This week Pete Basiliere shares his experience with quarantining in New England. When Pete is not interviewing print executives or OEMs about new technology, he can be found doing his civic duty in New Hampshire. Most recently he helped coordinate his local primary in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak.
What can you tell us about this picture?
Three friends and I brought several strings of light bulbs to Milford’s town common. We strung red, white and blue lights on the bushes at the base of the flagpole. We strung white lights around the bandstand and illuminated the statue of two children reading books. Just something to brighten the center of town and be a beacon of hope. If you are not already doing so, support your community. No doubt there are plenty of opportunities, some that may be a little outside the box. Anything that makes people feel connected can make a difference.
Where is home?
We moved to Milford, New Hampshire almost forty years ago. Our youngest child was conceived in Massachusetts and born in New Hampshire. We thought at least she would be considered a NH native but an old Yankee set us straight: “Just because a cat has kittens in the oven doesn’t make them biscuits.”
How much do work from home when there’s not a pandemic?
Daily unless traveling. My last business trips were to the Formnext 3D print trade show in Germany last November and to Applied Additive in Scarborough Maine two months ago. No telling when clients will welcome on-site visits, much less when the events industry will reopen.
Days at home since March 1?
What are you doing to keep spirits up?
My wife and I take daily walks. Sadly, due to overuse and crowding, of all things, some local hiking trails and parks have closed. We also have frequent phone and video calls with family around the country. We miss not hugging the kids and grandkids.
What are your favorite stories of people/companies helping others during the pandemic?
There are too many to list, which is a sign of our humanity.
What are your top tips for printing companies in managing through the pandemic?
Personally connect with your employees, customers and suppliers – be there for them. Connect by talking with them in person or on a call, not email. Empathize with them by asking how they are doing and what they need.
All of us are working through this “new normal” and there will be another “new normal” that we have to adapt to when we get back to business. Your likelihood of successfully managing these transitions and new realities will be magnified by actively connecting.
What do you think OEMs can/should do to help their customers?
In addition to actively connecting with personal communications, technology providers must strive to keep the hardware, software and materials supply chains open. You can do this by acknowledging most customers are focused on sailing through uncharted waters and not on buying a new boat.
Make the spare parts, the programming support, the supplies readily available. Ask yourself “What will my customers need in order to simply keep their business running?”
I recognize that in the current situation, with reduced staffing and lower revenue, that is easier said than done. We’re not talking major investments, but of an awareness that the small parts that can be delivered within hours or overnight, for example, can keep your customer up and running what little work they have. Similarly, by making your tech support people and field technicians readily available you can assure customers that you are there for them.
I’m reminded of the slogan for Rein’s Deli, “The taste of quality is long remembered.” Being there for your customers in the middle of a pandemic will be long remembered.
Thanks for sharing, Pete.
Learn more about the Inkjet Insight team and suggestions for getting through this together.