Plan, Patience & Execution
Jun 5, 2020
About the author - Matt Fischer is the Co-Founder and CEO of Probitas Promotions - a promotional products distributorship in North Dakota. He will be entering his 16th year in the Industry.
Social Distance. Self Isolation. Shelter in Place. These are all phrases that meant nothing to us at the start of 2020. By the end of March, these are phrases that are part of almost every conversation. One set of words even has an acronym - Personal Protective Equipment or PPE. OSHA defines PPE as:
Equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.
Prior to March of 2020 I had never sold a facemask, gown or face shield. If I sold an order of hand sanitizer, I was able to rush the order and have it produced and delivered in 24 hours. Fast forward to April...these are the new hot products and the minimum wait for sanitizer is 4 to 6 weeks.
There is no way that anyone could have imagined what was going to happen due to the COVID-19 Crisis of 2020. However, I feel like it has given us a chance to think about a new PPE - Plan, Patience and Execute. Moving forward into the new economy, we are going to be able to function at our optimum if every supplier, distributor and end user in the world of swag can work together and PPE.
In our 24-hour news cycle - Amazon 2-day ship - go to Burger King and grab food society, we have forgotten how to plan. One potential benefit that may come from the COVID-19 situation is our ability to go back to planning. There is a benefit in taking a 35,000-foot view and allowing our brains to just work. From that elevation we are able to then safely descend into the weeks, create a pros/cons list and eventually have a well thought-out road map.
We are going to be entering a new economy. That economy will more than likely have fewer businesses, a different supply chain and a lesser reliance on China for most of our products. I do believe that in our industry we will continue to work in the 3-legged stool model (client - distributor - supplier). That said, RELATIONSHIPS are going to be king. Those businesses that survive this Pandemic will be the cream of the crop in their specific industries. The vendor/client relationship will inherently be between companies that are trustworthy and resilient. In order to move forward the client is going to need to show a lot of patience with the distributor; likewise, between the distributor and supplier. As these relationships are deepened, our economy will heal and eventually flourish again.
There is a great quote that one of my high school coaches used to say (I’m sure he stole it from someone...ha), “Plan your work and work your plan”. You have taken the time to create a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something - now DO IT. Of course there will be obstacles. We are not fortunate tellers, but we did use a brain...probably many brains from your awesome team. Go back to that plan when you see an obstacle and see how it fits. Put the data in and see what output you get. Avoid the shiny objects. They will always pop up and, more times than not, will not bear good fruit. Once the plan is complete - rinse and repeat.
Probitas Promotions will be here when this new economy starts up again. I’m not sure how long the protective equipment will be part of the mix that we sell. I do, however, know that we will take a strong stance on planning, showing patience and executing. We look forward to continuing that future with each of you.