By Bobby Hesano // MIRA CHAIRMAN
We all know that complacency is like dying a slow death. In our industry and in everything in life, learning, growing, and reinventing yourself is essential. We have moved past the COVID pandemic, yet some people are still working under those habits created during the lockdowns. Some retailers may have taken things for granted but we cannot afford to do that anymore or ever, really. We cannot lose our creativity or our ability to look outside the box.
As business owners and managers of business, we have an obligation to continually look at our industry and understand all the moving parts. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a notable example of that and exactly why we are highlighting it in this issue of Bottom Line. MIRA takes pride in keeping our membership abreast of the latest changes in the industry and sharing with you the tools your business needs to thrive Check out the special AI section starting on page 22.
We want you to understand how AI works and what it means to our industry. It’s still in its infancy and we are still learning about it and the more we learn, the more we will share with you. Just like everything else, it takes time and effort. We all know that real success does not come easy. We must work for it. If we want to stay ahead, we focus on learning, engaging others and doing our research.
We all know the challenges we face with finding good employees. Even though the job market has loosened up a bit, it is hard to find good help in retail and in distribution.
Too often, people lose their creativity and become lazy at work because they had it so easy. They did not appreciate working and the easier something becomes, the more spoiled we become. In our industry, we are adversely affected by that reality. There is just not enough good help around. People got used to free money during the pandemic. Now, we struggle to get people to stay longer than two years at job. When we get resumes from people who jump from one job to another, it is a red flag and very much a reality in the retail business.
We are also dealing with inflation forcing us to work tighter. Interest rates are high and so financing is more of a challenge. We must constantly shop rates and have long-term financial arrangements. Security is still an issue at many stores. These are just a few areas where we cannot afford to be complacent.
We must ask ourselves on a regular basis: how can I do this better? It never stops. AI is the dawn of a new age, so to speak. It is like when we all first started to use computers, emails, and cell phones. I am forever grateful for the successes and new tools such as AI, but I am never satisfied with the status quo.
We need to keep moving, keep learning and keep getting better!