April 27, 2020

What is Your Business Going to be Like Next Month? The Next Three Months? And Farther Down the Road?

By Paul Bieber

Business in the United States is going to change dramatically in the near and short-term future. Be sure of it. What are we in the retail and wholesale glass industry going to be doing differently? What will customers want from you so they can be your customers?

Accept it, there is no going back to the old “normal” in our country. No one knows what the new normal will be, but it will look different from today. Let’s look at your glass company. Your working environment means all desks and workstations will be at least 6 feet apart, and probably 8 or 10 feet. All with sneeze guards. (By the way, you should and will be selling sneeze guards right now.) You are going to give each employee their own keyboard to enter data into your computer system, to be cleaned at least twice per day. Everyone will be wearing disposable gloves, to be thrown away after each customer contact, whether in your office or at their place of business or home.

No one is going to get coffee for the team. Each person’s coffee mug will be handled only by that person. There will be changes when the coffee truck comes mid-morning. The 6-foot and wear your mask rules will apply here as well. There is no shaking of hands when a customer or salesperson comes in. There are no shared phones, whether a desk phone or a cell. The lunch room will be changed so that people are 6 feet apart. Your conference room will be following the 6-foot same. You are going to thoroughly clean and sanitize each of your trucks after any customer delivery or jobsite visit. Your office folks, drivers and installers will be wearing masks. Without fail.

Your customers will demand this of you in order to enter their homes or businesses. They will turn away your representatives if they don’t look “clean” and well protected. Your co-workers will appreciate that you care about their safety. You will appreciate not being on the 6 o’clock news as the next local hot spot for COVID-19. Your family will appreciate that you have a job that cares.

You are going to give extra uniforms to your team and demand that they put on a clean one each day, without exception. You are going buy disinfectants for your office kitchen, bathrooms and shop, and use them at least twice a day. All machines that have personal contact to create a setting or turn a nob will be cleaned a dozen times a day, whenever a different employee has to use the machine.

The handle on your entrance door, and every other handle in your place will be cleaned after every human contact. This should be the responsibility of every person in your company.

You will do all of these things for three main reasons. You want your employees to stay healthy. You want your customers to have faith in your business and its standards. You want to stay in business long enough to see this awful disease cured and prevented.

Stay healthy.