Labor shortages, supply chain congestion, and COVID restrictions are all causing issues for dealers as we head into 2022, but these challenges can also create opportunities for growth.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics, 38 million people quit their job between January and November of 2021. More than 4 million people quit in October alone.
On top of that, we are seeing struggles in the supply chain. No doubt some of you experienced this over the Holidays as many things were out of stock.
All signs point to these two trends continuing through at least the first part of 2022.
These are thing we can’t change, but we can find solutions and create opportunities from the confusion. There are some steps you can take to make sure your business stays strong amid the chaos.
Do your research.
By now, you have seen how supply and staffing issues are impacting your business.
You know what you ordered last year, and what actually arrived. You can also figure out how long things took to arrive and use that data to create a new purchasing plan to make sure you set yourself up for success.
It’s not an exact science, but each order you make will reveal new information about how the supply chain is doing and what you can expect as the weeks go on.
The one thing we found out during this past year is that nothing is set in stone. As an owner or manager, you need to be able to adapt quickly.
Parts may come in late, or three people may quit in one week, but you need to be ready for that.
Set up a backup plan, or at least let your employees know that you are ready for anything. This will not only help you, but also help build up confidence among workers who know you are ready to tackle issues head-on.
Put a plan in place.
This best way to combat these issues is to come up with a plan.
As we start the new year, it’s a great time to sit down with employees and talk about what to expect. Let them know what you are experiencing on the business and supply side of things, and make sure they know you are ready for anything.
Same goes with the customer. You need to make sure your customers know you are dealing with supply and staffing issues. Chances are your competitors are also dealing with the same problems, so it’s important to be open and honest about what’s going on.
Invest in solutions.
Finally, you need to invest in solutions to tackle these problems.
Adopting an automated communications system for your business is the best way to keep track of supply and to make sure employees don’t feel overworked.
Texting platforms are trending. Customers prefer to text businesses rather than call. This is a good thing.
You can now stop having employees waste time on the phone, leaving a voicemail, and waiting for callbacks. Now you can just text customers.
You can even set up automated texts so employees can work on other things while they wait for a reply.
New data shows that this texting trend is not going away. It started during the pandemic, and people found it so simple and convenient, that they are using texting platforms more frequently.
The biggest component of this is with text-to-pay, which allows a customer to complete an entire transaction without an in-person visit.
Bottom line, whatever you plan to do in 2022, make sure to stay proactive. Don’t get bogged down with what you don’t have, work with the supplies and the staff you have.