responses submitted by Kevin Pung, Chief Customer Officer, Waytek Inc.
Impacts of COVID-19
What have been some of the biggest challenges your company, and the industry as a whole, has faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
The three biggest challenges we faced were moving our office staff to a work-from-home environment, maintaining our warehousing operations in a manner which would keep our employees safe and still allow us to meet customer needs, and maintaining acceptable inventory levels while managing the supply chain disruptions associated with plant closures due to COVID-19 as it spread across the globe.
How has your company worked to overcome these challenges?
Within 2 weeks we were able to move our office staff out of the building. This included providing access to the phone and computer system which allowed us to continue to serve our customers at the same proficiency as we did while located within the building. Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, our warehouse team has been diligently following state and CDC guidelines for cleaning and distancing. This has allowed us to continue operations throughout the pandemic with no downtime due to a COVID infection within our building. With an eye towards the potential disruption in the supply chain, we started to increase our inventory position on most products as the crisis started in Asia and eventually moved to North America.
Have the challenges brought to light any potential opportunities for change or improvement within your company, or the industry?
We are using Microsoft Teams and email more for our communications rather than in-person meetings. This has led us to be more efficient in our communications and to limit disruptions to employees.
What, if any, long-lasting effects do you think the pandemic could have on the industry?
With the shift to a work-from-home environment for many companies, more customers are using the web to interact with us and place orders. Therefore, having a robust, user-friendly website is of ever-increasing importance. We would also expect to see challenges with availability of chassis coming from the auto manufacturers as we finish 2020 and go into 2021.
Challenges & Opportunities
What are the biggest challenges facing the industry currently, or do you see the industry facing in the coming years?
Supply chain issues regarding chassis down to the component level; and keeping workers safe and businesses operational with limited shutdowns.