I would like to share this valuable information that our friend Scott Case of Position:Global provided regarding helpful lessons learned and best practices for AfA members to consider during the coming weeks and months as America, and the world, struggles to restore business and personal lives and economies.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. Whether in messaging to employees or customers, company leadership cannot be perceived as hunkering down to ride it out like a natural disaster or weather event. Companies should be publishing to their websites, email lists and social media channels to keep reinforcing their existence, continued operation and soothing assurances that business is continuing.
Humanize the situation. We're all going through it in one fashion or another. Companies need to share how they have adapted processes, not just for the sole purpose of maintaining social distancing in the workplaces like warehouses, ramps, terminals and offices that remain open, but how people are adapting their workdays, their flows and some of the solutions they've identified when people are working away from office resources such as printers, custom forms and other in-person resources they rely on, day-in and day-out.
Ride together through this and you'll ride together (nearly) forever after this. Despite the large-scale commoditization that may be perceived around rates, routes and service levels, the fact of the matter is this is still a business about people and relationships. Working with your customers and vendors to find solutions and to mutually come out the other end will engender loyalty that will add an additional layer of insulation to the relationships we've built that can ride out the vagaries of a service failure here or pricing disagreement there.
If you're doing charitable things, publicize them. This is not the time to be the anonymous benefactor. A number of AfA member forwarders, truckers and airlines have been extremely active in promoting their endeavors. An airline stripped their passenger cabin of seats to make room for more cargo. A forwarder member moved sugar from a well-known donut manufacturer to be turned into hand sanitizer. Yet another is operating their own airlift through their charitable arm. Above and beyond the stories of moving cargo of which there are countless, what companies are doing to help out above and beyond are great stories to share with the industry, trade publications and their local media outlets who are seeking to highlight stories of people giving back.
While certainly not an exhaustive or comprehensive list, every company's leadership should be asking what their policy or strategy is for the four points listed above.
We thank Scott and his team at Position:Global for assistance with these important messages. Looking for pointers specific to your situation? Please reach out to AfA Headquarters.
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