3 Ways Manufacturers Can Navigate Crisis and Prepare for Recovery

By Jane Kang

Companies are working hard to understand demand, respond to supply shortfalls, and ensure staffing levels are right-sized for the current environment. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), 53% of respondents anticipate a change in operations and 78% anticipate a financial impact as a result of COVID-19.

We know you’re working hard to keep operations running today as well as thinking about what it means to get back to more normal operations in the long term. And we want to help. Here are three strategies to empower and support your employees, distributors, and customers during these truly unprecedented times.

1. Empower and equip your remote workforce

As you navigate what business looks like in this “new normal,” one of the most pressing issues is how to manage an entirely remote workforce. You can start by simplifying how newly remote teams work together with tools and processes that support a work-from-home culture.

  • First, use a centralized information platform to improve information flow. This will help cross-functional teams  — including Sales, Engineering, Quality, Legal, and Finance — stay ahead of rapidly changing customer and business needs with 360-degree visibility.
  • Next, equip employees with tools that enable seamless virtual collaboration. Teams need to be able to collaborate securely and in real time both internally and externally. Now more than ever, email, one-off texts, and app-switching aren’t safe or sustainable.
  • Finally, make it easy for your teams to track pipeline, deals, and performance at a glance with real-time CRM visibility and context. This will help you empower managers to make informed business decisions and drive alignment and accountability around tasks, priorities, action items, and fast-changing customer initiatives.

The world has changed. Embracing this new way of working isn’t a choice, and it’s not necessarily temporary either. It’s a requirement for tackling immediate challenges in a way that minimizes disruption and supports business continuity.

2. Stay closely aligned with dealers and distributors

In this rapidly changing environment, strong dealer and distributor relationships are critical in ensuring all parties are able to respond quickly to challenges and remain strategically aligned. The stability of your business depends on these relationships. Engage with your distributors from a foundation of collaboration, and you’ll be better equipped to keep essential lines of business operational during the pandemic.

Real-time communication and shared visibility into operations have never been more important. Use digital collaboration tools to expedite communication and stay in close contact with distributors so you are always in sync on fast-moving decisions around everything from order and logistics status, to supply levels and strategy. As everyone works through unique challenges, you must be able to stay connected in real-time to make sure a reduced workforce can continue to meet demand.

3. Nurture customer relationships during uncertain times

During these challenging times, providing consistently great customer experiences is a direct path to building lasting credibility and trust. Be agile and responsive now, and you’ll open the door to future revenue-generating opportunities and long-term loyalty.

Help reps stay ahead of their customers’ needs by arming them with 360-degree visibility into a rich history of client data, account operations, and real-time insights. This will allow them to deliver personalized engagement in a timely manner, leveraging the most relevant information available.

Learn about how our sales leaders are connecting with customers and maintaining customer relationships while working remotely.

Improved collaboration with your workforce and your ecosystem

Manufacturers that take steps to improve business flexibility will be in the best position to effectively support employees, partners, and customers during these volatile times — and beyond. Our customers are using Quip to stay connected in real-time and accelerate decision-making, all in an effort to meet their short-term goals during the COVID-19 pandemic, while setting the stage for longer-term recovery and growth.

Quip supports your efforts to be more agile and responsive by transforming critical processes and enabling you to securely collaborate across and outside your business. Quip helps teams and managers work together efficiently, helps drive alignment with dealers and distributors, and supports timely and optimized engagement with customers.

To learn more about how teams can use Quip to stay connected, while maintaining business continuity, watch this short video.