Is the crisis over yet?

How fast will things pick up again? What level of business can we expect for the immediate future? These are the questions that cause us the most worry just now and for which we have too many answers – meaning none at all. Situations like the present are nothing new. What makes this one different than earlier crises is its scale.

Any crisis can have positive aspects, too, e.g., market adjustment (= shakeouts) or a rationale for self-discovery.

No matter how often we try to analyse why our companies may have lost one or the other order, the findings rarely reflect reality. When the customer says: “You are just too expensive“, he is frequently concealing other reasons. To find out more about ourselves, it would, as a rule, be better to analyse why we get the orders we do get. This is where our true strengths lie.

Just what are our strengths? Equity capital? Flexibility? Quick reactions? Product portfolio? Unique selling points? What else?

Many successful enterprises have a recipe for discovering new facets of old truths. Applying old strengths to a fundamentally altered situation poses an opportunity for rapid, low-risk implementation.

Even this crisis is going to have its “day after“. And then, sooner or later, there will be another more or less major crisis, and we can only hope that we have not by then forgotten the things we learned from this one.

And since there is sure to be a day after, we would do well to apply only such means of overcoming the present crisis as can be expected to yield sustainably positive effects.

In his ‘Germany must give itself a shake‘ speech on April 26, 1997, then-German President Roman Herzog warned that, “What will decide our fate is our ability to innovate“.

 

In a study, Deloitte consultants demonstrated that, to be successful, it is important for companies to reform their own markets. This means that they must be willing to cooperate with other successful companies at home and abroad.

For the ceramic industry and its associated sectors, Ceramitec 2009 is offering another ideal opportunity to gather ideas and build up networks.

 

Take advantage of it - with open arms and curiosity!

 

Yours, Paul Eirich
Ceramitec Technical Advisory Board Chairman

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