Outlook 2021: 2020 Was a Redefining Year

Outlook 2021: 2020 Was a Redefining Year

Written by Eef de Ridder, Vice President, Commercial and Industrial Printing Group, Ricoh Europe

2020 certainly didn’t turn out the way any of us hoped or expected. I started the year looking forward to drupa and preparing for all the exciting news we were going to share and the many meetings we planned to have with valued clients and partners.

drupa wasn’t to be, along with other key industry events.

But that didn’t stop us from launching and revealing innovative systems and solutions across our portfolio including the much-anticipated preview of our Pro Z75 B2 sheetfed inkjet system.

It followed the new:

  • EDP award-winning Pro C5300 digital sheet fed colour press, ideal for the highly productive completion of affordable and versatile short-run personalised print.
  • Pro L5100e Series of extended gamut latex large format printers that allow the accurate reproduction of a wider range of Pantone and brand colours.
  • All in one Pro TF6251 hybrid flatbed UV printer that supports print production on roll-fed media, as well as rigid media.
  • Ri 2000 Direct to Garment (DTG) flagship printer that responds to the needs of the modern garment decorator for heightened productivity, best-in-class operation and ease of use.

While we could not meet in person we could deliver support and information virtually to our clients.

We created Ricoh Business Booster – a self-help online resource programme for Ricoh production printing clients. It is full of tools, advice, guidance, business examples, case studies, and templates. Watch this to learn more.

We also launched Ricoh Business Booster EDGE for our clients and prospects. The consultancy service and online content and educational tool enables business development programme creation.

While 2020 wasn’t what any of us thought it would be and the impact will continue to shape 2021, the unique moment offered Print Service Providers the opportunity to reimagine their operations.

Some took steps to adapt their offering including Cartesio Fullcard. It manufactured protective visors for Italian healthcare personnel using its Pro T7210 UV flatbed printer. Italian graphic design and print specialist Beepag also developed a range of Covid-19 signposting and messaging products with its Pro T7210 UV flatbed printer and Pro L5160 large format printer.

Others explored ways to become more versatile and agile such as DZ Bank, Germany’s second-largest commercial bank. It managed customer communication remotely, without interruption, using Hybrid Mail.

As for 2021, things have started to look like they are heading back towards some stability. Vaccines are being rolled out and businesses have become more effective at managing social distancing and adapting to local restrictions when they become necessary.

Time will tell but I don’t believe we will completely return to pre-pandemic working practices. I think operations will adopt a more flexible and agile approach that best shapes their business needs. One that might be reassessed on a more frequent basis and tweaked regularly to effectively capitalise on changing trends and emerging opportunities.

What approach will you choose to help you define your 2021? In the meantime, let me wish you a safe and Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Chris Fernando

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