Scattered thoughts COVID-19
Here are some scattered thoughts from my flight across the ditch Sunday; my thoughts were on, where are we all headed? and where we may all finish up?
From all the business situations I have seen or been involved in during my life, COVID-19 is the probably looking the worst. There is no SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) that any of us could have completed which would have predicted this double hit to business, both a worldwide virus and an economic downturn simultaneously. The movie makers have had a few goes at it and frightened the hell out of us yet it was just fiction. It seems that just like in Star Trek, we are going where ‘no one has gone before’, climb aboard the Enterprise with me!
From a personal aspect some of us will catch the virus, some will not, some will pass away. Doctors say it is no worse than the flu, however, is it? If it is no different to the flu what is all the panic about then? The panic is because it is so contagious, so much so it can overwhelm our medical systems due to the volume of cases.
From a business perspective it may be the worst thing that has happened since the great depression. Nobody really knows and that is the worst aspect. We all want it to be ok and carry on as usual hoping it will pass, however, as Managers/Management we need to ask, how should we be thinking? How should we be planning? Even if the downturn is a few months and the recovery is fast. This is about the best we can do, plan and execute when the time is right. If things get worse and our city or town is put into lockdown the Government will need to step in to help business and handle the recovery.
What happened? What happened was the Donald was right, we relied too much on China, our business greed got us as just about everything you can think of or think about, we moved off to China to get it done or built. Then we adapted to everything being so cheap that it started to feel like whatever we built or did ourselves was expensive by comparison. Consider this example: a battery-operated drill. There is now almost nothing over $100 and they have ALL the bells, whistles, lights, variable speed, hammer feature etc. You can’t sell your old drill as no one wants it! Our whole outlook on value changed and its now happening with Motor Vehicles; a 4-door Ute (Pick-Up) for $19,000, crazy. In our section of the market, if we could have shipped car servicing and repairs off to China, we would have.
So here we are people in a very strange predicament. We have technology rushing at us in the car industry, we are going electric and fast because they are easy to build, and eventually be half the price without much need for servicing, and they want to put them on subscription – so will a dealer be needed for that. On the other hand, we have a pandemic threating to lock down our cities and it’s going to put a wrecking ball through world economy. FU?K
Okay that is it, the situation, so where do we go from here?
- Sit still right now and watch to see how good these Government dudes are. I call this the Slow-Motion stage as this stops you thinking or doing somethings irrationally, although I suspect you will not be waiting long. The politicians are always telling us how good they are, so now the big test has arrived. (Maybe K R Rudd was right the last time Australia was in trouble). We must get the pandemic behind us first, plan holidays etc for staff and estimate what a few months of slow business will cost.
- By the time we are seeing the back of the virus we will have a clearer image of the economy. There will still be an economy, although it may not be the same as the economy, we know now however; we will still wake every morning as my sister once said, and then adapt quickly.
- We will then have to adjust our business to what is there or what is left, let’s hope like hell it is the same as it was. Fortunately, vehicles will still need servicing or work, food still must be delivered, people have to get to work, government services vehicles will still be running, you know the song, ‘We built this city on Rock & Roll’, we built our cities so they can’t work without motor vehicles, which is good news for us!
There was a lady I saw on TV sometime before Christmas, who worked as a Check-out Chick her entire life, and she spoke these wise words:
- Enjoy what you do, enjoy your Customers.
- No Customer should leave disappointed.
- And when asked about the best change she had seen during her lifetime in Customer Service, she cited, ‘The introduction of Bar Codes’. (Strange we never used them in servicing and every car has a barcode from production!)
These rules saw this lovely lady keep her job through many a downturn in business, her secrets included reliability and hard work also, her company appreciated this. She was too modest to mention these aspects.
Getting Better, Beatles (t’s getting better all the time) = Continues-Improvement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmXL3BRtvlw
Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson (I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways) = Self-Assessment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dQOghtW1fg (Man in this case being generic)
Easy Money, Rickie Lee Jones (How’d ya like to make some of that easy money) = Don’t rip the Customer off. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dm4CZf_60jE
Out of Control, Rolling Stones (Oh out of control Oh help me now) = As above, do not panic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHlxGg0QIqE
Have a listen to these songs they will make you feel good for the day.