Modeling COVID-19’s Impact on Office Print Volume

Reduced Printing by Vertical Sector Caused by the Coronavirus



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Keypoint Intelligence is actively measuring the potential impact of COVID-19 on U.S. office print volume. By looking at the various vertical industry sectors and their contribution to office printing, we have estimated the best- and worst-case effects on print. The two main variables that 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 affected across vertical and total printing.


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

  • Retail trade
  • Accommodation & food services
  • Arts & entertainment

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


Modestly impacted industries for job loss include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation & warehousing
  • Administration & waste services
  • Construction
  • Other services
  • Real estate & rental
  • Financial & insurance

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


Working 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 changed the most by working at home are:

  • Education
  • Professional services
  • Information
  • Management of companies
  • Manufacturing
  • Other services
  • 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 to 47 billion pages.


When we total all the best- and worst-case impacts from job loss and work at home for an assumed two-month lockdown, the effect on the 2020 total US print volume under a most likely case will be the loss of about 80 billion pages out of 837 billion, or approximately 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 coronavirus 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. 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 the impact 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!


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