Matt Walker VP Sales & Marketing
The way we meet with customers has changed during this pandemic but also improved. We are now meeting with customers exclusively online. Although I still prefer meeting in person, the web meeting format allows for a similar experience and has its advantages as well. This venue allows for more data sharing and more time spent with the customer without worrying about when you need to leave to catch your plane. I am sure that when this is all behind us, business travel will increase. I do not think it will ever get back to what it was. Some sort of hybrid of in-person and online meetings seems to be in our future.
When talking to a client, several factors must now be considered at the beginning of a conversation as opposed to the end. The pandemic has increased demand for food and grocery items but is that a symptom of consumers stocking up or of those consumers spending more time at home? This is an important distinction because it will inform you of whether this demand level will remain constant or drop off after a period. It is critical to us that we inform our customers with the best data possible. The problem right now is, there is not sufficient evidence to confidently make a conclusion.
Navigating competing information seems to be the norm for 2020 overall, but when retailers or brand owners are making decisions, unnecessary risks can spell disaster. While we steer through this unprecedented time, we utilize market data along with common sense to ensure we are guiding our customers in the right direction. Even more important than in the past, it is crucial the customer is aware of risks in the supply chain. There is a myriad of factors that can affect the outcome of what we agree to. We must ensure everyone is completely on the same page so there are no surprises further down the line. Although this is a normal process, the uncertainty we face has heightened the responsibility of manufacturers to inform customers of all risks, no matter how small, and any unknowns, no matter how unimportant they seem.
We are optimistic about the future. We know that these tough times will pass. They always do. Success depends on cooler heads making logical decisions and building a long-term successful plan.