Identifying your next steps in the new pandemic world

November 25, 2020
By Mark Hinder, Manager Business Development, Commercial Printing Group, Ricoh Europe By Mark Hinder, Manager Business Development, Commercial Printing Group, Ricoh Europe

As the impact of the pandemic continues and looks set to shape all our working lives for the foreseeable future, what steps should Print Service Providers (PSPs) now consider?

Many initially responded quickly with what they hoped would be a necessary, but short term, approach. They adapted to drops in market demand and pivoted towards new opportunities. This resulted in imaginative and creative applications being quickly added to existing production capabilities.

It saw enlightened print businesses work with their clients to understand their needs and develop fresh, innovative, and responsive solutions and services.It saw many supporting working from home while maintaining high quality service delivery. Now eyes are turning to the longer term outlook.

Harvard Business Review says manufacturers worldwide will be under greater political and competitive pressures to increase their domestic production and employment and reduce, or even eliminate, their dependence on sources that are perceived as risky. At the same time consumers will continue to want low prices, even if products are manufactured in higher-cost home markets. Also, unrelenting pressure will remain for operational efficiency and the frugal use of capital and manufacturing capacity.

Against this backdrop are the encouraging findings of a recent InfoTrends Analysis for Keypoint Intelligence subscribers that collected information from 350 respondents. COVID-19 First Trends & Insights During a Pandemic Year discovered print buyers have seen the relevance and effectiveness of print during a crisis. In fact, a third of print buyers increased their printing purchases to enable business stability and 50% of respondents stated they will increase their online print purchases while a further 34% are considering it. There has also been an acceleration of the trend towards consumers purchasing printed material online.

So, what should Print Service Providers do next to ensure operational stability and even growth?

They should:

  • Ideate - consider new business opportunities by encouraging all members of the company, including business owners and C-Level management, to brainstorm all ideas – no matter how strange they initially seem. For example, who would have thought that adding glue to a sticky note would have such strong appeal?
  • Create - develop the idea and understand how it can be created and transformed into a working prototype or business concept.
  • Validate – test the idea? Is the product or service needed? Does it have value and is there a large enough opportunity?

Through valuing everyone’s input, rigorously reviewing the idea and setting out a plan, the impossible becomes possible and PSPs can imagine change.

Change that enables them to adapt and create new wealth.

To help do just that we created Ricoh Business Booster – a self-help online resource programme for Ricoh production printing clients. It is full of tools, advice, guidance, business examples, case studies and templates. Watch this to learn more here.

We also just launched Ricoh Business Booster EDGE (RBB EDGE) for our clients and prospects. The consultancy service and online content and educational tool enables business development programme creation. It presents ways technology can be harnessed and adapted to address market trends and supports the effective implementation of profitable new services and value propositions. At the heart of RBB EDGE are methodologies developed in partnership with corporate innovation strategy, training, tools and software company Strategyzer.

To explore your next steps with imaginative ways to change and grow, talk to your local Ricoh representative.

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