Modeling Covid-19’s Impact on Office Print Volume

April 1, 2020

Keypoint Intelligence is actively measuring the potential impact of Covid-19 on US office print volume.  By looking at the various vertical industry sectors and their contribution to office printing, we have estimated best case and worst-case impacts on print. The two main variables which we regard as critical to estimating print reductions are:  job losses by vertical and print loss from working at home. The model currently assumes a two-month impact which may prove to be optimistic.

However, given that two-month assumption, we can see how printing will be impacted across vertical and total printing.

We expect that the hardest hit verticals in terms of job loss are:

  • Retail Trade
  • Accommodation and Food Services
  • Arts and Entertainment

Best- and worst-case impact from those three verticals are the elimination of from 12 to 24 billion pages from total US office print volume.

Modestly impacted industries for job loss include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Trans & Warehousing
  • Administration & Waste Svc
  • Construction
  • Other Svc
  • Real Estate & Rental
  • Financial & Insurance

For these industries, print reductions from job loss range from 15 to 21 billion prints for 2020.

Work at home will also impact printing. While some printing for optional purposes will continue, printing that may have been required by a business process may have to quickly move to digital. The verticals that are most impacted by work at home are:

  • Education
  • Professional Svc
  • Information
  • Management of Companies
  • Manufacturing
  • Other Svc
  • Financial & Insurance
  • Real Estate & Rental    

Best- and worst-case estimates for lost print due to working at home for the above verticals are from 24 billion to 47 billion pages.

When we total all of the best and worst case impacts from job loss and work at home, for an assumed two month lockdown, the impact on the 2020 total US Print volume under a most likely case will be the loss of about 80 million pages out of 837 billion. Almost 10%.

As the histogram below shows, at about 50% confidence, the top of the curve, 80 billion pages will be lost in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Confidence is 95% that we will lose at least 71 billion pages and at 5% confidence, we could lose 90 billion pages versus what would have been printed had the Covid-19 pandemic never happened.

Probable Loss of Office Prints for a Two-month Lockdown

Keypoint Intelligence is continuing to analyze the impact of Covid-19 as the pandemic progresses and this kind of analysis will be updated and incorporated into our forecast for print and the need for hardware as time progresses. Further analysis will need to include impacts into 2021 and as data comes in there will be estimates on the extent to which Covid-19 creates permanent changes in print behaviors.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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