We entered uncharted territory this week with the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The number of confirmed cases is over 120,000 and the World Health Organization officially classified it as a global pandemic.
For the first time in 30 years, our friends and neighbors were forced to cancel SXSW–and subsequently had to let ⅓ of their workforce go. Industry events from F8 to Coachella are canceled. The NBA suspended the rest of its season. March Madness is canceled. The PGA Tour is canceled. Schools and Universities are sending their students home, and they might not go back this school year.
Organizations everywhere are doing their best to make smart decisions to protect their employees and their businesses. Some have chosen to send their teams home to work remotely. Others have prohibited non-essential travel. Leaders in every city, country, and business face incredibly difficult decisions. And we have to make these decisions with incomplete data that is influenced by global factors well beyond our control.
Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are no exception. Your global supply chains were already stretched by increased tariffs and geopolitical uncertainty. But COVID-19 has changed the game, and we’re only beginning to understand how. Some supply chains are seeing record demand, as anxious consumers stockpile toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Others are seeing slight disruptions but expect major slowdowns in the weeks and months ahead. Many have no choice but to protect their future by slowing spending to wait and see how broadly and deeply the world will feel the impact of this crisis.
As we navigate today’s uncertainty, we need to remember that the manufacturing sector is one of the world’s most resilient industries. Over the last century, manufacturers weathered world wars, global recessions, and natural disasters. The most successful ones got through those crises by using new technology to solve unprecedented challenges. The innovations that were born of necessity made their businesses stronger. The same will happen this time.
I don’t say this to minimize the current challenge we face together. I say it because I believe in our ability to bounce back from anything, and history has proven that to be true.
If your business still depends on email, spreadsheets, and manual ERP updates to stay on top of open orders with your suppliers, I predict you will struggle to get through this historical moment. Shifts in demand will continue, and come faster in the months ahead. It will be a while before things go back to normal. But there will be a rebound. Technology exists to help you through it all by modernizing how you collaborate with suppliers. More than 6,000 companies use SourceDay to do just that, and you can too. Please reach out to our team today and we’ll show you how we can help.
Thanks & stay healthy,
– Tom Kieley, CEO and Co-Founder of SourceDay