How to Prepare for the Unexpected

Samantha Mikos

No one could prepare for the unexpected pandemic and the result it has had on the world. Businesses everywhere are being affected in the harshest of measures. Not only has the term social distancing become common in our everyday speak, but the mass amount of layoffs and furloughs have had extreme effects on the economy.

While we understand that the unexpected is happening everywhere, now is a great time to tackle any out-of-date processes.

To prepare for the unexpected in the future, we have come up with an internal checklist when working with vendor partners. This way, long-standing relationships can sustain as best as possible through this difficult time – and we can all come out on top together. 

Notify Vendors of Big Changes 

Everyone is experiencing big changes right now. If your company is feeling the pressure of a business-altering transition, connect with any vendors who will be affected by those changes.

Whether you had to let go of team members or you are experiencing a disruption in your production, convey as much information as possible to your vendors while you can. Avoiding gaps in communication now will allow for a smoother transition when we come out of this. 

Updates to Shipping 

Shipping is an important part of all businesses, but many companies are choosing to postpone shipments for the time being.

On the contrary, if you have stopped receiving shipments, it is important to notify any vendors who may be affected by this. While safety measures have been put in place to provide for safe shipping methods, every company preference is different.

Additional Contact Information 

When it comes to communication, cover all bases. If you have multiple sales or account managers, provide one or two additional contacts to your vendor. If individuals are overwhelmed with their workload, other team members can provide support as needed.  

Unfortunately, the worst can happen, and an individual can be let go. If this is the case for your team, make sure your leadership recommends an alternative contact to sustain the relationship and ensure that the communication does not get lost.

Provide Transparency

Communication is more pertinent than ever. While many companies may struggle to stay on top of everyday tasks during this time, it is the common understanding that we are all in this together.

When communication is transparent, empathy can provide a safe passage of information. While we are all trying our best to be as understanding as possible, it bodes well to keep the channel of communication open and honest.

Your security network of vendor partnerships can help you stay afloat. Stay open and positive during this time, and don’t be afraid to sync up with an old vendor contact. Check in to see how the company is doing. That way, if you’re able to assist, the relationship is further strengthened as we return to the new normal.