Why does Xerox make hand sanitizer?

In times of downtime, intelligent companies are innovative.

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Why does Xerox make hand sanitizer?
Why does Xerox make hand sanitizer?

This week a strange news caught my attention. Apparently, Xerox You will soon start producing hand disinfectants.

According to a statement, the company will use its Toronto and Rochester, New York, manufacturing capabilities and “internal materials expertise” to produce approximately 140,000 gallons in June. The first deliveries are expected to take place this month. .

The company doesn’t just produce hand disinfectants. It is also getting into the fan business. A partnership with a technology company was announced earlier this month to help Xerox manufacture a specific type of ventilation and monitoring for hospitals and emergency departments.

I understand that this company wants to do its part to fight the Covid 19 virus, but hand sanitizer? Fans? This appears to be very inconsistent with what Xerox is doing.

When you think of Xerox, you don’t immediately think of these products. The 114-year-old company is primarily known as a manufacturer of printers and office equipment and has transformed into providing technologies and services in the workplace for document and process management. What exactly do hand disinfectants and fans have to do with it?

Nothing. And everything.

The company wants to contribute to the fight against Covid-19. “Essential products such as hand sanitizers will continue to be in high demand,” said the CEO in the statement. “This is a time for every company, every person, to see what they can do to help society.”

I do not believe and appreciate the company’s efforts. But I also think something else is going to happen, something even better for Xerox, its employees, and all of the other suppliers, customers, and partners who trust the company for a living.

Like all of us, this company is facing an economic downturn in its business. I don’t know how important it is, but I bet their managers are challenged like every small business owner to find new sources of income. Hard times need ready-made ideas. Managers are forced to make difficult decisions, innovate, try new things, and make changes, even if these changes change current models.

I have seen this countless times during the 2008-2009 recession. Many of my best customers took this opportunity to reevaluate their businesses, decide what really earned them money and what was not worth the effort. During this time, the same executives tried out new ideas, introduced new product lines, diversified their offerings, and even started doing things that had nothing to do with their existing business. They didn’t do these things because they wanted to. They did these things because they had to. Recessions have this effect.

I think that’s exactly what happens to Xerox.

If you asked your executives a year ago whether they wanted to get into the hand disinfectant or fan business, they would react as if they had gone crazy. But now these companies could become potential sources of income in the long term. Who knows?

The hand sanitizer could form the basis for a new strategy to manufacture and sell other office supplies that could be positioned to perfectly match the Xerox offerings in the workplace. Manufacturing ventilators will certainly keep the company’s workforce thinking and thinking in these slower times. Who knows what new technologies for manufacturing office equipment will be discovered during the manufacturing process of hospital equipment? And hey … with Xerox’s existing infrastructure, it may be cheaper to make fans than to make printers. This could be a completely new company. Who knows again?

This company will find out.

If, like Xerox, you can do something to help fight the coronavirus outbreak, get on board, of course. However, if your company is facing a recession, now is the time to do what it does: be innovative. Try new things. Sell ​​new products. Use a few options. This may not be an option. It can be a necessity. But no worry. This is how large companies survive these times and position themselves for future growth.

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