What have we learned in 2021 and where will it take us in 2022?

Stephen Roberts, Head of Sales at CMD, discusses the challenges and opportunities of 2021 and what lies ahead in 2022.

As we reach the end of 2021, it’s clear that we’ve accepted that adapting to change following the pandemic is not just something we need to do once, but a culture we need to adopt. We’ve learned a lot along the way, not least the value of agile thinking and creative problem solving.

Staffing challenges have affected all aspects of the delivery chain as we’ve adjusted to a competitive recruitment market and the continuing juggling act of keeping everyone safe from the virus. For CMD, responding to this challenge has involved making operational changes in our Rotherham head office, enabling us to maintain agile production schedules to respond to demand in real time. It’s also involved enabling people to work from home and delivering much of our sales and technical support capability remotely.

Our customers have been facing similar challenges, and we have been looking at ways in which we can support them as they deal with disruption to their schedules and their teams. Providing accountability and reliability of supply is part of that offering, and the rapid installation benefits of our Betatrak powertrack and power distribution systems is another.

The supply chain challenges and price volatility we’ve seen in 2021 also look set to continue into 2022. Again, planning and effective communication throughout the delivery chain are critical to working around this issue. During 2021 we have been urging customers to work with us as early as possible to ensure the risk of disruption and delays is mitigated. It’s an approach that we have always advocated because it brings additional benefits in terms of value engineering and overcoming potential buildability or compliance issues, so development of this as a culture is a positive outcome of this turbulent period for both CMD and our customers.

The positive aspect of a period of significant change is that it forces people to think differently and creatively about how things could be done better. Employers, FMs and building owners are looking for ways to make offices more people-centred and bring colleagues together again as a community. Reconfiguration is required to make agile working viable, and new layouts are being implemented with a focus on future flexibility, and modular power distribution systems, such as CMD’s Betatrak, are ideal for this trend.

It seems likely that uncertainty will continue into 2022, with the virus and commercial factors continuing to create a challenging environment. However, the industry is much better placed to roll with the punches than we were this time last year, with plenty of potential to capitalise on the opportunities to come.

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