Compassion and Innovation: Digital printing industry responds to COVID-19

Continue building on what has been learned

Today’s wide-format printers meet the industry’s need for high-quality graphics, produced at high-volume production speeds.

Today’s wide-format printers meet the industry’s need for high-quality graphics, produced at high-volume production speeds.

Roland DGA’s president and CEO, Andrew Oransky, said although the first half of 2020 brought decreased activity in every segment, “there have been some bright spots.”

Signage is one area that saw some resurgence, as businesses needed safety and general procedure signage. The new normal has also created some unique opportunities, like graduation yard signs, and some customers who produce wraps have seen a surge as many home improvement and maintenance contractors are busy right now and are upgrading their fleets. With a majority of people staying close to home, there has been a boom in renovation projects.

Oransky forecasts there will be continued softness in the market through the end of 2020. However, with businesses reopening and reimagining their deliveries, signs and graphics will continue to be in demand.

“Stay flexible, and have written plans in place for how you will pivot if there’s resurgence,” advised Oransky. “The work we’ve already done means transitions will be smoother, and operations will continue with fewer interruptions.”

He expects the adoption of web-to-print to accelerate.

“For the foreseeable future, in-person customer interactions will decrease. Luckily for the print industry, the technology to deal with this already exists,” he said.

Oransky predicts remote work is also here to stay which, for some businesses, might mean an opportunity to get a good deal on space. For others, it may mean rethinking what they already have and scaling back or subletting.

“Any shift in the commercial real estate market inevitably creates opportunities for graphics, signage, and other types of printing,” he added.

Despite the chaos and disruption brought on by COVID-19, industry manufacturers continue to work on new applications, outreach, and technology, which will create exciting business opportunities in 2021.

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Ginny Mumm is a freelance consultant for digital inkjet printer/cutter provider Roland DGA. For more information, visit www.rolanddga.com.

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