Will COVID-19 permanently change the way that we work? Will the pandemic transform relationships between employers and employees, and between vendors and customers? The future is uncertain, but that’s not stopping experts at Harvard Business School from making some bold predictions. Here are four of them for your consideration, along with some additional insights based on our experiences at Elasto Proxy.

#1 Organizations will develop trust-based cultures

Professor Michael Beer writes that the COVID-19 crisis “provides senior management a huge opportunity to develop a trust-based culture.” Employers need to know what’s preventing employees from maximizing their productivity, and employees need to help identify solutions. Now more than ever, communications that are based on trust are essential for efficient business operations.

Interestingly, this model isn’t unlike the way that Elasto Proxy supports its customers. Ultimately, it’s based on trust. Our solutions providers are committed to learning how we can help you to become more efficient when it comes to seal design, fabrication, and installation. When you share your current way of doing business, we can help you to determine your true costs and find value-added solutions.

#2 Supply chain managers suddenly will have a much more difficult job

How many vendors do you have? How much do you really know about them? Consider the recent example of an American equipment manufacturer, as described by Professor Stephen F. Kaufman. The U.S. company thought it had thoroughly vetted a U.K. supplier of a major assembly. Yet the U.K. business had to suspend production when the Italian maker of a sub-assembly couldn’t get a component from China.      

“The surprising length and complexity of many supply chains will be illuminated by the coronavirus,” Kaufman writes. Even before COVID-19, many manufacturers began shortening their supply chains to increase visibility and reduce risk. Vendor consolidation, another trend, is one that we noticed. There’s a cost to carrying vendors, and customers like how they can also get molded rubber products from Elasto Proxy.

#3 In-person meetings will be less important

Tools and technologies like Zoom, video conferencing, and webinars aren’t new. They’ve been around for a few years and predate COVID-19. Depending on an organization’s preferences, however, levels of adoption have varied. Sometimes, the obstacles were less about technology than a company’s culture. Now, businesses that preferred on-site visits and tradeshows have lost access to those communications channels.

Professor Gary P. Pisano expects that “we will realize we need far fewer face-to-face meetings than we thought”. He also predicts that “all organizations will learn that they can leverage technology much more efficiently to operate remotely and conduct business.” At Elasto Proxy, we’re using Zoom and video conferencing. We’re also planning a series of webinars beginning on April 15. Will you join us?       

#4 Supply chain strategy will be written

Finally, Harvard Business School Professor Willy C. Shih notes how “businesses have been surprised on how dependent they are on China, for everything from key raw materials or parts that finished products.” He also predicts that many companies will begin thinking about developing alternative sources in other countries. Even if those sources aren’t nearby, companies will begin to diversify their risks.

Today, gasket fabricators that sourced most of their materials from China are still unable to fulfill orders. Moreover, fabricators that didn’t store adequate quantities of materials now face stock-outs. At Elasto Proxy, we have hundreds of feet of rubber profiles in stock. We work with suppliers from around the world (not just in one country) and maintain a network of warehouses in both North America and Europe.

COVID-19 Will Transform Business

Do you predict that COVID-19 will change the way your company does business?  At Elasto Proxy, we’ve long valued lasting business relationships that are built on trust. We promise to keep in touch during this challenging time and invite you to book an e-meeting with a member of our team. Our solutions providers appreciate that many people are learning about these tools for the first time, so we’re glad to lend a hand.

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