There’s no playbook for dealing with the challenges that the past week has brought upon everyone. I think with any crisis, the smart thing to do is to identify your biggest threats and prioritize a plan of attack based upon the most critical thing(s) in front of you.
We sat down on Monday to do just that for our business (virtually on Skype, of course). That feels like a comically long time ago as I’m writing this on Friday afternoon. But for the most part our plan remains the same.
As of right now our sales are pretty good, shipments are going in and out, the WHO says it’s safe to handle packages, and New York State is still allowing “warehouse/distribution and fulfillment” businesses to stay open.
We’re also already set up for our non-warehouse staff to work remotely. Mike, Greg, and I work from home most days, and two other employees work from home as needed. So, unlike a lot of companies experiencing remote work for the first time, we’re used to that.
The biggest threat seems to be if our entire company gets infected. At that point, not only can packages not go out, but customer service can’t get answered, the website might run into issues, and a host of other unknowns. It could crush our business.
With this in mind – and with the general wellbeing of our employees and community in mind – we created a set of COVID-19 policies, talked to our employees, and published a blog post to communicate with our customers. Today we enacted a few more warehouse policies to minimize interaction to the greatest extent possible. And we have a scheduled call Monday to determine if anything further is necessary. It’s insane how fast this thing is moving.
We should come out of this in pretty good shape. We’re a stronger company than we’ve ever been. But there are plausible scenarios where we lose a considerable amount of business, as well as plausible scenarios where the business grows substantially. It’s really anyone’s guess at this point. We’re going to continue to take it day-by-day and make the best decisions that we can.
Stay safe everyone!