COVID Supply Chain & Category Management – Time for Us All to Take a Short Break!!

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We’ve had a long ride on this “train” already and it looks like it’s not about to stop for a while (this “train” can cross oceans btw), let’s all be prepared for a longer ride.  But let’s also not  forget that there are some miniscule benefits to how we’re having to adjust to this journey or ride that we’re on.  Let me share a few and I’m sure it will prod you into thinking about your personal ones.  In no particular order…

I’m a foodie and a pretty good cook (hence the weight 😊) but have never gotten into baking.  It’s just too much recipe driven and constrained, but I thought I would take advantage of more time in the kitchen and at least try it with bread.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one since there was a yeast shortage (not kidding☹) and so I gave up after trying to grow my own yeast a couple of times.  Voila – I then found a recipe for bread with 3 ingredients and one of them is not yeast – it’s a can of beer.  So, I tried it sticking to the recipe the 1st time and it was great and then it was off to the races.  I now make that bread with 10 ingredients – the additional are flavor and texture enhancers and we’re now gifting it to people.  We’ve also expanded our pantry to more international flavors so I’m cooking much more Korean, Mexican etc. than I used to.

I remember being in Barcelona just a few months ago with family and remember walking everywhere and the sidewalk restaurants with their heated tents everywhere.  Our downtown (Naperville – suburb of Chicago) has now shut down some streets to traffic (as have many other cities) and allowed restaurants to put up semi-permanent tents.  It’s a very European feel and experience since many streets around there are brick also. Ummmm, I could get used to this😊!

Let’s be honest with each other.  If you are one of those lucky ones that can work from home (our gratitude and thanks to all those that make it possible for us) and reading this during work time, you’re probably in flip flops and shorts.  Depending on whom you will be interacting with on video will determine what kind of shirt you have on and whether you have shaved or not.  Ummmm, I could get used to this😊!

I’ve gotten to know my neighborhood more than ever before and I’ve been here for a long time.  But now I go for walks into areas I didn’t know were there and wave at people I never met before.  Heck, we’ve even started a few conversations about their flowers and the weather – you know, really important neighborly stuff.  Ummmm, I could get used to this😊!

Our bubble of people that we physically interact with has shrunk just like everyone else ☹.  However, our overall bubble of people we interact with has expanded as we are trying to stay in touch with people and check on their wellbeing.  Weekly Zoom calls with family and friends are getting bigger and rowdier.  Oh yeah, Zoom is now a verb like Fedex.  And I’ve noticed tht even in the immediate bubble, the frequency and depth of contacts has increased.  Ummmm, I could get used to this😊!

I am not trying to be a Pollyanna here and trying to ignore reality.  However, it’s ok to take an occasional break and find some roses to smell – there’s always a silver lining somewhere 😊!  And I got through this entire blog without once mentioning that harsh reality.

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Dalip Raheja
Dalip Raheja is President and CEO of The Mpower Group (TMG). Dalip has over 30 years of experience managing large organizations and change initiatives. He has worked across the spectrums of supply chain management, strategic sourcing, and management consulting.

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