Suppliers Rally to Support Bushfire Businesses08-Jan-2020
The industry’s suppliers are rallying to help bushfire-affected businesses, with a growing number of leading companies announcing special offers and assistance. Visual Connections, the premier suppliers' association for the print, sign, display, label and packaging sectors, says its members are keen to assist, and have been quick to respond to the association's call for a central register of resources for affected businesses.
"Our sector, like Australians more broadly, are known for the way they respond in times of crisis and, since reaching out in early January to our members, many companies have advised us of the initiatives they are introducing to help businesses affected by this unfolding disaster, while many more have indicated that they are finalising their plans," Visual Connections' CEO, Peter Harper, said today.
“We will coordinate a list of offers from our members, the industry's suppliers, and will host that information on our website, updating it regularly as new information comes to hand.”
Further, Harper says the association itself has swung into action to assist.
"In the immediate aftermath of the bushfires, we know that there will be many industry businesses which have either had their facilities lost or damaged, have interruptions to power and supply, or whose staff are otherwise occupied on more critical matters, and we stand ready to help them navigate through this difficult time.
“Working with our members, trade printers and trade sign suppliers, Visual Connections will help to organise - and, if necessary, cover the cost of - 'bridging' production, to ensure all affected businesses can produce their current contracted orders,” he announced.
Early in January, Ricoh Australia announced an internal fundraising initiative, with the company promising to match its staff's donations dollar-for-dollar for the whole of January. Already, the initiative has raised $23,187 with two days to go, with funds raised to be shared between the Red Cross and WIRES.
Further to that, and Simon Lane, Country Manager - Commercial & Industrial for Ricoh Australia said the company continues to work to determine exactly what is required by those impacted, and how Ricoh might help further, saying they stand ready to do 'whatever it takes' to assist any customers impacted by the fires.
"We always prioritise insurance claims, so we'll definitely be doing that, and can also fast-track supplies and consumables if that's what required," he says. "As our dealers have come back from their Christmas break, we've been working with them to identify what any affected customers might need, so that we can formulate our specific response. Meanwhile, if there is anything we can do for any impacted business, I'd encourage them to give us a call on 13 RICOH (13 74264)."
Trotec Australia has recognised the work of the fire services, making a $20,000 donation to the NSW Rural Fire Services, the Victorian Country Fire Authority and the South Australian Country Fire Service. "We are forever indebted to you," the company said in a statement, which also announced the allocation of an additional $10,000 to help customers whose businesses have been impacted by the bushfire emergency. Full details can be found here, but customers affected are encouraged to contact their local Trotec office on 1300 876 832 or to email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
"The crisis is affecting an unprecedented number of people and wildlife and is striking the hearts of those witnessing it, bothat home and abroad," the company said in the statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected and continue to face the horrific bushfires. We wish everyone safety during this incredibly difficult time."
Konica Minolta says its people are keen to help communities get back on their feet through Konica Minolta's workplace giving Bushfire Appeal, and that the company will match their donations to the tune of $10,000. This is in response to its regular matched giving program. In addition, Managing Director David Cooke announced a special 'state of emergency' leave provision to help those actively working in bushfire areas. This will provide up to two weeks paid volunteer leave for staff who are volunteering with emergency services.
"As we continue to read about the short and long term effects of the devestating bushfires still burning around our beautiful country, it makes us realise even more how connected we all are to each other and our planet," the company's statement said. "Our thoughts are with all of the people and animals who have been affected, and we'll continue to work with our employees, our customers and communities to do what we can to help." Read the full statement here.
Mimaki Australia responded quickly to the crisis with General Manager Tomomitsu Harada saying the company was committed to helping all affected customers and end users. The company is making its showroom equipment available as a back-up production facility with subsidised ink supply, has special offers for loan equipment, service, labour and parts, and will prioritise equipment orders placed on insurance claims. Full details of the offer can be found here. The company is also ready to respond to other requirements, Harada says.
"If you have been affected by the bushfires, just contact your dealer or one of our Mimaki staff on 02 8036 4500 or e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We very much hope businesses will recover more quickly than expected and look forward to helping as many of our customers as need it.”
Russell Cavenagh, General Manager of Mutoh Australia has also opened the doors of his company's showroom and resources to offer a free trade printing service to affected businesses while they get back on their feet.
"If your business has been impacted by the fires, send the work to us at email@example.com or - if you're able - you are welcome to come in to use our UV and EcoSolvent equipment at our showroom in Artarmon, Sydney," he said. Contact Russell on 0478 038 042 to set up a visit or for any questions.
Jetmark was also quick to respond, with a $10,000 donation to the Rapid Relief Team and has also made 100 cash cards to the value of $250 each, available to affected businesses on application to firstname.lastname@example.org, Fuji Xerox Australia has made a similar donation to the Red Cross as an initial response, while Multicam's Stephen Heusz says it is reaching out to affected clients and offering priority service to businesses as required.
Durst has also confirmed its ongoing support for customers caught up in the crisis, saying that any affected business should contact their Durst representative directly to discuss their specific requirements. "We fully support the efforts of all the emergency services, wildlife , community and business support organisations," said Durst Oceania MD Matt Ashman. "To all our customer partners and the wider industry, we are here ready to support you if you are facing challenges to keep your business running because of this awful tragedy."
Roland DG has an existing Disaster Support Program, and the company's Product and Marketing Manager, Greg Stone, says the company is keen to assist where it can. "One way we can help businesses is to provide, at no cost, call-out fees and labour to review and inspect Roland equipment which has been damaged directly by the fires, or the resulting power outages," he says. "The Roland DG Care team can provide condition reports for any insurance claim requirements and for equipment requiring repair service work, spare parts will be supplied under special rates," he announced, saying the company will be scheduling service runs in the affected areas as soon as it's safe to do so." Full details of the company's response can be found here.
In the meantime, Stone says affected businesses should contact the company directly for full details of support initiatives, to register for the special service runs, or with any questions. They can be contacted directly on 1800-500-119, through the website booking form or via email at email@example.com. "We will also endeavour to help find additional ways to assist customers directly affected, so we'd urge customers who are directly affected to contact our team for more information on how we can help get their businesses back up and running," he added. "Our staff will be more than willing to assist."
To keep up with the latest offers from the industry's suppliers, watch this space. Updates will also be provided on our social media channels:
More to come...