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ARE THERE ANY BENEFITS IN THIS ADVERSITY?

The COVID-19 outbreak will challenge how we all do business – in both the short and the long run. Can any benefits come out of this situation?

In 2008, we went through a deep financial crisis. At the time, I crossed the province of Ontario on behalf of the Excellence for Manufacturing Consortium. As I met with manufacturers, I learned that they were using more than 50% of their energy when they had no production, or only limited production. 

They had no idea. The meter was running, but they didn’t have a clue how much their utilities were costing. Eliminating their wasteful energy use was a quick way to cushion the negative impacts on their bottom line.

Today, the threat of COVID-19 feels somewhat similar to the financial turmoil we experienced then. 

And, like the last crisis, I recognize that energy and water costs are the last thing on your mind. 

In the weeks and months to come, your operations are going to be modified. Your business continuity may be challenged.

However, based on the lessons from more than a decade ago, I want you to add energy and water use to your checklist for action. This is a low cost action and it will eliminate any energy and water use that is not required. These are expenses your organization does not need. 

This COVID-19, like the 2008 financial storm, will eventually pass.  When it does, your business, like others, will ramp up production to meet pent up demand. At that point, you will still need to be mindful of the utilities in your cost structure.  

Pay attention now. It will serve you well. Planning for your future energy requirements will also serve you well. Tracking energy use today will enable you to control your costs – now, and tomorrow. 

The COVID-19 crisis has put other risks to the back seat. Let’s learn the business lessons from this crisis so we will know what to do when we find ourselves in the next one.


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