To say we’re in the midst of a challenging time would be an understatement. Last week, Mike Lessiter wrote about the challenges we’re already facing just a quarter into the new year along with some tips on staying focused and moving the ball downfield. Among all the news in the last week about closings, there was a spot of bright news.
On March 19, Christopher Krebs, director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, issued a Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During Covid-19 Response. The memo listed the various industries deemed “essential” during this time and included food and agriculture. That includes, employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure necessary to agricultural production and distribution. In other words, farm equipment dealerships.
Will business be different? Sure it will, but as customers prepare for planting it will be important to provide the parts and service they need. In times like these, being adaptable and figuring out a way to go with the flow is important. A number of dealers are adding curbside pick-up for parts ordered online or called in. Now’s the time for creative thinking, and we may come out of this with some new best practices. Through floods, fires and other natural disasters, we’ve seen dealers across North America scramble to get their operations functional so they can still be there for their customers in a time of need. I have no doubt you’ll all do that now.
This is a hard time for all of us, as we juggle smaller staffs as some people are forced to be home for health reasons or with children out of school (I’m writing this from my kitchen table as my son practice his letters). But, if there’s any industry that knows how to come together, it’s the ag industry. Let’s share ideas, be there for our customers (and each other) and we’ll all come through this as stronger and better businesses (and individuals).
As things continue to change, let’s keep talking and finding a better way.