TRMC releases Industry Insights Report

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The Real Media Collective has released its Industry Insights Survey 2021 to members, which highlights the significant impact of the Covid pandemic for printers, publishers, mail-houses and distributors.

Just released: Industry Insights from TRMC

The report reveals that 90 per cent of Australian businesses had been significantly impacted, with an average 55 per cent downturn, and 72 per cent having exposure to debtor related issues.

New Zealand reported 37.2 per cent downturn with 70 per cent of companies reducing their hours, and 16.7 per cent of the industry’s workforce being made redundant.

Kellie Northwood, chief executive officer, The Real Media Collective, said, “We know what we all endured last year and what we are still recovering from. This pandemic has hit the manufacturing sectors incredibly hard and none more so than the print and related industries.

“Furthermore, as a low margin to output ratio, our recovery is delayed by the recovery of our customers compared against high-margin industries. As industries such as tourism, retail and hospitality recover, our sector recovers slowly behind.

According to the TRMC report, the total Australian marketing of Fine Paper imports and locally produced grades reduced by 159,258 tones between 2013 and 2019, as an average across all grades, a figure that was matched in just one year during the pandemic.

New Zealand has remained relatively stable across lightweight coated (LWC), super-calendered (SC) and wood-free coated reels, however, wood-free coated sheets appear to have had the highest volume decline.

“Through engagement with our members, we noted many printers used house or floor stock within their factories to reduce inventory and manage slowed supply chains, as operational uncertainty and future planning was unclear. This halted orders and has impacted the import figures dramatically,” said Northwood.

Future projections indicate a slow recovery from March, however, the true impact will be determined in a more efficient recovery from 2022. TRMC is monitoring the current pulp price increases, delayed shipping pressures of paper and ink supplies, and providing insight papers for members to manage their supply chain solutions.

TRMC announced its campaign association with the Australian Made organisation last year and is pursuing its campaign with government to move off-shored print to local markets. An analysis conducted by TRMC indicates the government is responsible for $50m-80m of offshore print work and has written to all federal, state and local governments highlighting the industry’s need to have this work redirected to local manufacturing. TRMC said the initial feedback has been welcomed by Ministers and elected officials. Northwood said, “We have been pleased with the government responses confirming their policies and amended practices, they are also keen to learn about the environmental credibility of paper and print, as this was a message many were unaware of. It has been a strong educational journey as well as an opportunity to present the importance of local manufacture. We are now preparing to review the opportunity through Freedom of Information channels on the procurement practices, and look to print management models that do not point to local manufacture as a critical KPI in contract management.

“The Industry Insights reporting structure has also been valuable to assist government when understanding the challenges our industry faces, we have started this collection of metrics and now need to continue the process,” said Northwood.

Northwood said TRMC led the response for industry throughout the Covid pandemic in 2020 with Economic Stimulus Reports, Fact Sheets, Industrial Relations reform, Australia Post relaxations, and shared beyond its members to a broader industry network. While TRMC members will receive content before release to industry, TRMC has announced it will continue to share content with all of industry as a benefit to all. “Our industry has endured difficulty, like many other industries, throughout this period. Our priority is always to our members and working one on one with them to meet their needs, however, there are materials of benefit for all of industry and we will continue to advocate for all of industry and therefore share industry initiatives. Our industry must continue to invest in amplifying our key strengths, working together, communicating our effectiveness, our environmental credentials, our skills, diversity and sustainability as an industry to attract new talent. Together, we can achieve this and this commitment from the Collective will continue throughout 2021 and beyond,” concluded Northwood.

A new March survey is being released to continue tracking the COVID Impact and industry recovery – to respond to the survey please follow this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P7PWT72

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