Hamburg, 23 March 2020 - The corona crisis poses an enormous challenge for SMEs in particular. But how much does the current situation already affect the work of decision-makers in SMEs? The recent Visable survey shows: Many are experiencing a great deal of uncertainty among their customers. The demand for many products is falling by almost 50 percent.
The survey shows it is uncertain how big the economic cuts will be. But even in times of crisis, Visable helps its customers to make products and services internationally accessible to buyers and is at their side as an expert for B2B marketplaces and online marketing services.
Visable has asked around 300 SMEs in the DACH region about the consequences of Corona. Even though the effects on industry and trade are still unclear, the survey results clearly show that the global crisis is already causing sales losses for more than half of those surveyed. 80 percent expect further, sometimes heavy, losses.
Immediate measures lead to short-time work and hiring freezes
The crisis is also making itself felt in everyday working life: 67 percent of the participants said that they noticed an enormous amount of uncertainty in their talks with customers. This leads to cancellations and delays in order placement. One in five companies (19 percent) has already switched to short-time working, as supply bottlenecks in procurement lead to production stops. Around 16 percent of SMEs have already responded by hiring freezes. Almost a third (28 percent) of those surveyed have already experienced procurement difficulties. The companies feel these difficulties above all with products from Europe (23 percent). One in five (21 percent) already suffers from bottlenecks in deliveries from China. There are currently no delivery problems with the USA or other regions.
Enormous losses also due to cancellation of trade fairs
Due to the corona crisis, the first quarter of this year was marked by cancellations of trade fairs and conferences worldwide. For many companies, important marketing and sales channels were thus lost. Solutions here can be offered by digital B2B marketplaces such as EUROPAGES and "Wer liefert was" (wlw). "We provide a network that greatly simplifies the search for suppliers, products and goods for trade and industry", says Peter F. Schmid, CEO of Visable. "This is particularly important since events for personal exchange have largely been cancelled worldwide, including major trade fairs and conferences," explains Schmid. This is where Visable could make a contribution to closing the emerging gaps. After all, Visable offers various ways to promote the visibility and networking of companies via online measures.
High demand for disinfectants and breathing masks
The Corona crisis is also reflected in the search behaviour of buyers on the wlw platform, which belongs to the Visable Group. If the search terms "mechanical engineering" and "CNC milling machines" are otherwise among the most frequently searched terms, disinfectants and respiratory masks were in particular demand for the first time at the beginning of February with the announcement of several Corona cases in Germany - these products even exceeded the inquiries of the otherwise common top searches in the course of the crisis. "We have been registering a significant increase in search queries on our 'Who delivers what' and EUROPAGES platforms for several days now. Many companies are currently having to look for new or additional suppliers. Visable continues to support its customers in these times with digital solutions for marketing and sales," explains Peter F. Schmid, CEO of Visable. "We too cannot foresee the exact consequences of the Corona crisis. But it is already clear: Digital solutions for industrial companies have never been more important than today."
 The online survey was conducted from 9 to 18 March 2020. Around 300 leading employees from medium-sized companies in the DACH region took part.