What challenging times we are living through! As the Covid-19 lockdown continues, this global crisis knows no borders and has hit businesses and personal lives right across the World.
I’m pleased to tell you that we are all well here at Mellow Colour and we have adapted our working practises to suit the current challenges. We are also continuing to support our clients across the globe as we fight our way through this situation.
Across our customer base we see a mixture of fortunes. In the Packaging & Labels sector clients are super busy supporting the food and drinks industries. Their main challenges seem to be getting more work out of the door using fewer personnel as staffing levels get affected by Coronavirus.
The challenges are somewhat different for Commercial Print where demand for printed publications in some areas has greatly reduced and for some it is a case of ‘battening down the hatches’ until this viral storm passes.
A different World
The challenge for businesses is adapting and coping in a World that has drastically changed, maybe forever! Remote meeting and collaboration platforms are not just fashionable but have become a necessity.
I think that Prince William, speaking on BBC News recently summed it up quite well. He hopes that, once the pandemic eases, businesses will choose to hold more meetings by video, rather than face-to-face.
"I've always thought that was lunacy, really… Why on Earth we do that when we've got the technology nowadays to do things? Why don't we conduct more business at home?" He also thinks a reduction in travel around the world will have made a "huge difference" to the environment.
A recent Guardian article looked at the longer-term implications of remote working. It said, “Those sorts of investments (in digital platforms) have prompted many to wonder if companies that embrace remote working in a crisis may find it sticks around as normality returns.”
Benefits of remote
We mirror this view here at Mellow Colour and have incorporated this into our Print Quality Management methodologies.
For instance, our clever technical team has developed online, intuitive training sessions for clients. We have also looked at ways to carry out print site audits remotely so that brands and printers alike can continue to benefit from the ‘Continuous Improvement’ principles that we instil in the supply chain.
One of our larger partners told us recently that they have adapted their systems to allow for over 50% of their 300+ staff to continue their vital design and prepress tasks from their homes. Working remotely could well be the new norm and we continue to promote and garner interest in our intuitive ImpressionProof system.
The aim of the system is to reduce the costs and environmental impact associated with travel for press passes. Some brands also require pass sheets to be couriered to a central checking station and ImpressionProof aims to replace this old-fashioned approval system and its associated costs.
Our approach is to take the print approval process online - that decreases decision making times and reduces time to market. During one of our online demonstrations yesterday we explained the benefits of eliminating a physical press-pass.
Using ImpressionProof in conjunction with the expertise of the press-room staff is a great way to generate a discussion around the level of quality of print that is coming live off the press.
The ‘approver’ is sitting in the comfort of his own office/home - no early morning starts, motorway chaos, flight disruptions, CO2 emissions, taxi to the print plant, waiting for a press to make-ready, etc., etc.
As you can imagine, there is great expense involved in press-passing – travel, hotel and subsistence costs, the inordinate amount of people’s valuable time as well as the environmental impacts of flights and car journeys. Whilst some extremely critical colour jobs may always need an eye cast upon them, the majority don’t – all that’s needed is a trusted printer, the right measuring technology and a handy collaboration platform.
Charles Towers-Clark writing for Forbes stated that, “Digital transformation should progress off the back of a global pandemic. Most importantly, this could be the wakeup call that many businesses need to change their working practices...”