The health crisis caused by COVID -19 has made me a better business leader. It has pushed me to do a better job of looking at all my businesses through the eyes of our biggest stakeholders: our customers, team, and community.
Eight Markers to Help WEMCO Members Survive and Prosper in the Pandemic and Post-Pandemic World BY DAVE MARQUARD, OPM, MBA, BS EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN / OWNER, APPLIED COMPANIES, LLC Yes, the vaccines are coming and promise hope. But for now, the most daunting business challenges since the Great Depression are at our doorstep. What indicators or factors determine whether your business is going to have 10% or 100% of your pre-pandemic revenue and profits? The Jackpot is E-Commerce Hopefully, you are in e-commerce in a big way. It was one of the technologies that was growing well before the pandemic and the pandemic has massively accelerated its growth. For example, many of the baby boomer generation resisted shopping online until their favorite stores closed or they feared the virus or both. Now they use e-commerce religiously. To help me run and grow my own businesses I keep a sharp eye out on what McKinsey, the Wall Street Journal and other business experts say about current best business practices. Here is what I am picking up. I have distilled the best of what I have read and experienced into what I think of as 8 indicators or markers. For purposes of this column, I will call them Marquard’s Great Eight. As you read them it will reinforce the necessity of embracing and accepting change and transformation to stay relevant. 1. Be Aware of Consumer, Ultimate Consumer and Channel Changes Capture an image of pandemic
By Dave Marquard, WEMCO Tech Chair “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” ----- ALBERT EINSTEIN, DECEMBER 19,1917 Much has changed over the past century since Einstein made this observation. But one fact has not changed: how well you define a problem determines how well you solve it. I have had the distinct honor and privilege of writing this column for several years now and none of them have been more important to me than this one. This is because none of us have ever faced a personal and business crisis in our lifetimes like COVID-19. I was a cop in Ohio before I started my businesses and I thought I had seen everything too horrible to mention. But this disease is different. It has touched the lives and businesses of everyone on this planet in a way that challenges and frightens on a scale I never imagined possible. So how do we best manage our welding businesses in the COVID-19 era? It’s tricky because the virus is new and we have to make decisions in such a potentially lethal environment. Using today’s Information