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Creating a New Normal

Categories: Innovations, Trends & Technology, ISSA

By Steve Lewis | February 8, 2021 << Back to Articles Creating a New Normal

To say this has been an unusual and challenging year would be putting it mildly.

First, I would like to offer my condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I can’t begin to know what you are going through during this terrible time.

As with any significant event like this pandemic, we will have negatives and positives. Rather than focusing solely on the negatives this pandemic has brought us, we should be embracing the positive changes as well. Creating this “new normal” is sometimes difficult and might even seem impossible.

Would you have believed me if I told you that in 2020, we would be holding virtual meetings on Zoom versus meeting in person? Who even knew about Zoom or Microsoft Teams a year ago? This is just one of the new normal changes that have been made due to this pandemic, and it will be an everlasting one. In fact, it has been predicted that 30% of future meetings will continue being held in virtual format versus taking the time and expense to travel to a meeting. With the reduction in demand, this will significantly affect the travel industry for many years to come. This is a huge game-changer in the way future business will be conducted to reduce costs.

2020 has also required that corporations look for alternative ways to market their products and provide content to customers. There has been an increase in the creation of digital libraries for product presentations and training programs that customers can view 24/7 via the internet, versus contacting a sales or tech person and requesting a meeting or in-person training session for the information.

Think about the increased sales of cleaning products and the new PPE items sold through distribution channels into the market due to this pandemic. The increased demand that far exceeds the traditional manufacturing capacities in some item categories has created opportunities for industrial manufacturers to expand into the retail market.

New opportunities have also arisen with the creation of training programs focused on how to reopen buildings for occupancy after quarantine and how to socially distance in a facility to help reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19. While these new challenges are complicated, it’s up to our industry to help provide the tools needed to tackle them. With that in mind, I would ask everyone to embrace the positive changes coming from this pandemic and build on them.

Now and only now, has this pandemic forced the public to place a higher value on the cleaning industry. Previously, cleaning was an afterthought that only happened at night after everyone went home. Now it is a continual part of our day. We need to build on this opportunity, ensuring a higher value on cleaning becomes a new everlasting normal.

As your new ISSA president, I look forward to 2021 and the opportunities it will bring our industry.

 


About the Author.

Steve Lewis is president of ISSA and also of Golden Star Inc., a company with a rich history of manufacturing cleaning-related products. He can be reached at 816-842-0233, ext.143 or [email protected].