Fujifilm Customer Interviews Show Encouraging Print Service Industry Outlook
June 16, 2020
Despite the Pandemic, Optimism Increases Over Return to Normal Business Conditions by Fall
Hanover Park, Ill. – FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division, announced results from qualitative interviews with more than 1,100 customers indicating an encouraging outlook for print service providers despite the recent COVID-19 impact on many commercial businesses.
Encouragingly, the highest number of responses (32%) projected a return to normal business conditions in the July/August 2020 time frame and 24% projected a return to normal business conditions in September/October 2020. Overall, a combined total of 72% of the customers expressed optimism about a return to normal business conditions by October.
In regard to staffing, the highest number of respondents said staffing levels remained unchanged for 36% of respondents, while some accounts reported decreases of between 1% and 26%. Some respondents reported retention of staff and utilization of material cutting and sewing capabilities to successfully shift business priorities and produce personal protective equipment (PPE) to support COVID-19 response. A significant number of customers (54%) reported applying for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or operating loans.
Expanding the variety of production capabilities was key to business continuity plans for print service providers, as the reported production volume impact from COVID-19 was significant, with 83% of the respondents reporting declines in production volume up to 40% or more since the start of the pandemic. This statistic excludes businesses deemed essential during the shutdown, including news/print media, whose performance remained flat during this time.
Across segments, despite lower order intake in April, there has been a significant increase in demand for consumable products in May that correlate closely with 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.”
Methodology Behind the Questionnaire
FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division interviewed its print service provider customers from the commercial, sign and display, and packaging segments. Since many operations today serve more than one market, and do more than one type of printing, the customer interviews uncovered insights regarding each of the three market segments. The interviews were conducted between April 15 and May 15, 2020 with Fujifilm Graphic Systems customers across the United States. The majority of the interviews were conducted with companies that defined themselves as commercial printers followed by sign and display printers and packaging printers.
Interviews with customers were centered on four main topics:
- Changes in production volume
- Changes in staffing levels
- Applications for government Paycheck Protection Program assistance or other operating loans
- Projections regarding a return to normal business conditions
For additional information on FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division, go to www.fujifilm.com/us/en/about/region/affiliates/graphic-systems.
FUJIFILM North America Corporation, a marketing subsidiary of FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation, consists of five operating divisions and one subsidiary company. The Imaging Division provides consumer and commercial photographic products and services, including: photographic paper; digital printing equipment, along with service and support; personalized photo products; film; one-time-use cameras; and the popular INSTAX™ line of instant cameras and accessories. The Electronic Imaging Division markets consumer digital cameras, lenses, and content creation solutions, and the Graphic Systems Division supplies products and services to the graphic printing industry. The Optical Devices Division provides optical lenses for the broadcast, cinematography, closed circuit television, videography and industrial markets, and also markets binoculars and other optical imaging solutions. The Industrial and Corporate New Business Development Division delivers new products derived from Fujifilm technologies. FUJIFILM Canada Inc. sells and markets a range of FUJIFILM products and services in Canada.
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FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, brings cutting edge solutions to a broad range of global industries by leveraging its depth of knowledge and fundamental technologies developed in its relentless pursuit of innovation. Its proprietary core technologies contribute to the various fields including healthcare, graphic systems, highly functional materials, optical devices, digital imaging and document products. These products and services are based on its extensive portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic and imaging technologies. For the year ended March 31, 2020, the company had global revenues of $21 billion, at an exchange rate of 109 yen to the dollar. Fujifilm is committed to responsible environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit: www.fujifilmholdings.com.
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