by Paul Giorgi, ECi Software Solutions
It's been 6 weeks since I’ve had a morning commute and walked up the stairs to my company's office. Luckily 99.9% of my activities are done online, so for my job, it is pretty much business as usual. I dare say, I’m really beginning to like working from home — the stress-free commute is pretty awesome. Unfortunately, many in our industry are not as fortunate.
At the last MPSA board meeting, we discussed the absolute horror of what is going on with some of the office equipment dealers we work with daily. Many dealers are furloughing their staff and slashing operating costs to a bare minimum. Other dealers are fully focused on the overload demand of their managed services offerings and how it is stretched resources to a near breaking point with requests for remote working services. It did not help that, at one point, there were literally no webcams available anywhere.
During the MPSA board meeting, it was decided to create a taskforce to better support MPSA members with a resource hub. We then went beyond and opened the Resource Hub to the entire industry, which you can view here. As you can see, it’s very comprehensive — congratulations to the team who have assembled this comprehensive list.
As I write this, the MPSA has just concluded a webinar on the state of the industry and how MPS dealers are coping with the impact of COVID-19. A special shout out to Kevin De Young and Kevin Morris for their contributions to this call.
Both have stated, and I hear this from other dealers, that in general, business has dropped a whopping 70%! Of course, some of this is offset by a 40% increase coming from the medical vertical. While this is good, it is not enough particularly if your customer base is not hospitals.
Both Kevins also stated they have applied for the assistance programs that are available — federal, state, even local — to keep their employees on the payroll. The consensus is it will be a lot harder to rehire once the economy gets going, so they are taking the charge to keep their employees on the payroll.
The good thing is that both Kevins noted their COVID-19 efforts to drive their customers to cloud solutions are paying off. If your dealership offers more than just print, there are opportunities like cloud solutions that will help you grow now and after COVID-19.
Here are some things to think about: On March 30, Gartner surveyed 317 CFOs and found that 74% expect their work force, who previously worked in the brick and mortar office space, will continue to work from home with periodic visits into the office. Canadian research firm Research Co found that 73% of Canadians expect to work from home more once the lockdown comes to an end. This is a significant change to the way the world will work in 2021 and beyond.
Historically, we see evidence to support this. The Black Death of the 14th century marked an end of an era in the way many people lived and directly led to the Renaissance, one of the greatest epochs of art, architecture, and literature in human history. Could we be at the cusp of a Modern Renaissance? Only time will tell.
Did you miss the webinar? MPSA members can catch the replay here. Not a member? Archived webinars are just one member benefit — see them all here.