OEM REPS OFFER INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS TO CUSHION EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON PRINT BIZ IN NIGERIA

As Printers grapple with the effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on printing businesses in Nigeria, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) Representatives in the country are now offering innovative services to cushion the effects of the global disease in the industry.

In a separate live webinar presentation on the topic: EXCEEDING CUSTOMERS’ EXPECTATIONS IN THE NEW NORMAL, the OEM Representatives who formed major Panelists in today’s video meeting in the person of Mrs. Ngozi Ukachukwu (Gific), Mr. Ramzi Debs (Skysat), Mr. Godwin Ogilo (Heidelberg), and Mr. Femi Abidoye (Xerox) all put forth smart ideas that are not only practical but mostly innovative and expected to address critical survival issues in the industry such as low volume production, production downtime, genuine consumables and spare parts, and financing options.

First to make presentation is the Managing Director of Heidelberg Nigeria Limited, Mr. Godwin Ogilo. He informed participants that Heidelberg’s equipment are already built for futuristic purposes to address issues like social distancing which the whole world is experiencing today. “For example, our 10-Colour SpeedMaster is manned by one person today because all our machines are internet enabled” and be remotely controlled, Mr. Ogilo also noted that, “at the touch of a bottom, we’re able to do remote servicing on our machines” thereby adapting to social distancing guideline of COVID-19 pandemic, then saving customers costs of onsite visit and downtime. He also noted that Heidelberg’s technical personnel are constantly trained on how to ensure their customers get more offsite, as frequency of onsite visit are minimised; “it is only when it’s absolutely necessary”, as time goes on, that Heidelberg will visit because with fully trained technicians and support from our German Headquarters when necessary, there will not be need for physical visitation to customers.

Aside fully stock genuine spare parts and consumables that are readily available, Heidelberg boss also informed participants about Heidelberg Subscription that offers a unique formula of pay as you print. “Instead of buying software outrightly, with our Subscription Model that comes with your installed machine, charges will only be on the impression you run on the machine”, thereby ensuring significantly enhanced efficiency and productivity at a price that reflects the volume customers actually produce. He however cautioned stakeholders who may want to borrow to acquire print equipment, not to seek international financing except they earn in foreign currencies.

On his part, Xerox Nigeria (XHS) General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Mr. Femi Abidoye while disclosing that Xerox Nigeria meets the needs of various segments of the Nigerian economy from Small & Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to corporates, multinationals, and Governments, assured stakeholders of his company’s wide-range of products and services designed to meet their printing needs, “no matter how big or small we provide a support solution which is right for you” he stressed.

While emphasising Xerox’s belief in adequate training of its staff (who are currently using the present lockdown to engage in webinar trainings) expected to give their customers’ peace of mind, Mr. Abidoye assured Nigerian Printers to be rest assured that XHS can be counted on to provide valued added services; “as they can rely on us to minimize downtime, maximize productivity and protect their investment” he disclosed further that, with Xerox Customer Self Help function from their online platform, issues like genuine consumable and spare parts are quickly resolved. “At the clique of a bottom, we get issues like consumables supply resolved quickly. Xerox is able to replace faulty customers’ device within 24hours”, he assured.

For OEM Representative for Konica Minolta and other reputable brands – Skysat Technologies Nigeria Limited Executive Director, Mr. Ramzi Debs used the opportunity to show participants round the company’s new, state-of-the-art, multi-storied building strategically located on the highbrow 35A, Saka Tinubu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. “With our new state-of-the-art and fantastic showroom, this is one of the things we’re doing to exceed our customers’ expectation in this new normal of COVID-19” expressed Mr. Debs as he also showed participants in and out of the building significantly highlighting the new showroom that displays wide range of Konica Minolta machines as well as other brands; state-of-art IT Department equipped with high-end, internet connection to support customers remotely especially during the pandemic, as well as fully stocked warehouse that is filled to the brim with genuine consumables and spare parts; “to support thousands of machines we have on ground across the country” emphasised Mr. Debs.

Before rounding off, Skysat boss used the opportunity to inform stakeholders of Skysat Technologies partnership with MGI to afford Nigeria Printers the advantages of using high productivity, digital jet UV varnish solutions on their printing for value-driven outcomes that give both intrinsic and economic values.

On her part, Managing Director of Gific Nigeria LTD – Mrs. Ngozi Ukachukwu informed participants that while Gific is known for her high quality but portable heat transfer machines that are designed with COVID-19 in mind; in the sense that the machines sort out the issue of social distancing; “one machine is put on a table and manned by just one person”, Gific is also exploring the option of assembling her range of machines in the country to reduce purchase cost for her customers. She noted that the cost of bringing in a container with ten machines that are fully coupled would be the same as bringing in forty machines that are going to be assembled in the country thereby saving huge cost to Printers.

Mrs. Ukachukwu also informed participants that even before COVID-19 pandemic, Gific has fully interactive and up-to-date website that has latest information to address any issue arising from the use of her machines; “we encourage you to visit our website” she enjoined while noting that her company also has series of training videos on how to use her products; “now, you don’t need to be on the road. Just connect to your system for a team video and if your system is not connected, we’ll do video call” to solve any problem.

With over 40 participants in attendance, today’s webinar also brought to fore the need for collaboration between OEM Representatives in Nigeria and Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON) where CIPPON Council Members and representative on the platform such as Sir John Onuegbulem, Pastor Sam Odimayo, Mr. Akinlabi Olawuni and Mrs. Rotimi Adeaga respectively advocated for strategic collaboration to make printing business in Nigeria profitable again as issues like accessing industry palliatives from Government/ financial institutions, print equipment financing or leasing, discounts and the likes are mutually resolved.

The webinar will be rounded off tomorrow where Printers across the country will be discussing the NEW NORMAL IN PRINT BUSINESS: RE-INVENTING YOUR PRINTING PRESS OFFERING IN THE NEW NORMAL. As usual, DCS Integrated Media boss, Pastor Tunde Obokhai will be coordinating the live webinar while Panelists will include: Alhaji Yahaya Amfani (Yaliam), Mr. Akinlabi Olawuni (Printserve), Mr. Dapo Elegbe (Whycross), Dr. (Mrs.) Falaiye (Afkar) and Mr. Akeem Adeleke (CIPPON).

Follow the link below for the concluding webinar meeting tomorrow at 11am Nigerian Time:

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