What effects are COVID-19 having to the business of barcoding and POS?

Datalogic is a global technology leader in the automatic data capture and factory automation markets, specialized in the designing and production of bar code readers, mobile computers, sensors for detection, measurement and safety, vision and laser marking systems. Their solutions are used in retail, manufacturing, transportation & logistics and the healthcare industry. Industries that, like many others, have been greatly affected by the pandemic. But can there also be positive changes coming from times like these?

We had a talk with Jennifer Pintér, Baltic and Nordic Territory Channel Manager at Datalogic, and Jesper Tørnkvist, who is Nordic Manager for Speciality* at Ingram Micro, to hear their thoughts.

As employees in your company, what has changed during COVID-19?

Jennifer: At Datalogic, we have all been encouraged to work from home. I usually travel a lot, as my territory is the Nordic and Baltic countries, so for me it has been a big change not being able to visit my partners. I miss that personal contact. But I must say, it has been working quite well, and we are getting used to a new everyday life where technology is vital.

Jesper: I have a lot of contact with our EMEA team and my feeling is that we in the Nordics were much more prepared to work from home than many other countries. Of course, people were struggling in the beginning and it took some time to get used to it, but it is as Jennifer says, it is a new everyday life that we are adapting to. However, it does demand a new kind of coaching and leadership. People have more flexibility on the one hand, but it is important not to let the workday stretch too much into one’s personal and family time.

How has your company’s business been affected?

Jennifer: Covid has had a varied effect on our sales. Certain verticals have absolutely been impacted negatively, for example when all airports, an important business area for us, virtually shut down. But on the other hand, we already from day one started seeing new business from COVID-19 related revenues. For example, the big temporary clinic that was built in Stockholm where a lot of new equipment was needed. Compared to around the world where societies all closed down, we have been able to keep our business mostly on track. Also, now when companies are realizing this is not going to end for a time, we see projects coming back. Everyone realizes that we can’t keep putting things on hold; this is the new normal.

Jesper: At Ingram we have actually seen pretty normal run rate and made our revenue number which was of course not expected since there have been no bigger projects or rollouts. There has of course been a small cost reduction due to no travelling, but we have had pretty good sales as well, despite the drop of the whole hospitality industry.

How has the product demand changed?

Jennifer: We have seen an increased demand for certain products based on features that we have always had, but that haven’t been seen as a must-have before. For example, many of our products can be cleaned with disinfectants. This is a valuable feature that usually wasn’t requested before outside of hospital environments, but now is seen as important in all spaces. Also, customers are happy to hear that it’s possible to deploy our products remotely. Finally, we see an increased demand from healthcare institutions that need long-term solutions which make their daily tasks more efficient and accurate.

Jesper: We see more opportunities coming from Covid-19 related healthcare customers. The number of products needed because of tests have increased. The demand for scanning within stores has increased and also for self-checkout within many retailers. This is a result of people not wanting to have close contact with others. Also, companies need more equipment for people to work from home, to have digital meetings.

How do you see the Barcoding-POS market changing due to COVID-19 in the future?

Jennifer: From the point of view of our retail customers, they are continuing to invest in Datalogic products and solutions which keep their customers and their associates at a healthy distance. This includes our solutions for self-checkout and self-scanning. The fewer people who need handle the products being sold in store, the better. And that is what these solutions allow. Even retailers that hadn’t looked at these types of checkout solutions before are starting to take notice.

Jesper: Yes, we already see vendors introducing new products in their product range around hand sanitizers with screens and body temperature devices as an example. And the good thing in all this is that it encourages us all to come up with new ideas and there are no big costs trying something new when it’s virtual. We can get out of our comfort zone and dare to try and miss.

Learn more about Datalogic and their products: https://www.datalogic.com/

* In Speciality we supply digital solutions from POS, scanning & printing solutions to rugged tablets and information displays for industries like: Transport & Logistics, Retail, Healthcare, Manufacturing and more. Read more (danish): https://www.ingrammicro.dk/dc-pos/