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Opinion: Richard Selby, Chair of IoD Wales

07 Jun 2021

Richard Selby is the co-founder of Pro Steel Engineering and chair of the IoD Wales region. He believes the pandemic has given directors the opportunity to re-shape their enterprises in preparation for the economic upturn.

“Post-Covid and BREXIT, evaluating how resilient your business is and assessing your appetite for risk is essential. Where do vulnerabilities or weaknesses lie? What strategies need to be put in place to increase your resilience and help you manage risk? Businesses that take time to step back, assess and plan will be best placed to take advantage of the economic upswing when it comes and build back better.

While lockdown has been a significant challenge, it is also providing new opportunities. For the first time in a long time, it’s given many of us the chance to take a long, hard look at our businesses – internally and externally. Working out a new direction for your organisation lies in taking sufficient time to think and plan. How can we become more efficient? What will the market look like a year from now? Where do our services fit? Can your management team take on more of the day-to-day running of the business to give you that time?

We used lockdown to overhaul processes and increase production line efficiencies as well as analyse new markets to accelerate a drive into exports once the pandemic eases. We reviewed our supply chain and as a result, have reshored and realigned some elements to achieve the right balance between just-in-time and just-in-case – ensuring we’re better placed to withstand future shocks to the system.

Covid has accelerated the adoption of new technologies but I think it’s also a great time to embrace new ways of communicating. We’re using online video sharing social network, TikTok, to help us recruit the diverse talent we need to keep innovating and growing sustainably. As a result, our first female apprentice welder is due to join us in the summer.”


The IoD offers a range of training and development opportunities for new and experienced directors. Find out more here.

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