I have often written about change. For those that know me understand that I am a large advocate of change, to the point that it should be part of our everyday life. I encourage a culture of fostering change both at home and at work. I believe we should all be doing things (taking action) today, that will make tomorrow better than yesterday. We all have a responsibility to do this like our predecessors have done before us.

Whilst I’m an advocate of change, unfortunately I can’t say that I enjoy all change. Sometimes it can be quite frightening, especially when it is having a negative impact on our lives. In fact, external forces of change and uncertainty are really something I struggle to deal with. It’s not nice to feel vulnerable or helpless to the change that is going on around us.

Fortunately, many organisations have a business continuity plan. The purpose of this plan is that if a critical incident happens that disrupts the business, there are a set of steps to follow to ensure that your business can continue to operate. Businesses spend a lot of time and money preparing these plans and even more importantly testing them. I am pleased to report that Computer Merchants has such a plan, and that we test it on it on a regular basis. Whilst we plan for the worst, I can share that I do in fact hope for the best. I’m sure many of my colleagues have a similar approach. I can also share that our plan did not factor in a pandemic, but more fire, flood and other more common disasters.

With everything going on, we are certainly glad that we did have a tested plan. It has meant that having staff work remotely has been very straight forward. Operationally I am very proud that our systems and processes have worked just as though everyone is on-site. It has meant that our suppliers and customers should be realising little or no impact from our current mode of operation. What has been obvious however is that our most important asset is our people, not buildings or infrastructure. This creates another challenge; looking after a remote workforce. Making sure our people are okay is a lot easier when you see them in the office. We have been relying heavily on WebEx to have lots of video conferencing, which seems to be working extremely well. The quality has been exceptional and it has increased our connectivity / comradeship to one another as opposed to voice alone.

Our Newsletter started off with our purpose “Together, helping our customers achieve their goals”. Together means a lot to me. I enjoy being a part of Computer Merchants as much today as I did when I started 28 years ago. This really comes down to the people that I have worked alongside with. Any visitors we have to our facility comment on the atmosphere here, it’s a very warm and friendly place that is busy and full of laughter. I certainly miss seeing our staff in person, however I am grateful they are happily working from home helping you achieve your goals.

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