• March 17, 2021

The unexpected pandemic changed every aspect of the business world. The OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development predicts that global GDP will grow by 5.6% this year and continue the recovery with 4% growth in 2022. These optimistic recovery predictions are based on effective vaccination rollout and ensuring lower-income countries receive adequate vaccination access.

The WHO World Health Organization reported having collected 182 RCTs randomized controlled trials studies of vaccines worldwide. Despite the intense and accelerated quest for a vaccine, the slow vaccination process and the successive waves of coronavirus variant strains have created uncertainty about the effectiveness of vaccines currently used.

Meanwhile, the Graphic Arts industry's sensitivity to this transformational experience has quickly evolved by producing suitable packaging to answer online shopping needs and environmental concerns. Also, media coverage of disturbing images of the oceans' plastic waste has created the urgency to shift to effective biodegradable materials for packaging. 

Suitable packaging to answer environmental concerns opens new business opportunities.

Under consumer pressure, large food chains are changing to sustainable packaging, such as McDonald's, which targets 2025 to 100% renewable and recyclable packaging. The same commitment Walmart pledged for its private label products.

New material developments have opened the possibilities to replace plastic with wood fibres-based materials, including film. It is easier the recycling process. One example is Finland-based company Paptic Ltd., which introduced a new material category, Paptic Gavia®, replacing plastics used for flexible packaging for food pouches. The stock combines the best features of existing materials, such as resistance and stability, printable quality like paper, and durability like non-woven films.

ProAmpac is another industry leader in global flexible packaging with a complete product range. ProAmpac brings brand owners and packaging experts together to generate fresh thinking, accelerate advanced technology and increase speed-to-market, package customization, and consumer differentiation. The PRO-EVO®, a multi-wall paper bag, opens new business opportunities.

The pandemic's impact has not been symmetrical.

The pandemic’s impact has not been symmetrical as in some industries like travel, hospitality, and live entertainment; the pandemic has been a hard lesson of survival. Meanwhile, other industry sectors, such as e-commerce, technology, manufacturing, experienced unprecedented growth during the pandemic, particularly in the packaging manufacturing sector. 

Many businesses responded to the crisis by controlling costs and reviewing business portfolios to preserve cash flow. Restructuring production facilities and streamlining processes is evidence that logistical strategic supply lines are becoming leaner and more efficient. These measures might contribute to accelerating economic recovery.

2021 Focusing on Efficiency, Process Optimization, and Waste Reduction

The reengineering trends are center stage as most companies reduce overhead expenses. The challenges posed by the pandemic demanded a complete review and overhaul of current business practices.  

Management teams depend on finding reliable technical solutions supported by talented professionals that focus on products and services. Application engineers, technicians, and tradespeople are the critical manufacturing drivers for organizations to recover and reach process excellence during these difficult times. More than ever, all efforts are focused on efficiency, process optimization, and waste reduction. That would also resolve environmental issues by reducing their ecological process footprint.

Adaptability and Resilience in the World of Black Swans and VUCA

As Prof. Middleton, former Executive Director of SEEC, explained, these events are known as Black Swans. They are the opportunity to rethink business strategies based on reliable data supported by trusted information sources. 

When these unexpected and random occurrences happen, he argues that we should examine the historical records and consider uncertainty seriously because it is the way of the world. He stresses that predictions are proven to be unreliable and inaccurate and insists on fact-checking, and recommends running risk management scenarios.

To manage in a world of Black Swans and VUCA, Prof. Middleton says, we should look outside the organization to identify the changes and discover what threatens the business globally. Rapid changes are worldwide. He emphasizes promoting a long-term vision yet adaptable in the changing world within volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity caused by these unexpected events.

Graphic Fair Events Postponed and Transformed.

The graphic arts industry started showing slow recovery signs as we entered the second year of this world pandemic. Yet, many of the well-known Graphic Events have been postponed or transformed. The latest technological developments are showcased differently as travel restrictions make it difficult for people, and organizers are uncertain when it would be safe to gather people openly. 

DRUPA was the world's largest and most influential graphic arts industry Exhibition globally. It has, without interruptions, been held periodically every four or five years in Germany for the last seventy years. This graphic industry Fair attracted millions of visitors to view live demonstrations of machinery that included digital and web printing equipment, consumables, and supporting gear for all industry segments. DRUPA organizers postponed this event until 2024.

Industry gathering will probably forever change as large corporations such as Heidelberg Druckmaschinen, Koenig & Bauer, Manroland, Bobst, Kodak, and Xerox embarked on smaller and targeted live demonstrations and introduce virtual media exhibitions. 


During the second year of the COVID-19 world pandemic, this article intended to reach the graphic arts industry company’s owners, decision-makers, professionals, or anyone undecided or doubtful about the best future capital investment options in printing equipment technologies.