First a global pandemic and now an unprecedented paper shortage? What else will be thrown our way and impact the bottom line of small businesses? Well, in 75-plus years in the paper business we have never seen a situation like this, but we can say F.P. Horak has solutions to get you through it!
First, what caused the paper shortage?
The paper shortage can be attributed to many factors, such as tightening capacity, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions and, of course, the pandemic. In the past year alone, we have seen the gap between capacity and demand narrow.
The narrowing gap has led to longer production lead times and unstable pricing; and experts tell us we can expect capacities to remain tight potentially into 2023.
As we continue to navigate this tumultuous time, here are FIVE tips to get your business through to the other side.
- Utilize your digital storefront. A printer suggesting you go digital? Yup, you heard right. A well-balanced omnichannel approach can defend against rising prices and help you meet your customers where they are — whether through social media, email, Google searches, billboards or even text messages. F. P. Horak has set up over 200 digital storefronts. From custom cornhole boards to financial planning and everything in between, we’ve probably created a digital storefront for it!
- Adopt a print-on-demand mindset. Much like the just-in-time delivery model we learned back in our high school econ class, a print-on-demand model allows you to print copies when they’re ordered, in shorter run lengths and in more personalized options. This is where our new XEROX Baltoro Inkjet printer really shines! This baby can print on offset papers in photographic quality.
- Become a data scientist. Nah, don’t quit your day job just yet! What you can do though is leverage platforms like a digital storefront that can report on your print usage and help you guide your planning and budgeting. If you don’t have access to one of these programs, call your F. P. Horak sales consultant to help you crunch the numbers and create a plan.
- Be flexible — about grades and finishes. To meet their customers’ needs (and, frankly, stay in business) printers are buying paper in bulk based on historic quantities. If you have a new need, it might be more difficult to fulfill. You may still be able to get the sheets you want if you can shift when you need them, which leads us to …
- Plan ahead. Finally, anticipate longer lead times. We recommend working with your F. P. Horak sales consultant from the very beginning of any project. They can help you at the outset to plan for the best, most efficient, most effective results to support your business.
The paper shortage is not the fault of any one part of the supply chain; and the current problem is global, not just isolated to the U.S. So don’t feel like you have to go it alone. Call an F. P. Horak sales consultant today. We’re here to help you!