As I was sitting in the office, I was wearing a mask. Everyone around me was also wearing masks too. This pandemic changed everything around me.
My company close for 3 months. My partners and I were having gatherings on Zoom. It took me some time to acknowledge the new change. In my home, I was running around with kids. My husband was also busy with office work in another room.
1. Implementation of Change:
It was very stressful. It was like doing two shifts at a time. I remember, my husband and I argued and quarreled about looking after kids.
I likewise felt a few changes in my area. We stopped going out to parks, initially. People next door, stopped shaking, hands with us. They also didn’t visit us on Thanksgiving and Christmas. We all felt lonely at home.
At the point when I went to the workplace, I saw that a part of our partners lost employment. They replace by robots. In the factory, now most of the packaging, collection, etc done by robots. Everyone’s cabin was 6 feet (1.83 m) apart. Many of the departments were either closed or merged with other departments.
2. Impact on customers:
Some years, back our customers used to visit our shops to buy our cakes, muffins, bread, etc. Now my company gave contracts to different courier companies in different cities for home and office delivery.
Now, I have to check every day on my PC, the status of the orders. I have updated each customer’s status. Even some customers return or even exchange the orders. I have to meet with them not physically or by phone but on Skype or Zoom and suggest a better option. The number of emails and WhatsApp messages has run an all-time high.
The number of tourists has also reduced. This hurts our orders. Thus, due to it, some products were gradually taken out of the market.
Many cooperate clients have stopped orders, due to mergers or acquisitions. Even some of our clients closed and divested their companies. We lost a considerable amount of revenue.
3. Meeting with Creditors:
We had to roll back the expansion plan for 2020 and 2021. This was a tough decision for my company. As I referenced, prior the interest for our items was contracting. Many people shifted to healthy options.
My company had to redesign and do the marketing again. My company executives had several meetings with banks, to defer the payments. It was adding costs to our productions. As the installments, the amount started to increase.
4. Suppliers’ Management:
Some payments were due, for some companies, my company bought machinery. They scheduled meetings on Zoom.
My company’s accounts department had detailed meetings, there were a lot of negotiations on the delivery date, and payment terms postpone. The number of days increased, it put new pressure on my team.
- There were also some changes in the machinery, which required time and took a while to do the fix.
5. Operations Disruptions:
- The new orders give to other companies for quick processing. My company’s plant was going through replacements, up-gradation, etc. Some people also visited us in masks, for the training of some new equipment.
- It was hard, to go through this new process. In the middle of the night with customers, I had to do meetings for updates on product delivery.
- With the sudden movement, my husband used to wake up, my children used to cry for me. I had to run to another room, to continue the meetings.
- The next morning, I had to get ready, take bath, and wear masks. Check the level of the sanitizers. Put it on the hands, rub it and go out with my husband to the office.
- I was not able to focus. I had to drink cups of coffee, to be awake. There were lots of meetings with other colleagues on Zoom lined up for me.
6. Training Sessions:
Everyone in the office was working on their limits. We had no time to even chat with each other. My company decided to sign up for different courses for us on Zoom. We all had to stay after office hours to attend the live sessions.
It was good that our company decided, for us. The main objectives or goals were to do our jobs, more efficiently, manage our stress levels. They even provided the training materials. It was in form of presentations,
- My executive managers also got the best books for starting a small business. It complemented with the live sessions. They told me about the important lessons, learned through it. Such as:
Not giving up.
Trying new strategies.
Overcoming fear of failure.
It lasted for 6 months; we also received soft copies of the certificates on our office emails. It made us better. It enhanced our thinking. Overall, it made it even easier to make decisions, which were a little difficult to do, e.g., restructuring our operations, induction of new machinery, etc.
I still feel, my company has to still go a long way. The government was repeating lockdowns; there were still hard times to come. The good news is that I can manage my family and my job, better than before.
I also sit with my husband, discuss our plans, it took us a while to cope up with the drastic changes, caused by this Coronavirus.