It’s been almost two months since western markets have started experiencing major disruptions due to COVID-19. The fact that you are likely reading this from your “home office” is proof that this pandemic is re-shaping the way we interact on a personal and professional basis. All of these “disruptions” cannot get in the way of businesses adapting to keep things running. It is a challenge that must be tackled head on. This experience is forcing many businesses to seriously consider alternative measures for conducting business. As was the case during the global financial crisis 11 years ago, experts are asking what will a new normal look like? Here are some questions for you to ponder as we adjust to our next new reality.

  • Was your business ready to confront the pandemic and the restrictions imposed by governments?
  • Are existing processes truly necessary to maintain consistent workflow?
  • Has social distancing requirements affected your productivity?
  • Are you more productive now than before?
  • What software applications should you be investigating and investing in to prepare for the next major disruption?
  • Does your business have the necessary tools to deliver uninterrupted service to internal and external stakeholders?
  • Are your company’s established processes truly necessary to maintain adequate operational levels or are they antiquated remnants that need to be reassessed?
  • Is your travel and expense budget adequate for the future?
  • Are current staffing levels appropriate for when things return to normal?

Some of these questions are more uncomfortable to ask than others, but they must be asked nevertheless. The sliver of positive news is that the coronavirus outbreak does not seem to be having a large effect in demand for polymer material, particularly with certain applications such as packaging and specialty grade products. This may change as buying behaviors adapt to confront the pandemic. The challenge is figuring out how to maintain the same level of service and communication with the possibility of more extreme physical distancing and quarantining requirements looming.

Planning is key; and planning requires asking tough questions.