Well, here we are, at the halfway point of 2020 … What an intense and strange six months this has been.
As I write this, I am on week 12 of working from home, slowly preparing to return to “normalcy” (whatever that might mean) as states across the country reopen and we all closely watch what we hope is the slowdown of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am truly grateful for the safety measures my employer, my state and my children’s school system put in place. Thankfully, we have all remained healthy and safe as a result. It is my hope that you and your families have stayed healthy as well.
While it feels like we’ve been in a holding pattern in many ways over the past several months, it also has been a time of significant, dichotomous change, where we’ve had to quickly and carefully rethink how to handle even the simplest of tasks. On both a personal and professional level, we have been forced to rethink our priorities. And, while none of us would have wished for this to happen in such a tragic and terrifying fashion, in the end, there could be some positives that emerge as a result.
While scanning the headlines recently, I caught the news that the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, has dubbed the theme for the 2021 global forum, “The Great Reset.” I can’t think of a better theme for any of us to live by right now as we re-adjust, re-align and re-organize our lives, our schools, our business strategies and our workplaces.
To get a better idea of how our brothers and sisters in the aftermarket have fared over the past several months, we conducted a survey of AMN readers in mid-May and you can check out the results of that survey here. As you will see from the responses, our readers remain optimistic about the future of the aftermarket. As “essential” businesses, more than 90% of the businesses that responded to the survey told us they have remained open, but a lot of things had to change, as you will see in the survey report.
There have been a handful of other changes that have taken place over the past three months that we may see continue:
Changes to Tradeshows and Events:We’ve seen reports of the successful online events such as the AASA Vision Conference and the Alliance Summer Shareholder meeting, both held virtually over the past few months with record attendance. Each week more education, training and networking opportunities are being announced.
E-Commerce and Changes in Customer Expectations:In January, Tim Odom, president of the AAM Group, gave a compel- ling presentation on some of the most disruptive trends we have seen in the past decade and how they have changed the customer experience. “The greatest disruptor of the last 10 years is Amazon,” Odom said. “How have you changed your business in the past decade? The customer at your door today is different – same person, but different expectations.” This is even more true today as curbside pickup and online ordering were sometimes the only options during the pandemic. Many consumers and customers may not want to go back.
Diversity Practices and Social Engagement:In recent weeks, the U.S. is reeling from racial and social injustices that will forever change us. Companies large and small will need to act accordingly, as consumers begin to increasingly vote with their wallets as just one small way to invoke change. One look at social media over the past couple weeks and you will see the shift already taking place.
Let “The Great Reset” begin and may we all be better for it.