Focus on Business

Sue Mucha

Ramp the advertising programs and support them with content tied to sales efforts.

In my last column, I discussed the communications strategies that were most important as Covid-19 began to change our working lives. This month, I look at communications strategies that will be most important as we resume the new normal working world.

As I write this (Apr. 16), the strategy for reopening businesses is just being formulated. From everything I’ve seen reported, it appears the strategy will be a rolling relaxation of restrictions, which means geographic advantages for companies in places that either had minimal infection rates or have successfully flattened their curves. Rolling increases of restrictions are also likely if a region starts to see new spikes in infections.

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Sue Mucha

Or how not to make a (potential) problem bigger than it is.

As I write this (Feb. 28), the spread of Covid-19 within the US is still very limited in terms of numbers of confirmed cases. That said, it is already creating a large body of communications lessons to be learned that will remain relevant a month from now.

The stock market has tanked, and people are fearful of what’s next because there is a lot of speculation on worst-case scenarios. Cases are growing worldwide, and the media is uttering the words “will have an impact on the supply chain” every other sentence.

The basic problem with this or any other evolving crisis (be it pandemic, material allocation or natural disaster) is, at the beginning, it can be difficult to assess what will happen. Will this be an H1N1-type event, where business continues with heightened attention to employee health in impacted areas, or will it require the draconian quarantine measures already seen in China that created significant supply-chain disruption? The answers may be unclear for weeks. The natural impulse is to say as little as possible. The problem is when only the media is talking, people imagine worst-case scenarios. Hence the huge selloffs in the stock market.

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Joseph Fama

How the NPI sector can position itself to beat Tier 1 EMSs at their own game.

Read more: EMS Collaboration: The Giant Killer

Gene Weiner

Auditors can help improve processes, but certifying quality is another story.

Writing in the August issue of PCD&F, Peter Bigelow says quality programs should ensure quality, not hamstring ingenuity. “Micromanaging a supplier by approving or certifying processes the customer is not familiar with will ultimately hamstring their supply base and add unnecessary cost and time, thus defeating the purpose of the approval or certification,” he concludes.

I believe outside auditors or consultants can help improve yields, lower costs, shorten cycle times, and so on.

Read more: The Limits of Certification

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