The term “new normal” became a corporate cliché after it was used ad nauseam after the 2008 financial crisis. The phrase is being used once again to describe the fallout related the current pandemic.

Flexible Packaging recently spoke to Jim Tompkins, founder and chairman of Tompkins International, a leading supply chain consulting and solutions firm, about what he calls “the next normal” and how restarting the economy and business operations requires more than just reopening store doors. He explains how companies fall into four different categories based on business performance and industry standing leading up to and during the pandemic, and the specific steps and strategies each category must pursue to restart — or in some cases, cease — operations post pandemic.

“While we would all like to believe we can go back to the way things were and resume ‘business as usual,’ it’s not that simple,” said Tompkins. “The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed life as we know it, and businesses — and the government — need to be prepared for what will become the ‘next normal’.”

The playbook, Restarting the Economy: Guidance for Public and Private Leaders, explores the impacts of COVID-19 on global supply chains and provides the strategies and processes required to successfully restart business operations and the economy. It is the latest release in a series of COVID-19 resources developed by Tompkins and other company executives that focus on the impacts of the coronavirus, successful supply chain reinvention strategies and other related topics to help businesses flourish in times of VUCA — volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity and the rise of digitalization.

Speaking of reinvention and the rise of digitalization, Flexible Packaging is going digital. Beginning next month, you will find us on our digital platform. The latest news, insights, technology and resources will be accessible on your laptop, iPad, phone — anywhere you are.

Subscribe to the digital magazine. Listen to the full interview with Jim Tompkins at

Enjoy the read,


Kristin Joker, Editorial Director
(248) 227-4727