Field of Vision Mar/Apr 2020

There Really is No Playbook

By Tara Taffera

It’s March 20 as I write this but by the time the magazine hits your mailboxes it will be mid-April. So come back to my today with me–it’s the day after California went on lockdown and the day that Pennsylvania and New York joined its ranks. The articles on our website clarify that, yes, auto glass company employees are essential so, yes, they will continue working, and as of right now the consumer public keeps calling them.

I hope that is still the case when you are reading this article. But no doubt, there have already been major repercussions due to this glob-al pandemic. I have had conversations with many in the industry and will share some key points that will be as helpful to you as you read this as they are on March 20.

Know the Rules

David Leach is the chief operating officer of Don’s Mobile Glass, with locations in California that provide everything from auto, home and commercial repair. He says if he could drive one thing home to auto glass businesses it would be to be-come familiar with all the different programs coming down the pike.

“Unemployment is changing … the new federal guideline is massive and that’s just the first one,” he says. “People in our industry are a bit hesitant about getting involved saying ‘that doesn’t apply to me.’ It does and you have to do what you can to protect your business and under-stand what programs are out there.”

Leach says you don’t have a choice.

“No one has two months of operating capital lying around,” he says, making it increasingly important to take advantage of the programs and aid available.

One thing Leach said to me really stood out. He has been through a lot in his career, including recessions, but says there is nothing that com-pares to this in how rapidly this situation is changing. It changes not just daily but hourly.

“There is this overwhelming frequency of important things that have to be managed,” he says. “What is amazing is the compound impact that just keeps coming. You have to address things you wouldn’t normally have to and have to make decisions that you don’t know the answer to. There is no playbook.”

There certainly are no rules for how to handle all this, and I thank David for all his great insights and encourage you to keep them all in mind: Stay safe, protect yourself properly when working on cars and interacting with consumers; stay on top of all the federal programs available; and know that you are not alone in all this.

AGRR and glassBYTEs are continually covering the coronavirus and its impact on the industry. Be sure to check often for the latest reports, and to the excellent article on page 22 for more information.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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