How to Regain Pre-Pandemic Business Performance: Go Back to the Basics
California’s Governor declared California back “open” in June 2021. This official removal of mandates and orders followed what seemed to be an eternity of uncertainty and fear for businesses and employees as they were caught in the middle of the “Stop-Go-Stop” orders by state and local health care departments.
Uncertainty of what orders may come next and fear of the virus kept employers and employees from making decisions that moved forward.
Now that we are a month and a half into "open," a sense of normalcy in the workplace is starting to prevail. Yes, we still have mask recommendations and other precautions needed to help control the spread, but we are able to get together and get back to work!
Inflation and Labor Supply Stresses on Businesses
All of us have felt the pressure that inflation has been pressing on businesses and in our personal lives. We are also dealing with the effects of talent and material shortages to deliver on certain business needs. These issues are big, and it will take time to get business back to any kind of “normal” when costs are high and labor is in short supply.
The increased volume of business activity created by the “re-opening” of our economy is the main challenge that businesses and employees are dealing with right now as we climb out the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is following a dramatic decrease in volume for many businesses in 2020 and the first half of 2021.
In the midst of this situation, we all did our best to retain our staff so that we would be prepared for recovery. At Accent, we did not lay off any employees, even though sales were down significantly. Many of the businesses I associate with did the same.
Businesses Struggle to Regain Their Pre-Pandemic Performance Level
Now that sales are beginning to come back, business owners are telling me that they can’t perform at pre-pandemic levels. What happened? They tell me that the expectations of customers were lower during the height of the pandemic, and businesses, suppliers, customers, and employees have gotten used to the lower demand and expectations.
How will we get back to the way it was?
Back to the Basics is my thought. (This is a theme I reflected on in April with a different angle.) We must get back to great customer service and deliver the best products and services possible. If businesses do not push teams to provide the basics, they will be lost in the shuffle of those who act quickly and focus on great products and great service!
Keep Climbing Out of the Pandemic by Focusing on the Basics
My advice is to focus on customer service more than ever! Work on product improvement and the automation of routine tasks. Pay close attention to IT security and management, along with working hard to advance your leaders and employees in their careers. Additionally, take a close look at the “wait states” in your processes and see what you can do to bridge the gaps that slow down your product and service delivery.
I am super optimistic about the balance of 2021 and working hard with our team to be better than ever!
Have a great August!
About Marty Kaufman
Marty Kaufman is Founder and President of Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., a Southern California-based innovator in IT thinking. He got his start in the world of Big Data as Manager of Information Systems for General Dynamics. He earned his B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems from California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1985 and started Accent Computer Solutions as a consulting firm in 1987. He has spent his entire career researching and implementing Information Technology strategies and processes to help his clients reduce the cost and risk of IT.
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