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Posted February 1, 2021

The end is near

Rich Vurva

Don’t worry, I haven’t given up all hope and started preaching about the end of society as we know it. I’m referring to the end of the pandemic.

I’m not foolish or naive enough to suggest in print exactly when things will return to normal since all of my previous predictions have been wrong. But with the rollout of the coronavirus vaccines slowly picking up pace, we’re finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Although most industrial supply businesses suffered to some extent over the past year, the industry wasn’t hurt as badly as other sectors of the economy. Aren’t you glad you don’t own a restaurant or bar?

Some of us were surprised about how quickly we’ve adapted to Zoom and other virtual meeting formats. Those types of meetings will likely continue even when the pandemic is a distant memory. Associations and other groups have done an admirable job of conducting virtual conventions and annual meetings, but most people are anxious for the day when we can speak to colleagues face to face.

This issue’s cover story about AHB Tooling & Machinery near Detroit provides some good examples of how one distributor adapted during the pandemic to find ways to continue to deliver solutions to customers while they weren’t granted in-person access. For example, AHB picked up a new customer location in Mexico without being allowed to travel into the country.

When Mike Gleason and Jon Hays obtained ownership of the company in 2019, little did they know how quickly their lives were going to change. With more than 20 years of experience at AHB before becoming owners, they have enough industry and customer knowledge to know how to adapt to change.

Still, it will be nice for AHB (and the rest of us) when this pandemic ends and business gets back to normal. It’s coming soon.

Rich Vurva
Twitter: @IndSupplyMag

This article originally appeared in the Jan./Feb. 2021 issue of Industrial Supply magazine. Copyright 2021, Direct Business Media.


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