Domino Printing helps customers to meet business challenges during COVID-19

June 18, 2020

A Cambridge company is supporting its global customer base by responding to rapidly emerging needs – as companies are required to adapt their business models and to ramp up production to meet spikes in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Domino Printing is enabling customers in the food service and hospitality industries to change their offering in order to continue to trade and also to help manufacturers in the food and beverage, and e-commerce sectors to handle a major upturn in business.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Bar Hill-based company has seen a significant rise in customer demand for its printing equipment, inks, consumables, spares and service support from manufacturers in key sectors. This is to comply with Government and industry regulations and print date and batch/traceability codes onto individual products, cases and pallets.

Many food providers whose pre-COVID-19 focus was supplying restaurants, pubs and cafés have switched to direct-to-home orders, with some providing home delivery services or setting up temporary supermarkets. Cafés, pubs and restaurants have also adapted to offer takeaways for collection or delivery for the very first time.

This has led to Domino customer Crown Labels Mfg Co Ltd in Rotherham, experiencing a large increase in urgent requests for self-adhesive labels for takeaway food packaging from local restaurants that previously only catered for on-site diners.

“With eat-in restaurants forced to close, several food service providers have started offering takeaway and delivery services to keep things running while restrictions are in place, and meet local demand for foodservice delivery,” said Tom Hardy, Managing Director at Crown Labels.

“For many businesses, this is completely new territory, and spreading brand awareness, and encouraging customer feedback is imperative. We have fulfilled several orders for packaging labels embedded with QR codes, to help encourage customers to share their experience, and promote services online.”

The challenge is not unique to food service. Crown Labels also fulfilled an urgent order for City Grab, a new venture from Sheffield City Taxis, which have switched from transporting people to transporting takeaway food and produce from local shops directly to people’s homes, using labels to promote their brand on the packaging.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on food and beverage markets, with a sustained increase in demand brought about by more people eating at home. In the UK, it is estimated that approximately 500 million more in-home meals have been consumed per week during the lockdown period.

Online shopping, or e-commerce, is another market which has experienced a dramatic change in demand during lockdown, with disposable gloves, bread machines, weight training equipment, home desks and home hair colourants topping the list of most popular online purchases.

Gary Peterson, Account Manager for Variable Data Solutions for Domino Digital Printing, says: “Many of our e-commerce customers use our digital printing presses to produce pre-printed variable data labels for logistics, to enable products to be tracked throughout a company’s supply chain up until the point of delivery – and also to enable customers to return products.

“The number of people buying products online has increased dramatically, and our customers are now having to respond by producing more variable data labels.”

Rachel Hurst, Chief Operating Officer at Domino, concludes: “Our biggest contribution has been keeping supply chains moving, and ensuring that we can continue to service customers working in key industries and supply them with the service and support that they need to produce essential items during the current time.”

Throughout, safety of staff working on the frontline is of paramount importance as Carl Haycock, Operations Director and Global Head of Health and Safety and Manufacturing Excellence at Domino, explains. He says: “In order to continue production in the UK, Domino’s operations staff have carried out COVID-19 risk assessments across all sites, to ensure that all manufacturing processes can be carried out in line with new Government regulations.

“We have worked hard to prepare an environment where our staff can work safely, with control measures in place to further protect staff where social distancing is not possible including protective screens and access to PPE.

“By adjusting our operations in line with Government advice, and ensuring that worker safety remains a key priority, we can be instrumental in helping manufacturers to maintain production and ensure a steady supply of all products needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.”