The average output (business recoded for industry and trade in wood panels) in May 2020 was around 18-20% of Pre-COVID period. I count May at 20% and expect June at 25%, July and August at 30 percent. In my view, September may record output at 35 to 40%, October reaching up to 45, November touching 50 and December reaching around 55 to 60% of sales of February 2020 numbers. There will be a variation of 15 -18% on above numbers depending upon product, brand and company policies. I mean, there will be many who will reach to 40 percent of Pre-COVID period by December this year and, there could be a few reaching to 70% in the same period. Who will score high, how and why, are the interesting data points and policies I am documenting and shall be sharing through editorials every month.
Brands alone are nothing but products made in factories that are established since a significant time and have served the target market with a unique selling proposition in quality, style, delivery or service. Names have become brands after a long journey of consistency and touching different milestones inbuilding material segment. COVID has given a chance to each one of us to press the refresh button. Few may consider it as a pause, stay put, wait and shrug off the losses. Others who wish to make significant strides should relook at the policies.
After speaking to some of the wizards of building material industry here are the few mantras summarised for you.
1. Aim reaching to 75% of business by end of this year. Work for it with needed finance, focusing on markets near to you with the ease in supply chain.
2. Exit the unrequired categories, products/services that are baggage for now and you have been just been pulling on.
3. Work with those who have made payments, supported you morally and did not avoid picking your calls or replying to your massages during lockdown.
4. Reduce the number of items or SKUs and increase support for easier access and availability of materials, reducing stock burden on your dealers.
5. Reduce your burden of non-performing lot, who have not worked honestly or given excuses instead of becoming part of solution.
6. Aim for tier 2, rural and tier 3 markets and create a strong network of like-minded dealers with a clear demarcated geographical region.
7. Equip your sales team with safe travel plans, insurance, targets & incentives, and well laid out plan.
8. Trim your marketing budget but do see what you are cutting. Your brand visibility should not reduce to the extent that people start forgetting you while your competitions take the advantage.
9. If you are too scared ofthe uncertainties because of the circumstances, it is better to opt for retirement or get into your cocoon only after identifying someone able and honest who can run the enterprise for its mission and objectives not for fear or greed. Cry won’t help, Try Implementing, Stay tuned with ‘plyreporter.com’