Across the relentless vaccination efforts and pandemic-induced economic recession, none will deny the impact Covid-19 had on the world that has cemented itself in the annals of history as one of the most globally disruptive viruses of the 21st century. In fact, despite it being over a year since the initial appearance of the virus, we have yet to eradicate the problem and still continue to endure with health restrictions and protocols to guarantee our safety today.
As a result, vast industries from different sectors of business had no other choice but to pivot and reallocate all their resources into speedy digital transformation, given that physical branches, stores, and the iconic work floor had to be evacuated during the lockdown. However, one industry that doesn’t get featured in headlines is the commercial painting industry, a sector that has managed to grapple with economic turbulence caused by COVID-19 and seemingly coming out as the victor of the bout.
Digital Transformation Across the Value Chain
As simple as the name suggests, the commercial & industrial painting industry has since long intended for digital transformation across its overall value chain activities, allowing it to pivot seamlessly when the sudden shift in market momentum occurred in 2020. And while it wasn’t alone in the notion of digitalizing its business operations, the industry was advantageously positioned to benefit lucratively from technological advancements.
- Process and Manufacturing Automation: Firstly, as far as the processing and manufacturing for top-quality industrial paint coatings reach, the introduction of automation has been welcomed with open arms. Work floors now require fewer hands on mechanical work and shifted to overseeing operations now replaced with robotics and artificial intelligence. As a result, cost-efficiency has increased because the common denominator in driving work capacity now relied on innovations in software programming and technical output.
- Increased Connectivity and Accessibility: Secondly, digital transformation has also enabled better connectivity and accessibility for businesses to monitor their systems and equipment without having to be inside the physical space. For example, wireless digital handheld devices allow teams to survey the real-time availability, performance, and quality of their equipment from a remote workspace. And given this transformation, employees don’t have to worry about breaking health protocols when engaging in any work-related activities.
- Data Analytics for Industrial Chemical Research: Thirdly, the application of artificial intelligence has enabled faster and more accurate data analytics in the field of industrial chemical research and development. It goes without saying that the commercial painting industry works with complex businesses that require specific needs that typical coatings would not satisfy. However, with the installation of supercomputers and the technical capacity of artificial intelligence, analyzing the required compounds on a project basis has been integrated perfectly into many operations.
- Expansive Collaboration and Distribution Channels: Last but not least, one of the most impactful benefits provided by digital transformation is the now expansive collaboration and distribution channels available to the industry. Before, all deals and agreements were done face-to-face, given the nature of the work required; however, with e-commerce growing steadily, migrating to a digital platform has helped both B2C and B2B fronts. As a result, more and more commercial painting businesses have been able to establish themselves and create valuable partnerships with businesses from across the world.
Global Economic Stressors Remain at Large
Of course, despite the advantages mentioned above, the commercial painting industry is no exception to the global economic stressors that remain at large to this present day. And while they are in far more favorable circumstances, these stressors still pose a threat to their sustainable growth and performance.
- Supply Chain Constraints and Issues Persist: Although economic recovery has shed some light in recent months, prevalent supply chain constraints and issues continue to persist and hamper the ability of industries to create value. And with the global chip shortage now siphoning off the smartphone market, the magnifying pressures will also reflect in the prices of procuring chips for industrial equipment, such as those utilized for automation.
- Looming Uncertainty Toward Economic Performance: While financial analysts and forecasts will have varying opinions on whether a bullish run or a bearish market awaits us in the future. All can agree that looming uncertainty toward global economic performance remains the undeniable truth of our time. And up until that pivotal moment of rising back and above pre-pandemic levels occurs, we are still a far cry away from accomplishing anything game-changing.
Nevertheless, the commercial painting industry is an excellent example of the benefits achieved through technological advancement and that tomorrow will be decided by digitalization. And if Amazon’s job posting for a blockchain product lead is anything to follow, it’s further evidence that the digital world will become our mainstream reality.