After a rough year, we are closing out 2020 with some good news. The COVID vaccines are on the way, and while it will take some time before they get to everyone who wants them, it is a sign that the world may return to normal soon. Probably not within a month or two, but within the next six months.

So do we in the industry go back to the way things used to be? I for one can’t wait to travel again. I’ve had to write my last few stories by phone, and while I think the end results were really good. I miss the opportunities to travel to new cities, walk through plants and sit in an office with the management and have a good back-and-forth.

There may be things that are worth keeping. Some of you processors may have developed all-new customer bases in the last seven or eight months. If they’re profitable, they are certainly worth keeping. But how about the changes you’ve made in your plant? If you’ve made accommodations to account for social distancing, are they working? If so, you may want to keep them. If you can maintain your efficiency and not have so many employees in close proximity, that’s a good thing from a worker safety standpoint. It also keeps you prepared in case something like COVID ever happens again.

Have you gotten used to more frequent social media messages to let customers know what you have available? Keep doing that! Increased communication helps build customer loyalty, and it can help drive consumer interest in your limited-time offers and sales.

Hopefully, we all come out of this mess of a year with our health intact, and maybe become a little bit wiser and more business-savvy than we were, too.

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