PET Food Processing - June 2020 - 14

MANAGEMENT

"The leadership team has met [virtually] every day at
9 a.m., seven days a week during the pandemic crisis,"
he said. "We discuss the last 24 hours, what decisions
need to be made as a team and the internal and external resources required for those decisions. We then turn
around and have two calls a day with our operational
sites. No one is making decisions with information that
is more than 24 hours old."
As a part of normal business operations at Red Collar,
providing frequent opportunities for two-way communication between associates and the leadership team has
benefitted the company.
"Our policies have evolved at Red Collar based on
our associate feedback," Hamilton said. "In working in
conjunction with them, we are able to make our policies
better and our company more resilient."

4. Build strong partnerships
Diversifying
its processing
capabilities has
helped the team at
Pedigree Ovens and
The Pound Bakery
be resilient.
Sosland Publishing Co.

A company's ability to be resilient depends on the
employees being the top priority, according to Chris
Hamilton, president and chief executive office, Red
Collar Pet Foods, Franklin, Tenn.
"To create a resilient company, the culture needs to
be anchored in responsibility," Hamilton said. "At Red
Collar, we strive to have each associate feel a personal
connection to the business and a responsibility toward
the success of themselves and the business.
"One thing a lot of the companies are facing right now
is how strong that commitment is to resilience from the
leadership team," he added. "The culture needs to be
strong from the senior team through everyone in the
company so that resilience and the responsibility for the
business overall and for the associates are felt throughout all aspects of the organization."
Having clearly defined priorities becomes even more
important in a crisis.
"Early on [in the COVID-19 crisis] we made the determination to make decisions through the lens of the
safety and well being of our associates because, without
our associates, we don't have a business," Hamilton said.

3. Be visible and communicate often

As a leader, being seen and frequently communicating with employees helps to make informed decisions
and address challenges. Hamilton believes the leaders of
an organization need to take decisive action in real-time
during a crisis with the best possible information available, which points to the importance of communication.

14

Anne Carlson, chief executive officer, Jiminy's,
Berkeley, Calif., said company leaders should always be
building relationships but, when faced with a crisis, that
foundation comes in handy.
"Good relationships with vendors, suppliers, and customers can get you through difficult times as communication and clarity are vital," Carlson said. "Relationships
built on trust enable partners to ask for help when necessary. Actions, like offering extra time for a payment
or sharing ideas on new ways to reach consumers with
emerging new behaviors, will occur a lot easier and
more frequently if you've built a good relationship with
your partners."
Purina PetCare shared that closely monitoring the
supply chain and keeping in contact with all parties is
critical when managing something as broad and farreaching as the challenges created by COVID-19.
"We are reviewing new information daily and working with both our supply and retail partners to put actions in place to alleviate any impacts," said Joe Toscano,
director of sales at Purina PetCare, St Louis. "For us,
close collaboration and regular communication with all
of our partners is key."
Thompson pointed out that a crisis quickly identifies
which partners a company can count on.
"Businesses have seen [during the COVID-19 crisis]
who their partners are and who they can depend on,
who was able to really help them and who was willing to
step forward and do what's necessary to help move them
forward," Thompson said. "Companies have found out
who is on their team."

5. No waffling

Navigating a business through challenges requires
action. Often, there is no time for waffling. Kuenzi

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PFP_Jun20.indb 14

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PET Food Processing - June 2020

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http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_03_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_12_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_10_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_09_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_03_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_12_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_09_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_03_01
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