Tuesday, 07 April 2020 19:16

Special Edition April CIECAst Focuses on How Collision Industry is Addressing Challenges Created by the Coronavirus

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Day said no one knows what the future holds.


“Since no one knows, we must control what we can,” she said. “We must do our part. We must help others. We must help others do their part. So when you think about it, much of what will happen next is up to us. According to health care professionals, the next two weeks are absolutely critical to all of us.”


Day described what the new normal might look like and how we can invent a new reality that creates a new world for all of us. Partnerships will become increasingly important as society begins to understand no one can prosper alone, and technology will accelerate to support a virtual world.


“It’s an opportunity to reimagine our industry,” she said. “Create your new normal as an individual; determine your new pace, the skills you will acquire and how you will serve.


“Finally, as humans, stay connected to each other,” Day said. “If you’re on this call, you’re a leader in the industry, and it’s important that we all come together even as we remain physically apart. I look forward to facing this challenge with you as industry leaders. Be safe, be kind.”


Weidmann introduced the webinar’s final speaker, Porter, CEO of URG.


Now cancelled, URG’s annual educational conference was scheduled for April with a theme of “2020 Vision."


“Hindsight is 20:20," Porter said. "It’s easy to know the correct course of action after something has already happened. The coronavirus outbreak is, first and foremost, a human tragedy affecting hundreds of thousands of people. It’s already had a significant impact on the economy, particularly on small businesses of all kinds.”


Many organizations are re-evaluating themselves and their operations as they try to gain efficiencies and cut costs, Porter said. Executives are taking pay cuts, employees are being placed on furlough, companies are downsizing and some small businesses are just closing their doors for good.


In response to COVID-19, URG ceased all employee travel, began weekly educational webinars for customers and shifted resources to work on business strategies to help members continue operations and provide support.


“We’ve increased our focus on technology and product development, and we’ve also developed a work-from-home business process to protect our employees, while still providing quality customer service,” Porter said. “We understand that we’ll need to continue to adjust our business model throughout this crisis.”


Porter referenced an article by McKinsey & Company, “Beyond Coronavirus: The Path to the Next Normal,” which explores five necessary stages.


The first is “resolve,” where there is a need to address the immediate challenges COVID-19 represents to the workforce, customers, technology and business partners. Next is “resilience,” where the industry must address near-term cash management challenges and broader resiliency issues during the virus.

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