What do you think? From emerging trends to the latest business principles, Furniture News is setting out to gauge the trade’s feelings on a variety of industry-specific topics. Today, we’re asking our panel: What skills did you pick up during the pandemic?

Rob Scarlett (Scarlett Design): Ninja-level Zoom skills

Adam Ashborn (Reborn Marketing & Design): Design-led ecommerce website requests made Reborn readjust its business mode from trade show- and showroom-led design to online immersive spaces. We also invested in the latest CGI/3D virtual space/imaging software in 2020, which our customers can take advantage of

Adam Hankinson (Furniture Sales Solutions): In January 2020 I’d never heard of Zoom! Now I’m pretty adept at it. We can now deliver all our training virtually

Mike Murray (Land of Beds): Temporary supply teacher at home! 

Andy Stockwell (Gardiner Haskins): How to manage staff and public safety in a pandemic!

Steve Adams (Mattress Online): I spent time upskilling on my understanding of above-the-line marketing, specifically in relation to linear broadcast TV

Dids Macdonald, OBE (ACID): I was fortunate to be part of a three-year governance review of The Furniture Makers’ Company, which taught me a lot about managing transformation change (for the better!)

Emma Leeke (Leekes Retail): Zoom/Teams expert!

Gavin Boden (Rhenus Home Delivery (UK)): The understanding of a traffic management system, and how important it is to be part of a strong management team

Henrik Pontoppidan (S2U Design Containers): Learning Vietnamese – language, in-depth culture, business practices, business law and history. Fascinating!

Lee Ness (Global Upholstery Solutions): I learned to sew

Peter Harding (Fairway Furniture): Outside of work, I completed training as a volunteer vaccinator, so I was able to play my part in the Covid-19 vaccination programme 

This Q&A was published in the April 2021 issue of Furniture News.