Issue - July/August 2021
THE CHALLENGE OF CHANGE, A COMMUNITY TRANSFORMED
Living and Dealing with the Pandemic
By Juhana Eskelä, CEO, Pegasus Moving Oy
When the news started filling with the spreading pandemic, the whole country of Finland froze and started to see things differently. What to do? Huge buildings that used to be like ant nests filled with people were now empty and collecting dust. We had to adapt as well.
We began using new technology to get rid of paper and the need to actually go to the office. When the pandemic started and new rules and regulations were set, we had to look outside the box. Pegasus Moving Oy now has a completely paper-free office and everything can be done remotely. Invoicing, quotations, book keeping—you name it. It took a few months to adapt, but now that things are rolling with our new systems, all is much easier and one starts to think—do people even need offices anymore? Well, we think yes. Working constantly from home can be difficult at times, especially if you have a big family—but it can also be a relief to start the day making coffee in your own kitchen and then move to your desk.
Surveys are also done mostly remotely, and it’s been like that for a while now. It is a good improvement and the option to survey remotely is a huge bonus, but sometimes it’s still good to have that personal contact. Also, clients are very happy with remote surveys, unlike before.
In March 2020, everything seemed to have stopped. Nothing was moving. We had to keep our staff busy and ready to work no matter what. This resulted in a huge inventory report at our warehouse and office, where we marked everything down to the last roll of cling foil and Scotch tape. We only purchased what we needed and never crossed the limit. This also meant that people from the office had to extend their normal work routines and adapt to a new system. It was the same for our staff. After a few months, things started to move again, but in smaller numbers. Meanwhile, our staff kept the equipment shining and everything ready to go. A lot of extra work that would have normally been done by a third party was now done by us. Our crew knew the situation and did their part more than well. All in all, we think this was a good lesson and thankfully we were able to work throughout the year.
Later during 2020, we noticed that the amount of precaution used during the year had a significant effect on our income. Much more was left under the line after all expenses. We started to wonder why didn’t we do this before. COVID-19 has been a huge kick in the rear, and it’s not all bad. We expect things to change for good compared to what has been done in the past: this is a good thing.
Changes in government regulations and quarantine periods set for people who move had us worried for a while. Sometimes goods needed to be stored before finalizing the move could even start. This was sometimes difficult to explain to clients at first, but eventually people understood it. Most of the corporate accounts knew the situation very well and were ok with the situation. There was not much we could have done differently.
Overall, we have been very flexible with our clients, private and corporate. Things are running quite normally now, and we hope it will remain so. The only thing that our staff is constantly asking is, “how long do you think we have to wear these masks?” I only hope that one day we don’t have to.
The pandemic has shown us how fragile our countries and businesses can be, but also that using new technology is something you should not be afraid of. After all the stress we felt in the beginning, 2020 turned out to be a great year with big changes. I hope everybody reading this agrees that we are now on the winning side and that some good things have emerged during this time.
Think smart and outside the box, look into your staff and keep your clients happy—you will be fine!