Staying cool post lockdown
The World Economic Forum (WEF) conducted a study on the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, recording a slight improvement in economic activity after the pandemic subsided. Today, economists are predicting a downturn of between 6%-10% in economic growth. What do we bank on?
At this point, post lockdown is fairly unknown territory. We cannot predict what loss the economy will experience or what shape the HVAC industry will be in once the lockdown is lifted. What is predictable is our approach to the crisis and inevitably the game plan we carry with us.
What is also a certainty is that the economy will “reopen” and over time, as seen in 2008, the economy will recover. For SARACCA members and other businesses operating in the HVAC space, the following steps are recommended to minimise impact and increase productivity post lockdown:
Health and Welfare
COVID-19 will not simply disappear after lockdown. Ensuring the wellbeing of staff is now more essential than ever. During the last days of lockdown, spend time planning the reopening procedures, while communicating the planned steps with your team.
Communicating to staff on payment shortfalls, leave procedures and possible retrenchments will not only create a better awareness of the challenges faced but will reinforce solutions on the table.
For business owners consider the following key tips:
- Before you open up on the first day back, plan a motivational session with the team. Team spirit can overcome mountains of challenges.
- Consider all the financial support available from the Government. You may require a capital injection for the next 3-6 months.
- Ensure the business is fully equipped to manage recommended hygiene practices.
- Be considerate, you are not the only person stressed and worried.
- Be confident, things will improve!
- Despite revenue shortfalls, it is recommended not to get into a price war with other companies, in the long run, nobody wins.
COVID-19 will not simply disappear after lockdown. Ensuring the wellbeing of staff is now more essential than ever. During the last days of lockdown, spend time planning the reopening procedures while communicating the planned steps with your team.
In some cases suppliers may not continue operating, leaving a shortage of supplies. Restoring revenue flows should be a top priority. Check-in with suppliers to ensure that products are available on request.
Sharing your operational plan with key customers could help build credibility and assist with your customers own planning. Projects may be iced and others brought forward. Engaging with all stakeholders may help build a strong operation plan post lockdown.
Are all the staff’s SAQCC Gas registrations up-to-date? SAQCC Gas offices are open to assist with re-registrations or renewals. This encompasses OHS training. Training facilities can only take so many trainees. Pre-bookings is recommended for post lockdown training.
There seems to be more uncertainty in the HVAC industry that ever before. For many years the HVAC industry has sustained tight margins while navigating a sluggish economy. What lies ahead is a mystery to many.
The fact is, South African businesses operating in the HVAC space have always been resilient in the face of a challenge. What makes our industry especially tough is our ability to adapt and seek out opportunity. SARACCA remains committed to assisting members with material support and labour advice. Visit www.saracca.co.za for further information.