After nearly two years of pandemic protocols, people and businesses wonder what post-pandemic life will look like. On November 3, a group of electric power industry experts — including PLH Group’s executive vice-president of business development, Bill Sales — discussed how the pandemic caused a unique kind of storm that hit the industry and what to expect next.
“I’ve been in the industry since the nineties. I’ve known many of the people on the panel forever. So when they were organizing this discussion, they asked me to represent Manufacturing,” said Bill. “This is an industry built on trust. It was a challenge when we couldn’t regularly get together at conferences and on big bids. So it was really nice to get to talk to everyone about a topic that is so pertinent to us all.”
Electric Transmission Structures (ETS) Powering Past the Pandemic panelists discussed the pandemic’s impacts on the industry, as well as what the future holds for the electric transmission and substation business. Panelists discussed a range of topics, from on-site and at-home safety to unique sales and supply chain challenges. They all agreed that learning to adapt to the COVID-19 situation in the professional sense was a significant challenge, but it pushed them to grow and enhance their businesses, as well.
“The pandemic forced us to open our eyes to wonder, ‘Do we really have to be in the office every day?’. Management found that business can operate well with people working from home. We didn’t lose anything in the mix. We just did it all virtually. Not only does it often make it easier on employees, but in many cases, people are actually more efficient,” said Sales.
For instance, PLH Group found that engineering teams didn’t always have to be on site, which freed up time for technical workers and increased productivity.
Sales added, “I think you will see a change in the way organizations efficiently utilize their workforce in the future. It is not going to matter so much on brick and mortar, rather more emphasis on skills, communication, and seamless workflow.”
The discussion was sponsored by American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Collaborate, a professional, web-based forum to share insight, findings, and issues to receive feedback from the entire ASCE community. Members received 1.5 professional development hours (PDHs) for participating in the live discussion.