It is the 1st of June. The start of a new month and the start of a new season. The meteorological summer begins today, and my goodness the weather has felt like summer recently.
Today also marks the date that American writer Helen Keller died. She famously said, “although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming of it”, which I feel is quite fitting for the situation our world is currently facing. I do hope that you are all keeping safe and finding ways to overcome the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present us with.
I wanted to share an update from DIO Commercial and my reflections of our journey through the COVID-19 pandemic to now. From the DIO Commercial perspective, COVID-19 has created a variety and volume of challenges to overcome with our people, suppliers and customers. From implementing working from home and on-site social distancing measures, so that we can continue to deliver for Defence safely, to supporting Military Aid to Civil Authorities (MACA) activities and facilitating the Government policies to support the whole Defence supply chain.
There have been key activities and behaviours that have enabled us to rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst continuing to deliver for Defence and plan for what the future holds, in so far as we can understand of course. We have set up a multi-functional DIO Supplier Management and Triage (SMART) team to capture, triage and support the successful resolution of financial and operational challenges faced by our suppliers. We are communicating, a lot. Virtually, frequently and openly. We are communicating with each other, our suppliers and our customers. We are collaborating even more – with other areas of Defence, our wider Government colleagues, our supply chain and customers. To share another Helen Keller quote, “alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”. We have always believed this, and now even more so.
As well as creating challenges, we are beginning to see how the COVID-19 outbreak has created the opportunity for us to work differently. We have accelerated smarter working and digitisation. For example, with the adoption of a full e-tendering process, removing the need for ‘wet signatures’ and physical tender boards. The outbreak has also spring boarded mental and physical wellbeing to the top of the agenda, with organisations putting increased focus on employee wellbeing. This is a positive consequence and the momentum should be retained.
As we move forward, this month and season are likely to present further challenges for us to work through, as well as further opportunities for us to do things differently. Let’s keep communicating and collaborating, as we navigate through this together. Let’s stay focussed on moving forward because, as Helen Keller said, “keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows”.