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    Message of the Week 07 - 11 December 2020

    Week 50
    paper with writing on it and an arrow gesture

    Reflecting on 2020

    In preparation for writing a meaningful year end message, I look back at previous messages and was struck by the 2017 letter in which I said:- “Every year, most of us wish for prosperity and peace. This year, I wish that everyone finds some time to rest, relax and recuperate after an “interesting” 2017”.

    I think it’s safe to say that nobody saw 2020 coming and it has been far more ‘interesting’ than 2017 was! What started as a year with the usual assortment of business challenges, and news of a virus percolating in distant China, quickly became a global pandemic that forced us to adapt very quickly.

    It made me realise again how important our traditional MFP business is with the associated annuity revenue it brings. It’s a part of our business that needs to remain strong to carry us through tough times.

    We collectively need to add to this area of business, as well as to develop additional revenue streams, hence the drive to add complimentary services to our traditional core with regards to other products and ICT services.

    The message from Japan in 2019 and 2020 was “Change”, while the message for 2021 is “Change More”. And with more change comes more opportunity:

    • There has been a dramatic rise in digitisation/digital transformation in almost every sector of business as a result of COVID-19, which offers opportunities such as digital signing of documents. At KDZA we went, within a week, from 40% paper signing to 100% digital signing.
    • Electronic signatures became a lifeline to many industries, enabling businesses to enter into and conclude transactions and agreements at a time when physical meetings were discouraged, or forbidden, due to lockdown restrictions.
    • This year, we entered a new space in production printing by adding the TASKalfa Pro 15000c to our traditional business. Everybody is encouraged to look at these exciting new opportunities in production print.
    • Next year, we will introduce new and exciting A4 and A3 devices… Watch this space!

    COVID-19 has allowed us to realise that change is inevitable. I expect a lot more over the next couple of years and believe that to thrive we need to be ready and receptive to even more change. 

    On a personal note, I wish you all a peaceful and happy year end. All things considered, I hope that there is the opportunity to spend time with loved ones and if we can’t, at least many of us have learned the art of connecting remotely. I will be reflecting on all that we have learnt this year and I encourage you to do the same.

    Thank you one-and-all for your tenacity, resilience, determination and hard work through 2020. It’s been a tough one, but we’ve grown stronger, more flexible and truly realised the value of our family, friends and colleagues – traits I believe will help us grow and prosper over the longer term.

    Stay safe, stay strong. 

    Werner Engelbrecht - General Manager - KYOCERA Document Solutions South Africa

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