Summer 2021 – Marketing Group Digest
MATERIALS, ASSEMBLY, PRODUCTION & SUPPLY
Sun Rep Inc.
Reflecting back and looking forward
By the time you read this update, it will be around EDS time at the end of August. Let’s look at where we are as I write this at the start of July and have you compare where we end as you read this column.
First, I hope that we are still moving forward in a safe, healthy and robust environment.
Let’s set the stage. Last evening the Lightning won game two of the Stanley Cup finals, playing to a packed house. Baseball teams are playing to large crowds in the stands. The Tampa Bay Bucs have completely sold out the 2021-2022 season. College football will welcome full-house crowds into the stands. I watched the baseball College World Series and Women’s College Softball World Series with full capacity crowds. Florida beaches are crowded. Restaurants and bars are crowded. Air travel is booming. This holiday weekend looks to be a huge travel weekend. The cruise industry is opening up for a return. The economy is booming. The housing market is absolutely insane with houses selling way above asking prices. Wow! Looks like we are on the road to recovery. But, along with this come some serious issues.
Let’s take a look. Those restaurants and bars along with other entertainment and tourist venues and hotels are having a hard time filling open positions. Many are paying bonuses and premium pay to attract workers. Airlines are canceling flights because they don’t have the personnel to accommodate the bookings. We are seeing more job openings than people applying for those jobs. Does this mean that we are on a fast track for complete recovery and growth? Maybe, maybe not.
Let’s take a look at some things we have seen as a result of the pandemic. The pandemic forced us to make major adjustments in the way we did business. One of the most dramatic was working from home to stay safe. Initially, there was some resistance but many, me included, found that we could be just as productive, maybe more, in our home office. Now, as companies are asking employees to return to the office, many are reluctant to do so. This is causing what is being dubbed “the great resignation” as many elected to change rather than return to the office. Also, many chose this as an opportunity to pursue perhaps a different career or just try something different. Our company had one person make that choice.
Here are some of the things we are experiencing that affect us as reps. Freight costs are skyrocketing. For shipments coming by ocean, March 23 was a pivotal day. A large ship got stuck in the Suez Canal for six days and backed up some 400 ships. This was a major disruption and since that time we have seen container shipping costs rise about fourfold. Ground transportation has been stretched to its limit. We are seeing automobile prices rise because of a semiconductor shortage. Gas prices are the highest in seven years. These things are causing price increases and shortages. I certainly hope that this is short-lived and is not the precursor to inflation.
It is going to be interesting when we read this in August to see what plays out. I hope that we can all stay focused and that at that time we can breathe a sigh of relief and feel that we are back to “normal” and moving ahead to a growing economy and safe environment.