Jet: 3 key Covid trends impacting industry

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Jet Technologies has revealed three key trends developing they have witnessed as a result of Covid-19, which are having an impact on, and changing the shape of, the printing industry into this year.

The company says Just in Time (JIT), global supply chain constraints, and digital printing are the key trends to have emerged from Covid.

Jack Malki, director, Jet Technologies says, “2020 was a really challenging year for so many businesses, including those in the printing and FMCG industries. There were a number of big shifts in the market, including changes in demand and challenges in the supply chain, which are having an ongoing impact as we move through 2021.

“With a vaccine starting to roll out, this year brings a more positive outlook, however, we expect many of these changes will continue into the future.”

The JIT trend in the FMCG industry, in which retailers have just the right amount of stock to fulfil orders, is not a new one. However, what Jet found new, was that throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, FMCG brands in Australia and overseas have been forced to optimise their operations and JIT because of the unprecedented spikes in demand in FMCG retail.

“With so much uncertainty about future demand, FMCG brands can no longer plan three months out and are working within drastically smaller planning windows,” says Malki.

A good example is Jet Technologies’ customer, Natures Organics, where in 2020, demand for its environmentally friendly personal care products surged 70 per cent during the pandemic.

Throughout the spike in demand, Natures Organics had to work closely with suppliers to maintain the required production and supply levels required by major grocers, retailers, and consumers.

Secondly, many printing, FMCG and other businesses in Australia were faced with supply chain challenges in 2020, most notably with the global pandemic and the US-China trade war, and these issues are ongoing.

These challenges caused Australian businesses to experience massive delays and sharp cost increase in receiving supplies from overseas due to reduced international movement of goods with less air traffic.

“These constraints have led to a rise in Australian businesses recalibrating and looking to onshore their supply chain,” Malki says.

“This means local suppliers have seen rising demand, with an example being FMCG brands switching their label, packaging and ingredient needs to local suppliers where they can.”

Finally, according to Jet, throughout the pandemic, digital printing has grown exponentially, and this is set to continue into the future. Internally, Jet’s supply volumes to its inkjet customers have more than double during this period.

“This strong performance in digital printing is down to it being more flexible and having a higher productivity rate to help turn around printing jobs faster, which is particularly important when printing labels for FMCG brands,” says Malki.

For example, according to Jet, Sticky Labels – which supplies labels to Natures Organics – was able to quickly react to individual customer needs, such as sudden surges in demand, label changes or promotions, thanks to its recent investment in digital inkjet label printing.

“Sticky Labels is able to deliver its FMCG customers high quality labels faster using the Screen GP L350UV digital label press,” Malki adds.

“The L35OUV is a reliable and flexible automated label production system, which has increased Sticky Label’s efficiency and productivity.”

The new L35OUV SAI S model is now operational within Jet Technologies’ demonstration centre in Sydney.

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