Since the coronavirus pandemic hit Brazil, companies from different segments have had to adapt to a new reality, full of restrictions as well as opportunities. Then came the need to put in place a lot of resilience and a lot of energy to review processes, practices and strategies, in order to maintain operations and the delivery of products and services to its customers, in addition to keeping employees and the company healthy.

For the electrical material distribution segment, the challenge was no different. The adaptation that emerged most strongly and eminently was the adoption of the home office. The availability of equipment, the generation of remote access for the teams, the use of new work tools and the management of this new modality of action were some of the obstacles that needed to be overcome in a short time, mitigating the resulting impacts on the company's flows.

The routines of commercial teams, especially the external ones, also underwent a major transformation. Instead of being on the streets, in face-to-face meetings or visiting clients, they started to carry out their presentations and negotiations through online meetings, videoconferences and applications. It was possible to exchange the time previously dedicated to long journeys between one meeting and another, for an optimized contact process, allowing this to happen with greater ease, flexibility and recurrence. Despite the qualitative losses of a face-to-face meeting, remote work and this new way of communicating ended up resulting in greater proximity between the points and an improvement in the relationship between the parties, in addition to bringing more productivity to the exercise of the function.

There is no doubt that the home office is an adaptation that is here to stay and that has already transformed the relationship of employees with their work. Externally, as the possibility of purchasing products at the counter of physical stores was unfeasible at various times during the pandemic, e-commerce became an essential channel. With that, the launch and development of improvements in digital sales platforms became necessary and is a path with no return.

The logistics departments of distribution companies, not eligible for remote work or complete digitalization, have become even more essential in this scenario, due to the great responsibility of carrying out the dynamics of receiving and sending products that need to reach the most varied types of customers . The formula for these activities to take place in a safer, optimized and assertive way involved investing in preventive measures, in personal protective equipment (PPE), in the establishment of more segmented shifts and work teams, in addition to productivity tools.

The way to buy was reinvented and it is clear that companies more prepared to operate remotely, which saw opportunities amidst the restrictions, anticipated risks and better assimilated new market demands, managed to remain more relevant to customers during this challenging period.

It is up to the industry to realize that this is just the beginning. It is increasingly important to look inside the company and continually review processes, seek ways to make them more efficient, digitize, implement new tools and interconnect systems. Digital transformation and other trends initiated or accelerated by the pandemic will not end with it. Adapting to the new scenario is a matter of survival.

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