In times of crisis grease your value chain

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That the energy winter is already here, I don’t say so; the European Union says so; Even it is announced by the Commission itself which is already advocating that during this winter we cut electricity consumption during peak hours by at least four hours. Rationingis coming.

There is bound to be resistance from some states, but reality is stubborn. We are moving decisively towards energy rationing; The war in Ukraine, and the decisions that have been taken with regard to Russia, are leading us into a very complex situation in the midst of galloping inflation (10.5% in August) accompanied by the European Central Bank’s decision to put on the emergency brake and stop the economy in its tracks by raising interest rates;

These decisions come after months of steep price rises that are blamed on the war but began much earlier, after the pandemic; A large part of the economic sectors and their value chains are suffering the harsh impact of stagflation that is already setting in;

Some effects

Electricity-intensive or semiconductor-dependent companies have started to shut down; And there we have steel and automobiles;

The food sector (from farmers and fishermen to transporters, distribution and small shops) is hard hit by the crisis; And why should we talk about citizens who are finding it increasingly difficult to fill their shopping baskets?

Against this backdrop, European institutions and the government are advocating price caps to the astonishment of employers; And with each passing day, the situation becomes more and more complicated;

The role of communication

When the crisis arrives, and it always does, there is one element that conditions the behaviour of those who suffer it: uncertainty; Not knowing what will happen to me, what will become of me and/or how long it will last; This lack of certainty, if not addressed in time, triggers rumours in the absence of certain, reliable and transparent information;

With rumours and uncertainty comes misinformation and fear; Let us also remember that the lie spreads 70 times faster than the truth through social networks What better breeding ground for polarisation, confrontation and the destruction of alliances! Because in a crisis you are only as resilient as the value chain you are part of;

This is where communication plays a decisive role in strengthening the value chain and with it the resilience of a sector; In fact, communication is the oil that greases the chain; Without fluid and transparent communication, within your organisation and between the essential links in the value chain, the value chain will eventually rust and break down;

The truth is that precisely when the cold weather arrives, it doesn’t seem the smartest thing to let your value chain rust. What are you doing to grease it?

* Article by Luis Serrano, managing director of Señor Lobo & Friends

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