Procurement is an area that requires surrounding oneself with reliable and consistent suppliers. This is true for the large format display industry as everywhere else.
For more than twenty years, our management team at M&M Graphic has mastered the art of managing procurement, supplier relations, delivery times, customs clearance and all other chain-related activities. company supply. Suppliers are located in Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada. For the past two decades, solid alliances have been established with suppliers abroad and the result is great satisfaction with the products and services provided. These make it possible to serve the customers well in return. Basically, M&M Graphic buys basic products, transforms them and then makes finished products, made to measure, intended for a varied clientele, concentrating in Quebec and Canada.
With the arrival of the pandemic, which began in March 2020 in Quebec, we had to move to another level. It then became a real challenge to source at the same frequency as before for basic products such as fabric rolls, inks and aluminum extrusions. In fact, it was practically no longer possible, the situation having changed dramatically. We therefore had to adapt to frequent supply disruptions, rising prices, longer delivery times, container shortages, companies closing their doors, and more. Not to mention that this period corresponded to cultural events that were canceled and sports competitions that were postponed to an indefinite future time. All this new context required a lot of flexibility on the part of M&M managers to be able to deal with the situation.
At the very beginning of the pandemic, there were first fabric shortages. With many industries shutting down due to government recommendations, global production has shrunk and suffered. In addition, many companies producing fiber for fabric have been requisitioned to manufacture masks. The global demand for face masks and protective gowns skyrocketed and the industry could not meet the demand at the very beginning. We had to be resourceful and creative. Several new companies have emerged, selling products of all kinds in protection against COVID. Existing companies have also diversified.
For its part, M&M Graphic has also been able to innovate, due to shortages. From March 2020 to the end of the same year, we produced and sold thousands of masks and protective gowns. A new product has also been added to the existing offer: the office or restaurant room divider. The demand for this product having emerged during the pandemic to allow office workers to protect themselves against the spread of the virus, it was decided to offer it in different versions: the fixed desk separator, which is installed on the sides of the desks as well as the freestanding divider, with or without wheels, to facilitate its movement, if necessary. This latest version of divider has been frequently ordered by restaurateurs as they begin to reopen their doors to customers. This served mainly as a security partition at the entrance to restaurants, created in aluminum extrusion, forming a rectangular frame, with wheels, and covered with a thin transparent vinyl stretched inside.
Once the majority of people were vaccinated, i.e. in 2022, this measure was no longer applied, so demand for this product fell to a lower volume. M&M still manufactures a lot of T-46 frames, but not so much in the form of office dividers or security partitions. Fortunately, the products are back to playing their original and main role: to decorate a commercial or residential place or to promote a message.