It is without question a challenging time for us all at the moment but it is pleasing to see printers going above and beyond to keep their businesses operating and continuing to serve their customers despite the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A number of printers have been actively communicating their commitment to dealing with the challenges of COVID-19 through the implementation of stringent hand-sanitising processes, allowing staff to work from home and closing down showrooms where necessary.
In the face of a reduced Australian dollar, Mediapoint, a leading wide format trade printer in Melbourne, has opted to not increase prices for trade customers and is partially absorbing these extra costs while also proactively altering production processes and workflow to help ease price pressure.
Mediapoint sales director Jamie Xuereb told Sprinter the company started planning for this when COVID-19 began to emerge in January and the Australian dollar began to dive with the end goal about keeping Media Point’s customers in business.
“It was something we saw in January when currency started dropping so we knew there was going to be a major thing coming so we thought that with being in trade we could support our trade partners by not increasing our trade prices but keeping them as they are,” Xuereb told Sprinter.
“This way our suppliers still have margin and we are not biting into their profits so they can look after their staff and their business more. That was our mentality and where we are coming from.
“To a degree we absorb a little bit but because we have that incurred cost it forced us to look at our processes and improve our flow and we found a little bit of savings by just being better at what we do.
“We are heavily production focussed so we are always looking at the little things.
“We look at how we print, how we batch our orders together, how our orders flow from printing to finishing we found a few little savings there that got our print out earlier and this led to some time savings for us which is labour.
“That’s our mentality so we try and find savings through little parts of the business. We’ve probably made thousands of little changes over the last three or four years that have led to a big result.”
Mediapoint is also limiting face to face contact with customers and sales reps and is instead opting for video chat or phone calls. There are also strict protocols in place for staff which may affect turnaround times depending on staffing levels. It has also set up a trolley system for order delivery to avoid physical contact.
Many other printers have also jumped on board.
Foxcil, a trade printer in Sydney, has adopted strict hand washing protocol and other rules around how deliveries are collected and received.
“We are effectively in lock down,” Foxcil managing director Roger Kirwan told Sprinter, adding all deliveries are received and despatched from outside the building to minimise contact with strict handwashing rules in place for all staff and limited access to visitors to the site.
“We are pretty much doing this to protect our staff and their families.”
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