Rob LaRue, reflects on positive takeaways from the COVID pandemic and implementing them to become stronger, more resilient, and better prepared to service customers in PTDA's Transmissions, Volume 4 2022, newsletter.
It is an understatement to say the last three years have been unprecedented times. A pandemic, lockdowns, work from home, a supply chain crisis, extraordinary demand, rising inflation, labor shortages, raw material shortages, rapidly rising energy prices, social unrest, global crisis, a polarizing political environment, etc. Despite it all, business has remained resilient and strong! I think we all deserve praise for leading our teams, partners and businesses through the craziness. What have we learned? What positives can we take away? Here are a few of my takeaways.
Our industry is essential and fundamental to keeping our economy and the world moving. We can all take pride in the fact that while the world was shut down, we did not stop. On top of that, business has been very strong despite all the challenges. There is considerable variety and diversity in the industries we service, and we are a vital cog in virtually all. The stability, variety and scale of our industry are great qualities to sell to our future workforce.
The team is the foundation for success. I am sure we all have endless examples of individuals within our companies stepping up on a daily basis. In the early days of the pandemic, front-line workers stepped up when offices were closed and product needed to move. Despite the ongoing uncertainty and change, the commitment and dedication within our companies has been commendable. Moreover, the labor shortages forced our people to go above and beyond.
Technology is a continuous investment. It cannot be understated how much more imperative technology has become in all aspects of our businesses. Zoom, Teams, remote setups, cyber security, data, AI, B2B, analytics, robotics…the list goes on. There have been major changes over the last few years to say the least.
Stay positive and focus on what you can control. The amount of fear, uncertainty and doubt has been never-ending. I am sure you can quickly come up with a list of challenges impacting your business. With all this craziness, it’s easy to become negative and overwhelmed. It has led to employee frustration and burnout. Although it is not always possible, displaying “situational awareness”— remaining positive and focusing on what you can control — has been a key component of successful businesses and individuals. It keeps us moving forward!
Master the fundamentals. The best of the best, regardless of occupation, team or business, understands the fundamentals. When times get difficult or when issues and challenges arise, having a foundation of strong fundamentals makes the tasks easier. We all can get caught up in big strategy, big ideas and big problems. Mastering the fundamentals is the foundation of success.
Communication, communication, communication. Over the last few years, tough and honest conversations have been a must. All progress starts by telling the truth. We all know what happens if you assume.
Despite all the obstacles and challenges, it has been the distributors’ time to shine. These challenges and difficulties have created many opportunities. We have been forced to go the extra mile for our customers and vendors to be an extension of their teams. We create value in so many ways.
There are positive by-products from all situations. What is on your list? Reflection is a powerful exercise.
We, at Baldwin Supply, are not out to reinvent the wheel - or the conveyor belt. We just want to continue to do what we do best: provide our services to our customers so that they can succeed in doing what they do best.