Representor Spring 2021 - Marketing Group Digest

Spring 2021 – Marketing Group Digest


Troy Gunnin
Sun Rep Inc.
Tampa, Fla.

Turn challenges into opportunities by working smarter, not harder

Is that a light I see at the end of the tunnel? As I write this, Florida has opened up vaccinations for COVID-19 to everyone over the age of 18. Businesses are opening and hiring. Sports teams are playing and fans, in limited numbers, are being welcomed into the arenas. Spring break saw crowded beaches, restaurants and hotels.

With that being said, we are all aware that we are still not out of the woods yet. We have all been impacted and will continue to be as we move forward. As reps, we have had to make hard decisions, as have our factories. But, over the past couple of months, we have seen things moving in a positive direction.

I just read an editorial by Ron Shinn, editor of Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing titled, “Pandemic is the perfect time to reassess your business.” In that, he quotes from a book by Ron Galloway, Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity. Galloway starts with two theses: First, that “the pandemic will accelerate some of the trends already in motion in our society;” second, that “in any crisis, there is an opportunity, and the greater and more disruptive the crisis, the greater the opportunities.”

The crisis exposed a weakness in our supply chain and provided opportunities for those capable and agile enough to respond quickly to benefit by filling the urgent needs. The “stay-at-home” situation saw a huge growth in e-commerce. In that same article, Galloway points out that in 2000, e-commerce sales represented about 1 percent of U.S. retail sales and had risen to about 16 percent at the beginning of 2020. Just eight weeks after the pandemic hit, the share jumped to 27 percent. He feels that the level would not have been achieved until 2030 without the pandemic. Those capable of reacting have certainly benefited, but those that could not, are evidenced by the empty brick-and-mortar buildings in shopping malls.

I believe that many of the changes we have experienced can be seen as opportunities and we should use the experiences as tools to help us be more efficient and, pardon the old cliché, work smarter, rather than harder.