November 19, 2021 / By Kevin Norcross
About 19 months ago, almost to the day, I wrote a blog about not being able to wait until “business as usual” returned. Well, that aged about as well as a gallon of milk.
Over the past almost two years, we have navigated an industry and a world that seemed to change daily, while at the same time moving forward to recover what was lost in the early months of the pandemic.
We changed the way we worked, increasing virtual positions and video sales calls while we looked hard at production, making sure our factory employees were as protected as their office counterparts. We saw the (literal) ups and downs of segment projections, and in our case actually took the opportunity to physically grow.
Now we’re navigating supply chain issues, making decisions about how to get sometimes hard-to-find materials into our factories and then on to our customers’ worksites. In July, I laid out the situation, with its demand changes, design changes and planning needs, along with the importance of keeping people front-and-center as we work our way through.
As we stare down the last few weeks of 2021, and continue working through all these issues that are changing us all, I am not thinking about “business as usual” anymore.
I’m thinking about gratitude: For the health of my family, friends and teammates. For customers who worked with us to make sure their projects were well designed and builds went smoothly. For an industry that is making headway and advances in the most challenging time I’ve ever experienced, professionally.
I’m thinking optimistically about the market’s recovery. I am excited about new advancements in fire-rated and high-security glazing that make it easy for our customers to stay on the safe side. We’re changing things at Vetrotech to continue to innovate for the future, not stay stuck in the past. I’m thinking about the importance of a good team. With the labor issues we’re all facing compounding supply chain uncertainty, the people we surround ourselves with are more important than ever.
I’m not going to try to predict what will happen in 2022, although I’m optimistic for our industry’s continued recovery; and excited for what’s in store. The only thing I know for sure is that whatever comes, the past two years have helped us develop the flexibility we need to be ready for it.