Newsletter January 2021
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IN THIS MONTH’S NEWSLETTER
2020 Industry Anecdotes
As we wrap up an unforgettable year, it’s important to reflect on how the industry handled 2020. Through our monthly polls and a special form, we invited industry professionals to weigh in with their own anecdotes of COVID disruption over the course of the year. This month, we compiled our observations along with your stories into a new publication, 2020: A Retrospective. The themes we picked up on were stories of the industry pivoting, adapting and accelerating growth in response to challenges. Unfortunately there simply wasn’t room for all the stories we received. Here are some of our favorite anecdotes that we had to leave out:
- “Having to send a majority of personnel home to work during this time proved to be challenging. However, it brought to light the age old debate on ‘can we be efficient?’ It was very clear that the newer-age-thinking individuals had no issues working from home, were just as efficient (if not more) and found peace in that work/life balance. The older-age-thinking individuals had difficulty adapting and complained things could not get done if people were not physically in the office and being seen doing work. Leadership has to step up to the plate and realize that this pandemic really shows that if you cannot Pivot, you will Perish. Think outside the box, give employees the opportunities to find that balance (obviously by job description as not every position can do this. But at the same time, be a company that does not shy away just because of that), use your meetings wisely and stay in constant communication with your teams.“By doing this you not only open yourself up to enhancing your current employees mindsets and lives, you also attract the younger generation that is looking for this in a career. By not doing this, you risk losing valuable employees who see and adapt to the Pivot, and understand that thinking you have to physically have someone in the office is a very archaic way to run a business. Those employees eventually find something that will suit that efficient work style and will be gone quickly.”
- “My company was not calling back in after I was furloughed so I ended up changing to another company. I had almost 5 months of furlough and am very happy to be working again.”
- “I took advantage of time out of the field. Did a ton of on-line training. Got my Fiery Pro Certification and Idealliance CMP Master. When customers finally did open, I tried to visit everyone to PM and update firmware.”
- “This is a difficult time for business. Techs are afraid to go on-site or are wanting hazard pay. Customers are making demands like coming after five so no one is around the techs while in their office. There are a ton of challenges to adapt to.”
- “It may not be until fall, but things will bounce back. There will definitely be more people working from home, and a significant amount of people on the move as well. The business model, especially in Downtown areas, has undoubtedly been shaken, but our economy has the flexibility and innovative spirit to bend but not break.”
- “2020 was a year like no other, though we can learn from it. We have learned to WFH more efficiently, contact clients in new ways, listen to new needs/goals which were never there pre-COVID. 2021 shows a lot of promise with the vaccines coming out and people wanting to work more efficiently – from home or office. It will likely get off to a slow start though if we use what we have learned from 2020 we can make 2021 much better.”
- “Between the owner and the new director, we not only are surviving, we’re thriving. I really got it when we had a virtual sales meeting in April or May and the owner said verbatim ‘Some companies are going to use COVID as an excuse. We are going to use COVID as a reason to evolve.’ I can only imagine the owner and/or the sales director have utilized or reached out to your organization because we’ve hired more people – and good people – during COVID than we had in two or three past years combined. We are thriving and having a blast!“We’ve gone from being a single OEM dealership when I came to my company over eight years ago to adding two new OEMs. All that being added and we haven’t done anything different. We sell our brand. It sounds cliche, but everyone who works here feels that way. “Not sure why I’m going on here but hopefully you see my passion for this organization and if you had a sales rep looking for work who has a great track record and wants to work for a company with resources, yet is a great family owned company and portrays those values, hit us up!”
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On January 11th, Staples announced a $2.1 billion cash offer to buy Office Depot. This is a significant come down from the previous offer of $6.3 billion in 2015. The previous attempt to buy Office Depot was blocked by a federal judge as a violation of antitrust law.
In an attempt to mollify the FTC this time, Staples said it may increase the offer if Office Depot divested B2B units such as CompuCom. Alternatively, Staples said it is “prepared to divest Office Depot’s commercial business unit to an FTC-approved buyer,” according to Bloomberg.
2020 Industry News Reflections
As we start 2021, it’s important to look back at the big stories from last year. COVID, of course, looms large this year but we shouldn’t forget other 2020 industry news stories… Read More
The results are in and… Right, well, that’ll teach us to throw a joke answer in our polls. Our runaway 2021 prediction, taking 63% of the votes, is for Godzilla to make an appearance. We suppose that is the only reasonable way to top 2020.
The next votes were split in a close tie between an optimistic “we’re turning a corner” (15%) and a more cautious “more of the same” (14%). The remaining 8% of the votes went pessimistically to “we’re going downhill.”
So the jury is still out on 2021 but, personally, we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for radioactive lizards – just to be safe.
What do you expect for 2021?
- What could be next - Godzilla? (63%, 8,995 Votes)
- We’re turning a corner! (15%, 2,173 Votes)
- More of the same (14%, 1,953 Votes)
- We’re going downhill! (8%, 1,145 Votes)
Some comments from y’all:
- “Restarting document flows in many parts of the industry will be strictly a maintenance issue, at first. Optimism for technical positions next year may have a surge of their own as customers increase their own workflow.”
- “The industry is evolving away from the typical office setting of offices full of employees, a lot of telecommuting is on the horizon.”
- “Actually looking to hire, NH is faring better than most.”
- “Our great grandparents have been through much worse, we can get through this.”
- “I lost my senior tech job because of COVID-19. I hope to go back to work sooner than later.”
January Newsletter 2021 Poll
What is your #1 2021 goal?
- Get vaccinated (64%, 8,037 Votes)
- Get a new certification/skill (23%, 2,905 Votes)
- Find a job (6%, 710 Votes)
- Retire (4%, 522 Votes)
- Get that promotion (2%, 201 Votes)
- Change my job (1%, 142 Votes)
- Become my own boss (0%, 14 Votes)