Post pandemic life

Experts have predicted new regulations and particularly new habits after the covid-19 pandemic. The Disruption experienced in this past months has caused quick policy swings like social distancing, travel restrictions and higher hygiene standard. We have also seen efforts in ensuring that the vulnerable ones in various communities are protected. Not to forget that we are already experiencing a leap in job losses due to the huge disadvantages being suffered by businesses –printing not excluded. There will be a new normal life as a fall out of this happening; in going forward those who don’t handle essential roles will begin to work from home probably for a few days per week as a new workplace behavior, it means what we call home must now begin to accommodate a comfortable work area with fast internet connection and some form of stable electricity- my prediction is that simple cost friendly work from home internet package will emerge and so will portable solar power or inverter systems to power a one table home office for about 8 hours per day… Graphic artists, typesetters, proof readers, even cost estimators will most likely begin to work from home. Hygiene will be on top of the list for many printing companies, I am guessing pets like cats will be seen in more and more factories to help keep rats away while a cleaner press room will also become the new cool. Let’s look at information sharing, during the lockdown period, everyone seems to be looking out for regular updates to help walk through the unknown season. My personal opinion is that there will be a place for trustworthy and authentic updates and information to help navigate through the unknown in going forward. I also personally think some people should get creative on how to convert the methods in which “fake news” have been striving and use them positively over the social media space. And before we drop this point, we obviously need a new array of data scientists to help gather and analyze data.

The first point is actually to gather real authentic data which at the moment is missing in the loop of data enhanced decision making process. The post pandemic life will not only be one of behavioral change but also one of SHIFT! I am of the opinion that we will see accelerated behavioral changes in our various printing sectors. For instance we are beginning to feel that some developed countries will think of moving part of their production out of china. My million dollar question is how can Nigeria position to become a production hub for the whole of Africa? I am afraid we have plenty reasons why this might not happen but again we never say never. Below are a few shift that I foresee but don’t quote me on them; 1. Regulations: Please be careful as government is bound to modify some laws and regulations. For instance never was a governor able to shut air border as the airport is an exclusive beat of the Federal government, but we saw what happened in Port Harcourt. We also saw how social distancing violation became a criminal offense in a short while. In my opinion some regulations that printers should watch out for will bother around hygiene and travel restriction. 2. Economy: Nigeria printers already had limited access to capital but I foresee a shift that will come in terms of rescue loans and intervention. For the industry to benefit we need to more than ever articulate our position to speak with one voice. Government will need to know our numbers and understand how we create employment to positively add to the overall economy of Nigeria. 3. Industry dynamics: I am predicting that it will be a time to look inward, supply chain disruption needs to be rebuilt, and the industry will start to appreciate its entire value chain. For instance those who print for the food processing market will appreciate those producing craft paper, and they in turn will appreciate waste collectors as waste paper is a great input for the chain and might also be the weakest link if proper logistic is not put in place. I also foresee diversification, cooperation and strategic partnerships. The industry is also in need of where to turn to for accurate information, so I foresee a new kind of information technology space for the printing industry, apps will link buyers to sellers, apps will connect the entire value chain and also take over our print marketing and production departments. Does this mean job cuts? I will say it means an expanded value chain. 4. People and Technology: There are a few factors that drive technological advancement and one of such factor is people’s need per time. I foresee technological switch tending towards every day needs (labels, packaging, clothing, to take care of beauty essential products, drugs, food and beverages, fashion industry etc), another will tend towards literacy, news and informative. Allow me to further understand the trend and do a totally different write up on this in the near future. Let me close on my feeling about the coming new life. It will be a life where we will define our strategies based on extreme short term, it will be a life where business owner must become offensive and ready to take fast decisions to survive each stage of the world’s economic comeback. The new economy will come with new growth opportunities, printers must be very open minded, I foresee a hike in the need for 3D printing for research, analysis, training and adverts. Finally, it is time to invest in Research and Development. The world is getting innovative so should printers –The questions we ask must drive us daily to superb R&D. Can we produce inks locally? Can we produce cotton yarns? Can we initiate DIY equipment’s? What about an impact assessment? Or creating a funnel of new opportunities? Isn’t Technical education a must to implement the outcomes of our researches? Time has started ticking! Thoughts from: Akin Oduwole CE @ Technology Global

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