I don’t know if I’ve ever been at such a loss for words.
We are facing unprecedented and unknown times. We are worried about the health and safety of our family, friends, colleagues, and communities, as well as the state of the economy, our businesses, and livelihoods.
We’ve talked to a lot of manufacturers in the past couple of weeks, and no one is untouched or untroubled by this pandemic. Some are operating with little interruption, learning how to make their production processes and lines safe for physical distancing, others are trying to pivot to manufacture much needed PPE and medical equipment to help our hospitals and health care workers fight this virus, while others still are waiting patiently to reopen their facilities, ready to manufacture the goods that keep our economy running. Each is a challenge, leaving manufacturers to wonder what is the correct course of action to take.
A character in a popular kid’s movie — if you’ve got young kids it’s probably been playing on a loop in the background the last couple of weeks — says, “But you must go on, and do the next right thing.”
And that strikes me as the advice we need at this time.
With things changing quickly, and fears sometimes running rampant, it is sometimes difficult to know how to respond as business owners and leaders. But I think the best we can all do is take it one step at a time, and keep making the best decisions to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of our employees, as well as make the best decisions to protect our businesses and the livelihoods of those who rely on them.
We can’t solve this crisis quickly in one fell swoop, but we can all keep doing the next right thing to keep ourselves and our communities healthy, and to set up our economy for a quick recovery.
And if there is anything I have learned from over 25 years of working with manufacturers, it’s this: Manufacturers are the backbone of our countries, and through grit, hard work, determination, and a helping hand, manufacturers have pulled us through some of the toughest times we have faced in the past — and will do so again.
We are going to come through this — we are going to rebuild our businesses, our livelihoods, and the economy — and we are going to do it together. I am determined through this slowdown to protect and take care of those who rely on me, but I am also determined to deliver value and support to our customers — and know you are too.
Wherever you find yourself on this path, whether still operational, or patiently waiting to reopen your doors, we can keep moving forward and do the next right thing.
I hope this message finds you and yours in health and safety. Please take care, and know we are all working together — if not face-to-face, then shoulder-to-shoulder.
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