Partners need financial help as they navigate COVID-19 crisis, Quocirca study finds
Channel partners in the print industry are looking to their suppliers for financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey from market analyst firm Quocirca.
The Lowdown: The report released this week also found that layoffs in the industry have been slightly higher among channel organizations than among printer companies.
The Details: Quocirca surveyed 114 executives in the print industry during April, with 54% of the responses coming from channel organizations, followed by 26% from OEMs, and 18% from ISVs. The findings include:
> Channel help: 61% of partners said they need financial support from suppliers, an increase from 39% in a survey a month earlier. A quarter of partners (27%) also say they need personalized support from vendors, up from 9% in the first survey.
> Jobs status: Overall, 68% of respondents have not cut any jobs during the pandemic, with 7% saying they’ve laid off more than half of their employees. Among channel companies, 8% said they have laid off more than 50%. Many organizations have furloughed employees and taken advantage of government programs.
> Opportunities: Customer interest in collaboration and cloud-based digital workflow tools is growing, though 30% of respondents expect that interest in managed print services will fall.
>Market disruption: 66% said the COVID-19 crisis has significantly impacted their business, with 4% saying the impact was critical. Also, 84% said the pandemic will continue to significantly disrupt the market, though 15% said it holds opportunities.
> Recovery: 21% of respondents said they were cautiously optimistic about a return to normal in fewer than three months, though 35% expect it will take six to 12 months. Another 23% said it will take longer or don’t think it will ever be business as usual.
More details can be found here.
The Impact: The print industry already has been under pressure for several years as businesses shift away from printing documents in favor of digital options. The coronavirus outbreak has only heightened the struggles, as reflected in the survey. Two-thirds of respondents (68%) see or expect a significant decline in print volumes, with 27% expecting marginal declines. However, 54% are seeing increased demand in the healthcare sector.
There also is the need to evolve, with 66% saying they need to change their operating model and 58% planning to introduce new products or services.
The Buzz: “It is clear that as time is passing, the scale of the pandemic’s effect on business is intensifying,” Quocirca Director Louella Fernandes said. “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.”