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Investing During Times of Crisis

Just when we thought it safe to get back in the…

The COVID pandemic continues to be one of the worst crises we have faced in our lifetime.  I guess it would be fair to say that we all suffered at least some disruption of our lives and even our businesses. We can only hope we are nearing the end of this challenging time.

With all of the obstacles we have faced during most of the past two years, we have been surprised by certain trends in the supply chains that we at ACUMEN support as a provider of enterprise software. Most of our clients play a critical role in getting goods to consumers or other businesses that play a different role in the supply chain. Some are the actual manufacturers and some are the distributors who get things from point to point and often provide services to accompany the products they distribute.

Early in the pandemic clients and prospects that I spoke with were hesitant to make commitments or even predictions of how their businesses would fare as the situation grew worse. But within a few months, a new trend emerged. Many companies were taking the plunge and actually investing in their businesses. One large manufacturer bought new equipment for their production line. Another asked us to help implement warehouse management software and processes. It became obvious that savvy business folks were looking for ways to streamline business processes while enhancing competitive advantage. The bottom line was that they were facing the crisis head-on…determined to outlast the pandemic and emerge stronger if somewhat leaner.

Does that trend mean that the businesses who chose that course had deep pockets? Perhaps. Could it mean that they attracted new investors? Could be. But to my way of thinking it meant that they were investing not only money but additional determination to survive and succeed despite the obstacles.

One of our clients told me that the pandemic forced her to look at her business plan more critically and make corrections where necessary. It also caused her to reach out to all of her clients and members of her particular supply chain more frequently. The discourse built her confidence that things would eventually improve. So, investments in new technology were made and she now reports an uptick in sales. I’m sure her trading partners saw that she was not prepared to go down without a fight. It was inspiring.

Facing down the pandemic hasn’t been for the faint of heart. I admit to my moments of doubt. But good businesses…well run businesses…find ways to stay the course, even when that means making strategic investments.

As you fine-tune your strategies and help revitalize your part of the supply chain, don’t hesitate to reach out to ACUMEN if only to open up a dialogue about ways to strengthen and streamline your business. Whether working to right-size your inventory or automate time-consuming processes, we’ve faced similar goals before and may be able to help. We’re as close as the phone.