IMTS Insider

Five Tips to Boost Your Company’s Resilience

Category: Business Apr 22, 2020


By Kathy Keyes Webster, AMT Exhibitions Content Manager – Correspondence

Implementing business strategy, cultivating customers, and encouraging a talented team—it all requires confident leadership in the face of pressure. We all have different management styles, and it's easy to feel uncertain during the pandemic, but what can we do about it?

Here are five ideas to foster a resilient business to weather current challenges.

1. Establish or strengthen your relationship with your elected leaders at the local, state, and national level. 

Start with a simple note or phone call. Emphasize your expectation as a constituent that collaboration and compromise be the new order of the day. You can also include a request to meet and an invitation to visit your company. Be sure to follow up with appropriate staff. Even if you didn’t vote for who was elected, it’s important to establish a relationship.

“You can be a valuable resource and advisor on legislation impacting your company and your industry if you are engaged in the process,” advises Amber Thomas, VP – Advocacy at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology which owns and operates IMTS. “Manufacturers are the preservers of national security, the drivers of economic growth, and the creators of stable, well-paid jobs. By connecting with your representatives, the manufacturing technology industry can lead this country into a strong and healthy future.”

2. Contact your state’s Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEP). The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) launched the application process for nearly $50 million in grants for its network of MEPs authorized by the CARES Act

The MEP network is at the forefront of helping manufacturers navigate options in responding to the coronavirus locally and surviving this crisis. The NIST announcement states the MEP centers will use the new funding to continue helping manufacturers recover from workforce and supply chain interruptions, apply for private insurance claims and disaster loans from the SBA, and access resources at the federal, state, and local levels. Funds can also be used to assess the operating needs of manufacturers, scout for manufacturers that can produce critically needed medical equipment and supplies, and organize peer-to-peer manufacturing councils.

3. Monitor your company’s online digital presence.
With most states under stay-at-home orders, many people are online. Review your website and social media outlets to keep your content up-to-date, respond to people talking about your brand, and understand how people view your company.

Each week, click through your website, check Twitter feeds, Google your company name and products, and respond to Facebook and LinkedIn inquiries. Include information about how your company is working through the pandemic on your website and through social media.

4. Protect your company’s information systems and connected machinery. NIST has numerous resources to help small businesses secure their data and information, which include:

  • Small Business Information Security: The Fundamentals (https://csrc.nist.gov/publications/detail/nistir/7621/rev-1/final) guides small-business owners not experienced in cybersecurity and explains basic steps to better protect their information systems.  The National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60 percent of small companies close (from www.staysafeonline.org) within six months following a cyberattack.
  • Computer Security Resource Center (csrc.nist.gov/) provides access to NIST’s cybersecurity and information security-related projects, publications, news, and events.

5. Stay in touch with your industry associations and leaders. AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the owner and operator of IMTS, is committed to serving the manufacturing technology community in the most effective way possible. 

AMT has created a COVID-19 resources webpage for manufacturers to share updates on government actions, business strategies to manage the pandemic, and opportunities to help the world fight this pandemic.

Like people, businesses have struggles. It’s important to remember that they’re not deal breakers, they’re difficulties that we must navigate through. And we can get through them with some preparation and leaning on others’ expertise.

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