According to the customs clearance platform, Klearnow, around 60% of British suppliers have experienced import delays during May (BBC News).
A significant backlog has been created by the Ever Given container ship blocking the Suez Canal in March, the release of which is still being negotiated. Not only the goods on the ship are being delayed but the large number of containers that are out of circulation have impacted other shipments. And, as demand for items that enable us to enjoy the enforced staycation holidays, such as tents, garden furniture and outdoor toys go up, suppliers are struggling to deliver.
As most industries continue to adapt to the new normal resulting from Brexit and the pandemic, some are still using Covid as an excuse for not being able to answer their phone. Our financial Institutions, despite the millions spent on advertising telling us how they are there for us, appear to be failing. A recent call took 13 minutes to be answered, only for the out of country call centre to be unable to help! For most businesses this would result in the loss of a sale or a lost account. Perhaps, as the legislation to make switching accounts easier begins to impact, as with the energy and phone companies, we might see an improvement in services.
The IT Industry has been key to many businesses being able to respond better, enabling our customers to work remotely and continuing to meet with their customers, via the various forms of video conferencing, which has become part of everyday life over the past 18 months. Unfortunately, the news that the new Delta (Indian) variant is 40% more transmissible, might result in another delay to life returning to normal. However, given the very visible increase in traffic on the roads, many of us appear to have returned to some form of normality already.
So, what next? Record job vacancies for 23 years and a corresponding reported skills shortage, suggests we are seeing growth across the economy. Hospitality and Events are beginning to plan for a future with customers, audiences and delegates again. We can look forward to conferences where we physically meet people and benefit from real participation, as opposed to putting an anonymous question in the chat. Re-Thinking events after the pandemic (techdata.com)
And, as in-demand people move between businesses, their thinking and approach moves with them. At an executive level this can often change the way a company goes to market. How they select their suppliers or partners, which Industries to focus on, what channels to use and how to incentivise them. Ensuring clear and consistent messaging to staff, partners and customers becomes a key challenge. The messaging needs to be based on a thought through Value Proposition, “the what for who and why it’s you”.
And this is an area where the work from home strategy, which drove the growth in the likes of Zoom, has been instrumental. Over the last few weeks we have run workshops where participants have joined from around the globe. These would have taken months to schedule, been very costly and probably not as inclusive, had we been running them in the previous “normal”. In fact, run well, we can get more, better informed input and quicker output from running these on-line. And follow-on workshops can be within days, with thoughts still current, rather than weeks later when everyone has to remind themselves of what was covered.
This accelerates the ability to make change, communicate to stakeholders and execute. Thought leadership is only that if you execute.
If this sounds relevant and you are in the process of creating change, then talk to us about our facilitated, value proposition workshops. It might help you transform new ideas into industry leadership. We look forward to meeting with you – and all of your team - soon.