Disruptions, while commonplace these days, have not been as widespread or impactful on a global scale. It’s a trial by fire for businesses as they can use this opportunity to really up their game. For Adib Abu Bakar, the owner of Percetakan Darul Rizq – a graphic and art printing service, it’s not all about optimising.

As the Movement Control Order (MCO) is now going into its fourth week, businesses all over are now looking to get up to speed digitally so they can adjust with the current times. After all, Malaysians are an adaptable and versatile lot.

What did Adib do to keep his printing operations going? Can others emulate him and get back to work?

Digitally Amplified

Adib sending out his latest shipments

Adib’s business, based in Felda Jelai @ Gemas, Negeri Sembilan, was one of the earlier ones to embrace the idea of digitalisation. While going online is not traditional for a printing shop, Adib knew it was a necessary if he wanted to expand his customer outreach and remotely manage his operations.

In taking his operations online, Adib avoided any disruptions and even managed to complete all job orders. In fact, sales have gone up by as much as 50%. “The spike in orders, which came through Shopee, were mostly framed canvasses. As for the sales that came in from Facebook and Instagram, they’re all stickers and banners,” he revealed.

Revenue wise, Adib disclosed how his printing services is already generating close to RM5,000 a month. This was before the MCO started. As Malaysia moved into two-and-a-half weeks of the MCO, Percetakan Darul Ridz managed to hit the RM5,000 mark and is now looking to reach RM8,000 by mid/end-April.

“Before the MCO took place, I was already running online marketing and customer engagement on Facebook and Instagram. Since we’re all operating from home now, the business is now 100% focused online and all orders and enquiries are now managed via social media platforms. The switch was almost immediate,” Adib shared.

Immediate Challenges

The MCO has brought on several challenges for different businesses. In fact, Adib’s business had to find other means to get printing supplies when his primary sources shut down.

“All the issues we faced as a business are mostly on how we need to ensure there is no supply shortage. Since sales are still coming in, even from before MCO became enforced, we cannot afford to run out of printing supplies. To avoid this, an arrangement was made with supportive merchants nearby to ensure a steady flow of consumables can be sent over,” he added.

In order to deliver his work on time, Adib now solely runs the printing processes at his own shop. While his storefront remains closed, orders are still coming on via his online platforms.

Riding the Wave

What has changed for Adib and his business when the MCO first started?

“Personally, this situation has provided my printing service with a lot of advantages. This includes being able to communicate more efficiently with customers and tracking the entire workflow – from design to printing production and delivery. Since there is an online presence for my business, it’s easy to say that we have an unfair advantage over the competition. In fact, more orders are coming in because we’re already contactable online,” he shared.

While his business continues to thrive during the MCO, it’s become clear to him that his focus must be 100% online. “At least for this period, we will be powering all the way via web-based platforms. Having more time now also means getting the chance to explore new technologies out there. It’ll be a real shame how, being in the digital era now, we don’t use this opportunity to discover, learn and understand what these innovations can do to bring out the full potential of our businesses. Personally, it is truly the best time to try new things while amplifying the marketing for our offerings,” Adib added.

Once the MCO lifts, the young entrepreneur is looking to buy large-scale printers. “This is part of my expansion plan as I want to literally and figuratively scale-up!” he shared.

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