What Our Recent Past Tells Us About the Future: The Principle of Pivot

According to Forbes, a pivot is the fundamental change in direction of a business to match your company’s products or services with the needs of the market. There are right and wrong ways to pivot. You can check out what Forbes has to say about it.

 

You don’t have to be a Hari Seldon to realize that the best time to pivot is based on forecasted future changes, rather than wait for those market requirements to force the change. But, where does this information come from?

 

Cause and effect

Newton’s third law of physics says, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” It can be applied to business. We certainly saw it.

 

At the start of the pandemic, we saw that supply chains would be impacted. Could we predict the future and how badly COVID-19 would damage the economy? Certainly not. But with more than 40 years of operations behind us, we could anticipate and forecast the opposite reactions that a disruption of global supply chain logistics would create for us, and therefore our clients.

 

We’re experts in the creation of flexible packaging and promotional material, and not the global economy or even health. But constantly accessing the updated information available gave us the insight we needed to act. Indeed, a recent article published by the BBC concludes that average people often outperform professional forecasters. This is, according to the article, because people who perceive themselves to be experts can also be less receptive to new information and less likely to learn from others.

 

So, we had that in our favor—more than four decades of collaboration and learning from our customers. It was an investment. We observed what was happening and we considered what would happen particularly to customers who rely on our products and services. It wasn’t a reaction. It was a response. We ordered large quantities of raw materials to make our products for customers. We had the capacity to store these raw materials onsite so we would have them on hand for their clients

 

Adapting to what’s needed

It wasn’t just preparing for the upcoming disruptions we knew would impact serving our customers. We also saw that their customers would have different needs—needs for which we could provide solutions even though we didn’t even yet create the products that would come to play.

 

Again, it was a process of responding. And in some cases, pivoting. We asked ourselves, What’s needed now? What will be needed coming through on the other side?

 

And then we set about to design and produce face shields that could be used by our clients to either deepen the safety of their own employees or even be offered to customers. Looking forward, we retooled existing dies to create vaccination record card holders, as well as travel document holders.

 

These necessary new and “pivotal” products helped many of our clients deepen relationships with their respective customers. The products helped us, too. Sales helped us to compensate for the temporary loss of customers. We were able to remain operational and quickly respond to production requests.

 

Embracing what’s next

We all will emerge changed from these times. Here at Vinyl Art, we’ve learned from these times. We can’t predict the future, but we can watch and forecast, and then we can pivot. Responding, rather than reacting, positions you for the better.

 

It’s our hope that you see—and share—our optimism for what’s next. It wasn’t what we expected. It isn’t what anyone predicted. But we have complete control over how we respond.

 

Happy holidays, from all of us at Vinyl Art! 


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Contact the Vinyl Art Team at 1-800-569-1304 or sales@vinylart.com