by Mike Guggenheimer
CEO, RSC Bio Solutions
As responses to contain the COVID-19 crisis continue and phased reopening and recovery begin, there are a few consistent themes emerging within our customer base that I believe will endure beyond the initial responses. Clearly, right now, customers are placing a priority on the immediate demands of disinfecting facilities to prevent or respond to positive cases, providing essential protective gear to front line staff, and building a strategy to safely re-enter buildings after months of working remotely. I am proud of the work our team has completed to rapidly respond to these urgent customer needs. After things start to get back to something that resembles normal, I believe there are a few business readiness factors that are going to move up the priority planning list for the longer term:
Healthy environments – This recent crisis has increased the awareness of how important it will be to maintain not only a safe work environment, but also a healthy one. This means proper protocols for deep cleaning and disinfecting, management of air quality, and efficient tools for maintaining common areas that could be exposed to new threats. It could also be paying more attention to the employee and environmental hazards on products being utilized. This is not only something to keep businesses running smoothly, but also something employees will see as a critical factor in their individual satisfaction and comfort at work.
Supply chain stability – As the COVID-19 crisis began to spread around the world, global supply chains were and still are significantly disrupted. Companies dependent on sourcing raw materials or finished good from areas that were completely shutdown were hit with delays and supply shocks. Companies may rely more on local sources, dual sourcing, or vendors that have strong supply chain networks.
Resiliency and future-ready – Many have been caught off guard by this crisis. To some extent, this was unavoidable, but companies may take a closer look at sources that are sustainable, products that are versatile, and partners that are nimble and responsive.
It is hard to imagine some things not changing permanently from a crisis of this magnitude. I do not know if face masks will become the norm or airplanes will remove the middle seat (I am hoping for that one!), but I am pretty confident we will be looking at things differently for a long time.