Phil Madders, Managing Director, PAE Business has shared some indications of the trends from analysis the company started in early 2020. When discussing the changes, the company has seen in the market with its customers, and whether the volume of pages produced in the office will return to pre-pandemic levels, Phil discovered the following facts.
PAE Business supports and manages devices across the EMEA region, however just over 98 per cent of the page volume is in Western Europe. These volumes are managed by a wide variety of businesses within our channel of some 700 organisations. In November 2019, (PAE’s last ‘old normal’ month) monitored devices produced 1,052,845,276 pages.
Less than 6 months later by April 2020, during the first lockdown, the number of pages output had reduced by 65.7 per cent to 34.3 per cent of the November 2019 total. In November 2020, the volume had recovered and was at 86.2 per cent of the November 2019 total.
Into 2021 where we saw a resurgence of COVID-19 into the New Year and lockdowns once again emerge across Europe. The impact was immediate and in February 2021 the page volume was down to 62.3 of the November 2019 total, a short month perhaps but January was only at 63.4 per cent so definitely the pandemic affecting activity in the office.
Phil said, “the summer of 2021 saw the corporate world waking up. PAE Business returned to the office and had to get larger premises as we had grown in the period between moving to working from home and returning to the office.
“This was reflected in a steady increase in the page volumes across our base growing steadily every month except August until November 2021 when it reached the highest point in two years at 91.4 per cent of our benchmark.
“So nearly up to date and December 2021 was the month of the Omicron Variant – everyone feared the worst but thankfully it was milder than expected and the market seemed to shrug and carry on. As a result, the January and February figures were only 81 per cent and 80 per cent respectively but that is nearly 20 per cent higher than where we were in the same period 12 months earlier.
“The signs are encouraging but given the situation in Ukraine and the recent developments in Shanghai I think it would be rash to forecast where the market will be by November 2022.”