How to Deal with Supply Chain Challenges

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Today we’ll view of the office technology niche through the lens of the so-called quiet quitting phenomenon, the coming recession, and the hybrid work environment it’s impact on office technology.

What is new and how can dealers and providers benefit from these advances.

With print volumes down, a supply chain in upheaval, and merely half the number of employees returning to the office versus pre-covid, the outlook deserves to be gloomy – throw in an inflationary economy, war in Europe and a constrained oil supply and the future looks apocalyptic. 

I’m a big fan of looking at the big picture and understanding nothing occurs in a vacuum – even though we see things in silos, the real world is interconnected; boundaries connect and overlap on all dimensions.  Our niche is no different, everything effects everything.

The Supply Chain – Everybody is in the same boat

Yeah, the chain is still messed up.  Devices and orders are backordered with relief about six months out if not longer.

Two issues about the current supply chain challenges:

  1. Deals are still closing; leases are still being signed – pent up or otherwise demand exists
  2. A supply glut is possible in 2024/25

Shortages and long delivery cycles exist in every corner of the economy and all industries, your customers and prospects are familiar with waiting as much as six months. 

Reality.

What should you be doing?

Hope for the best, plan for the worst.  Start with self-analysis, regroup, retrain and come out stronger. Most of all, keep selling.  In addition to a positive attitude and maintaining a selling presence, continuous improvement of interpersonal skills and business acumen.

The best way to deal with long timeframes is communication – not marketing.  The key is to communicate to the best of your ability.  Demand this from your manufacturers and deliver without hesitation to each prospect.

  • Keep selling
  • Train in business acumen
  • Communicate

Quiet QuittingHow can an Office Technology provider help clients?

Employee relations is taking the spotlight as ‘quiet quitting’ crystalizes a new reality and challenge for all of us.

What is quite quitting: according to John Hopkins University, “…under any definition, quiet quitting means remaining in one’s workplace while not actively going above and beyond.” Though the practice has existed since the beginning of ‘work’, the current landscape brings ‘doing your job’ into focus.

Putting aside the business narrative around the phrase, the underlying risk to employers is the decline in employee moral leading to lower productivity. Unhappy employees will bring the organization down and if left unattended produces higher costs, fewer customers, and smaller profit margins.  There is a tangible connection between happy employees and the bottom line.

The fact remains the best employees will perform their duties at 100% – there is no percentage over 100%.

“When you’re remote, your digital experience is your employee experience,” said John Brownridge, a digital workplace leader for Deloitte Consulting. “[Employers] have to go beyond the clicks and the performance…how do we maintain employee experience across multiple dimensions to be successful?”

How do technology dealers help maintain the employee experience?  For starters, recognize that your devices and applications do more than move information.  Tell me how the employee experience is impacted by the printer that ‘doesn’t work’ or a slow, laborious, VPN connection – let’s not forget the ‘blue screen of death’ – all of this before 9:00AM does not a happy employee, make.  

What should you be doing?

  • Leverage your technology offerings as Employee Engagement tools – Remote does not mean disconnected
  • Improve business acumen – Help your customers develop new HR technology policies 
  • Delivery/Installation/Remote support/Self Support – Embrace and enjoy house calls 

The Recession – Hybrid Helps.

There is a belief that tough economic times will force employees back to the office.  “If they want a job, they’ll work in the office”.  The tug and pull between employees and employers is most pronounced in this post-Covid world and a global recession is not going to suddenly help people discover the benefits of working under fluorescent lighting.  Worse, Taco Tuesdays and casual Fridays won’t attract the next generations of employees – even through the downturn.  This is not going to happen.

Hybrid work is proven to reduce costs and increases productivity.  In a recent study, “decision-makers predict, on average, that 29% of their employee base will be partly or fully hybrid/remote 12-18 months from now, tracking with the 26% from 2021.”

Innovative, agile and forward-thinking organizations will work through the recession by “embracing the suck” and promoting a fully remote or hybrid workplace.

During an economic slowdown, it makes sense to shift the workforce into a more economic environment, doesn’t it? Lower real estate, utility costs and so on, a recession should not ‘force’ employees back to the cubes.

What should you be doing?

  • Include cost reductions in office space, utilities, etc. in your proposals
  • Keep your prospects informed with relevant information about the impact of an economic downturn on their business
  • Share what your business is doing to prepare for the possible recession

The world continues to move, business keeps evolving and nothing is the same today as it was yesterday. 

Dive into the turbulence, and help your customers not only survive but thrive.

Enjoy the read and good hunting.

The Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting Right Now: Is It Safe To Quit A Job In A Recession?

“There are several good reasons why you should quit your job, even if the economy is in a recession. The biggest one is unhappiness in your current position.” Here’s a look at quitting during a recession.   What do you think?

Navigating The ‘New’ Supply Chain: How To Deliver On Your Promises With Technology

“Blindsided by the onset of Covid-19, companies already wrestling with a compromised supply chain were challenged further, especially those in the earlier stages of digital transformation.”Our industry has been preaching ‘digital transformation’ since the days of fax-servers.  Covid gives us the opportunity to do what we say we were doing, but never did.

Does anyone actually like the hybrid office?

“It’s the great debate of our time, and the most vocal participants largely belong to one of two disparate camps: those who insist on a full return to office (or at least as near to full as they can persuade others to get on board with), and those who’d be happy to never set foot in an office again.”

Remote work saves companies a ton of money per worker. It could help them survive a recession

“Turns out that not only do workers save money by working remotely—limiting transportation costs and the temptation to spend on fancy lunches—the trend may also help companies, too.”

Somethings seem so obvious; they don’t need to be said – but hybrid work saves employees AND companies money.  Imagine that.

Nationwide Study Shows Movement in Workplace Perceptions

Robert Teel, senior vice president of global solutions at Yardi says, “… decision-makers themselves are comfortable returning to offices; second, that their peers and colleagues share that level of comfort; and third, there is considerable desire and demand for investments in technology and infrastructure…”  

Makes sense to me, read it here.

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