The Covid-19 pandemic continues to shape our new normal. The market and consumer dynamics have changed over the course of the last 7 months, as a result of this global crisis. Some of these changes, especially consumer behavioural and cultural changes, will definitely become permanent, post covid. Even when the dust settles, the ramifications of this outbreak, both emotional and financial, will linger for the foreseeable future. Businesses will have to restructure their business growth plan to ensure financial stability and sustainability.
During the last few months, we have seen corporations adopt rapid digital transformations to mitigate the risks and overcome the losses. Organisations are focusing on creating robust digital infrastructure, flexible workforces, and resilient supply chains that can withstand future disruptions.
The key to managing a crisis is preparation. For a post covid world, business leaders are strategising and replanning core business processes, to meet the demand of the rapidly changing employee and consumer behaviour. Corporations and governments need to realise that there must be long-term changes to handle the consequences of a global crisis of this scale.
Here are some strategies that organizations must prioritise to sustain themselves in a post covid world:
1. Devising a lockdown exit strategy
As restrictions are being eased, businesses need to prepare themselves to resume operations with added safety precautions. There has to be greater flexibility when it comes to work environments, those who are able to work remotely must be allowed to do so. Businesses need to set up new monitoring and appraisal systems to ensure productivity doesn’t suffer, for both in-office and remote workers.
2. Building a strong organisational structure to focus on the longer term and business growth
Businesses need to think about long term survival, instead of short term gains. As the situation continues to evolve, policies would need to be reviewed accordingly. Every organisation has a crisis strategy, but the reality is that not everything will go to plan. Agility is key to surviving this pandemic and its after-effects. Implementing deep qualitative and scenario analysis powered by AI and machine learning will be critical to ensure that the organisation is equipped to deal with vulnerabilities. AI technology will be crucial to create simulation models and risk analysis, that would help organisations to quantify different levels of economic and political risk, and decide a strategic response to a crisis.
3. Companies must align all their departments to abide by the core organisational values, to enable better coordination, better crisis response, and to eliminate complacency at any levels of management. While it might seem like an easy solution to let go or furlough lower-level employees to maintain the organisation’s bottom line, these companies also need to consider the significant investment required to train and onboard new employees when they start hiring to fill the void once the operations are in full swing.
4. The aim should be long-term economic efficiency and diversification. Every company will need to effectively strategise how they start new projects, without depending heavily on the same critical resources. The post covid corporate world could see more regionalisation of supply channels, dynamic product diversification, and acceleration of digitisation. Building long-term relationships with suppliers and partners that can withstand and rebound from a crisis, will definitely be a priority for business leaders.
5. Augmentation of technology to push for business growth
Unfortunately, most companies augment technology to replace people, rather than integrate it with their workforce. But now business leaders have the opportunity to use technology to upgrade their employees’ skill set, and drive productivity, business growth, and establish company loyalty. Innovation in technology is enabling greater work efficiency and better time management.
6. Augmentation of technology has the ability to enhance our daily lives and eliminate human error. Through the use of technology, people were able to continue working remotely during the pandemic. During this period, Zoom’s monthly user shot up from 10 million monthly users in Dec 2019 to 300 million in March 2020. Businesses must continue the acceleration of digitalisation of processes post covid as well. This would create more opportunities for employees to focus on achieving the goals of the business growth plan, rather than wasting time on repetitive processes.
7. Aligning business growth models with government policies
As the crisis continues to unfold, governments across the globe are putting restrictions on the movement of people and goods. Large organisations with global operations continue to face stricter regulations by local governments, as states are looking inward for growth, and extending support and benefits to homegrown companies, as part of their economic revival. Inevitably we could be seeing nationalisation of certain industries, and higher government intervention, in critical, strategic industries, in the near future. Undoubtedly, there will be greater taxations and regulations for organisations, as governments look to stabilise the economy.
8. Embracing the cultural and behavioural shift to allow for business growth
Agile companies will adapt themselves to the cultural and consumer behavioural shift, to uphold their positions as relevant, and competitive. The pandemic has changed how we interact, how we work, and how we travel. In a post covid world, the new normal is such that the one person not wearing a mask is the odd one out. There have been significant changes in office culture too. Virtual meetings via video conferencing platforms are the new form of communication. Technology is helping teams that are working remotely to collaborate and deliver necessary outcomes.
More businesses are shifting to cloud services from traditional data centres, to enable access to all employees no matter where they are working from. Consumer behaviour has changed drastically too in this crisis. Organisations have the opportunity to tap into this shift in consumerism. Some sectors such as food, e-commerce, internet services, streaming services, and healthcare goods have seen a rapid increase in demand.
Businesses need to create omnichannel communication to reach their audience and offer uninterrupted customer service. They need to focus on creating a greater digital presence and maintain a constant chain of communication with their customers. How companies cater to and interact with their customers now, will set the tone of their long term brand reputation and loyalty. The business growth plan must take into account changes in both employee and consumer behaviour.
There are serious challenges ahead for businesses. Preparation and planning ahead will help companies to mitigate risk and ensure sustainability. At Alkye, we offer our client to help them overcome disruptions and set them off onto the right trajectory of growth. We also offer Digital Tech & Digital Marketing solutions to enable your business to grow online, &