical machinery that are hard to source due to disruption in the supply chain.
Accelerating Industry 4.0
The printing industry is interrelated with different industries. For example, restaurants and theatre businesses that give the most business to printers through signage, stickies, cards, etc. are hit very hard with this crisis. For example, AMC, one of the largest cinema chains in North America, already reported that it may not survive this dire pandemic. However, with this pandemic, now there is more demand for merchandise, masks, gloves, etc. So it is important to stay relevant and adapt quickly to survive.
When it comes to fulfilling demand amid social distancing, if you had a smart printing system at place, you would not need a single worker, and still, would deliver work as requested. In Industry 4.0 with concepts of dark factories, smart manufacturing, even you would need to make large investments, but those will give you tangible results for a long period.
Hence, this pandemic has not triggered industry 5.0, but it sure has brought the demand for digital workflows and automation. IoT devices offer a path to preserve your revenue streams.
The bottom line
When all you hear is negativity all around, it is harder to look at the brighter side. Adapt the industry changes and be savviest.
Because only those who adapt will survive!