The impact of the pandemic remains today and includes a list of new issues facing operators on an ongoing basis. However, FIDI President Laura Ganon says that most businesses have evolved to become stronger, more ﬂexible, and better placed than ever to respond well to the challenges
Anybody who knows me knows that I am an optimist. Without minimising those adverse situations that we all face in life, I have always believed that everything has a good side.
For some reason beyond my understanding, my brain always immediately looks at the bright side of any challenging situation. And I remember that
the most remarkable progress in civilization usually happens as the result of a severe crisis.
The pandemic was – and still is – a tragedy that we learned to accept and tolerate. Besides the worst effect, the loss of lives, the impact of COVID continues to cause practical problems in everybody’s daily lives.
Take international commerce: we are all dealing with the shipping crisis, the ﬂuctuating freight rates, the disruption in port operations, air travel cost increases and ﬂight cancellations, scarcer trucking availability and higher prices, and rising energy costs – to name just a handful of issues.
These problems are impacting many industries worldwide, with consumers being the ultimate victims of this disruption.
It is incredibly challenging to continue running a proﬁtable and quality operation in the face of these difﬁculties, added to the general lack of trained professionals worldwide, which requires us to innovate and create new reasons for talented staff to remain in our companies.
But, as usual, I see a positive side. We have learned to deal with a new and unprecedented situation. In most companies – the ones still standing and solid – people have evolved as professionals, businesses are probably better managed and, in many cases, are even showing better ﬁnancial results.
On the social side, we have all learned that companies can be more ﬂexible with their teams because of the experience with the enforced home working. We have learned that life can be better balanced, families can have more time together – and that rather than being inhibited, productivity and company results at the end of the year can in fact be boosted by this.
Looking at our moving industry, what do we see now? According to the 2021/22 State of the Industry Report, published in March this year, there is a generally solid conﬁdence in the industry, with particular emphasis on how our moving activity regained its importance in the mobility world during the challenges of the pandemic.
We also had to get used to the short notice with which our events need to be changed and reorganised. We were used to having plans in place many months, even years, ahead of our conferences. The crisis taught us to implement Plan B or even Plan C in reaction to changes out of our control.
We were all eager to go to Japan for our 2023 FIDI Conference, but when we reached our deadline to sign the contract with the hotel, the travel restrictions still in place in the country forced us to change the location.
Fortunately, with the help of FIDI Asia and the competence of the FIDI ofﬁce team, FIDI has not suffered ﬁnancial losses with the change. We will have an excellent conference in Thailand’s unique and beautiful city of Bangkok. I look forward to seeing you all there.
As we approach the end of 2022, I wish you, your families, friends and colleagues a wonderful Christmas and a 2023 full of health, success, joy, and peace. I feel I can start the new year reassured that my optimism is well-founded and that we are, hopefully, heading to calmer waters after the storm.
And, if any new crisis should arise, we are stronger and better prepared to face it, survive it, and come out of it even wiser. I hope you feel the same