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Vendors need to act

The print industry channel has made it clear that more support is needed from vendors if the channel is to weather the COVID-19 storm. Respondents to the second edition of Quocirca’s study into the impact that coronavirus is having on the print sector were clear in their views on the need for vendors to act, with one participant saying that suppliers need to recognise what is going on at the coal face.

61% of channel businesses would now like financial support from vendors – up from 39% two weeks earlier. It is not just financial support that partners need. Demand for personalised guidance from vendors has risen to 27% from 9% in the first survey.

Respondents recognise that enforced changes to working practices are likely to drive permanent change in the market. One respondent noted: “Print is no longer relevant to businesses. The crisis has accelerated the exit from hybrid document process to digital workflows.”

However, it seems the sector’s ingenuity is still going strong, as 58% now plan to introduce new products and services to market to meet anticipated post-pandemic demand (up from 47%). Similarly, 77% see opportunities to drive innovation within their business.

Quocirca Director, Louella Fernandes, said: “It is clear that, as time is passing, the scale of the pandemic’s effect on business is intensifying. We are seeing positive signs that channel partners are prepared to adapt their strategies and innovate to try to mitigate the effects of the situation, but also that they need help from vendors to do this. We have seen some vendors detailing support plans, but channel partners will be looking for more to lend their support before the worst is past.”