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Impact of COVID-19 on print industry underlines opportunities to diversify service offerings, says Kyocera 

 Pandemic has brought about a real-life digital transformation – being prepared to evolve is key to future success

Recent figures from Quocirca have revealed that the print industry has – like many others – been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as print volumes across the majority of sectors diminish with the increase in home working. Despite these unprecedented challenges, as well as the obvious need to ensure that home workers have appropriate print and scan facilities available to them, Kyocera believes that this situation provides ample opportunity for organisations to diversify the products and services they offer, ensuring they are well-equipped to leverage the change that this pandemic has forced upon the infrastructure of  business’s with little or no preparation.

According to the research, 66% of print industry executives state that the crisis has had a significant impact on their business, with a further 3% indicating a critical impact. However, this sense of alarm is tempered by a significant degree of optimism. 79% believe that the crisis presents an opportunity to drive innovation in their products and services going forward, while 47% state that they will be bringing new products and/or services to market to adapt to the changing landscape.

Commenting on the figures from Quocirca, Rod Tonna-Barthet, CEO of Kyocera Document Solutions UK, said: “With many companies now being forced to pivot quickly from paper-based and people intensive processes to digital ones with the rapid increase in remote working, the challenge for print vendors and their channel partners will be how quickly they can expand their service offerings to serve a wide variety of customers in a time of need. Essentially, there is a real-life digital transformation taking place before our eyes, so organisations need to embrace it.

“The current situation may be of particular concern to businesses that have rested on their laurels in terms of the diversity of their products and services. But the reality is that these changes present an immediate window of opportunity for those that are prepared to innovate and evolve; these are the businesses that will be future-proofed in the long-term.”

To meet the demands of the new workplace, Quocirca’s findings have earmarked the importance of accelerating the move to services such as cloud, digital workflow and collaboration tools. For Tonna-Barthet, this underlines the importance of print providers broadening their product portfolios to encompass comprehensive services, such as managed print services, disaster recovery, business continuity, ICT, unified communications and content services.

He added: “Enabling businesses to continue operating productively, efficiently and securely is crucial, so being able to offer across-the-board solutions will inevitably pay dividends. This is even more important with the ongoing evolution in working methods that we are currently experiencing, as giving businesses access to a wider service portfolio will give print providers the edge they need to stay ahead of the competition.

Tonna-Barthet concluded: “Elements of this new digital transformation – such as more widespread home working and digitised processes – are likely to remain commonplace even after lockdown restrictions are lifted. We’re seeing a reinvention of the modern office in front of our eyes, and those print businesses that can diversify may find customers more responsive to their proposition than before. Quocirca’s research suggests that leaders in the print industry are beginning to recognise this, but only time will tell who is truly prepared to innovate and adapt.”

About Kyocera Document Solutions UK

Kyocera Document Solutions UK is a group company of Kyocera Document Solutions Inc., a global leading provider of total document solutions based in Osaka, Japan. The company’s portfolio includes reliable and eco-friendly MFPs and printers, as well as business applications and consultative services which enable customers to optimize and manage their document workflow, reaching new heights of efficiency. With professional expertise and a culture of empathetic partnership, the objective of the company is to help organisations put knowledge to work to drive change.

Kyocera Document Solutions Inc. is a core company of Kyocera Corporation, a leading supplier of semiconductor packages, industrial and automotive components, electronic devices, solar power generating systems and mobile phones. During the year ended March 31, 2019, Kyocera Corporation’s consolidated sales revenue totalled 1.62 trillion yen (approx. US$14.6 billion). Kyocera appears on the “Derwent Top 100 Global Innovators 2018-19” list by Clarivate Analytics and is ranked #655 on Forbes magazine’s 2019 “Global 2000” list of the world’s largest publicly traded companies.

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