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Fujifilm customer survey finds optimistic printing industry outlook


June 25, 2020
By PrintAction Staff

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Fujifilm North America Corporation’s Graphic Systems Division has announced the results from qualitative interviews with over 1,100 customers that indicate an encouraging outlook for print service providers despite the impact of COVID-19 on many businesses.

According to the survey, 72 per cent of respondents were optimistic about a return to normal business conditions by October 2020. Of those, 32 per cent of respondents expect a return to normal business conditions in July/August 2020, while 24 per cent predict normal business conditions will return in September/October 2020.

In terms of staffing, the highest number of respondents said staffing levels remained unchanged for 36 per cent of respondents, while others reported decreases of between one and 26 per cent. Some respondents cited retention of staff and utilization of material cutting and sewing capabilities to successfully shift business to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) in an effort to support COVID-19 response. Fifty-four per cent of respondents said they applied for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or operating loans.

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Expanding the variety of production capabilities was a main point of business continuity for print service providers, according to the reported production volume impact due to COVID-19. Eighty-three per cent of respondents reported declines in production volume up to 40 per cent or more since the start of the pandemic. This figure excludes businesses deemed essential amid lockdown.

Across segments, despite shrinking business in April, there has been a significant increase in demand for consumable products in May that can be due to regions in the United States re-opening and an increased level of business activity across the country.

“The customer data points have provided us with quite a bit of insight into the market and the individual situations at each customer,” said Todd Zimmerman, division president, Fujifilm North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division. “This has helped us with our production planning to be sure we have inventory available as markets recover. We are as anxious as our customers for a return to more normal business conditions.”

The survey was completed through responses from Fujifilm North America’s Graphic Systems Division customers in the commercial, sign and display and packaging segments. Interviews were conducted between April 15 and May 15, 2020 with customers across the United States. Interviews were focused on four main topics: changes in production volume; changes in staffing levels; applications for government assistance or other operating loans; and projections regarding a return to normal business conditions.