Navigating the Unknowns of COVID-19

    September 23, 2020 — by Jack Enfield

    Uneasy. Unpredictable. Unbelievable. That’s just the start of trying to describe business conditions with COVID-19 in 2020. It’s hard to believe it has been 6 months since we first heard that RV manufacturers were going to be shutting down in response to Indiana’s Stay-at-Home order.

    UNEASY

    The order was issued on March 23 and lasted until May 1. Prior to the shutdown, MORryde’s overall business was looking great, with both the RV and non-RV sectors doing well. Just in case we were taking that for granted, COVID changed all that in a heartbeat. As we waited each week for an update from the governor’s office as to when the Stay-at-Home order would be lifted, we kept wondering what business would look like when things started to slowly return to normal.

    UNPREDICTABLE

    We tried to forecast. First it was 70% of normal. Then 60%. Then 50%. Then who knows? Planning was simply an exercise in futility as we really had no idea, even though we were talking to our customers frequently. Then May 4th hit, and our customers returned to work as the Stay-at-Home order was lifted.

     

    Week 1 back – We approached business with caution as we really didn’t know what was going to happen.

    Week 2 back – “Sprouts” of encouragement sprang up. We kept hearing encouraging words and optimistic assessments.

    Week 3 back – Momentum was building as RV dealers were selling product quickly and asking for shipments.

    Week 4 back – The wave started to grow.

    Week 5 back – “Katie, bar the door!” Things started to break loose.

     

    UNBELIEVABLE

    While much of the country was in lockdown mode, Americans’ desire for traveling, being outside, and seeing different parts of the country was not locked down. RVs seemed to be the best way accomplish this while still being COVID safe. Dealers started reporting off-the-chart sales. In fact, their inventories were dwindling much faster than new units could arrive. Manufacturers started ramping up daily production. Suppliers were being asked to increase deliveries. As July turned into August, the momentum kept building as OEMs kept increasing their schedules. Hiring workers became a huge challenge as the labor market was stretched again and again. Production levels not only returned to what they were pre-COVID, but also exceeded them by double-digit percentages. Unbelievable.

    UNWAVERING

    There’s one more “un” word to describe where MORryde is and where it’s going – Unwavering. Despite the supply line challenges, the pressure to increase production, and the need to onboard more workers, MORryde’s commitment to building quality products will never waver. Our company tag line is Above. Beyond. Always. which at its core means we will treat people well, and deliver products and services that carry a commitment to do the right thing. That commitment isn’t dependent on business conditions, so pre-COVID, during COVID, or post-COVID, MORryde will be consistent and unwavering in our approach.

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