We are in the middle of a health crisis that’s creating an as yet unidentified financial legacy that nobody can predict with any accuracy. While there are lots of things we can not control, we can work to deliver our business values today and plan for the time when a business opens up again.
Treat your team right
We’re fortunate in the UK to have unprecedented access to grants to encourage workers while they aren’t able to drive value for the business. Organizations that aren’t encouraging their teams are named and shamed on social networking and might well suffer a continuing backlash as economic activity restarts. Looking after your people makes good sense but you look at it, whether that is from an ethical or financial stance.
Determine your lockdown operating model
This may mean that you can not operate and thus you must manage costs carefully in the meantime. For the ones that could continue, assess the new and altered priorities of your clients, and identify how the business can meet them. New customer priorities include the ability to get their hands on services and goods with as little human contact as possible. And while product accessibility remains an important factor, clients are more flexible in which brands they will purchase. For the time being, promotions and choice are less important than secure supply.
Moving services and sales online is a lifeline for both customers and businesses alike. Advertisers who have centralized online fulfillment, as opposed to from shops, are finding it easier in practical terms to function. Many are offering free shipping and some cost incentives to keep some cash flow and maintain a connection with their customer base.
Service providers are innovating in how they continue to serve their client base by moving to a digital service provider, with online exercise programs and education being early adopters. Customer support teams operate more effectively dealing with inquiries online rather than through telephone calls and the vast majority of customer service groups are encouraging their clients to use their online service so that they can give the best service from groups that are impacted by illness and family-induced isolation.
A substantial retail challenge is how to handle current stock and purchase cycles within an unknown time period. Canceling orders is a clear measure, as taken by Primark, yet this can have a significant effect on the supply chain, often with international reach. This is a particularly tough decision for seasonal, fashion-based businesses. There’s a need to think about Spring/Summer stock already in the shop, production, and development of Autumn/Winter ranges and people for next Spring. It has never been more challenging to forecast sales levels and price points.
Get ready for the new normal
While we do not know the deadline, we can have a look at the emerging trends that will help create the economic situation we’ll be working in, and examine our strategy to survive and flourish in the new universe.
Predictions of high unemployment rates which might result in reduced economic activity and reduced turnover for a number of businesses. Quick-shift to online shopping and virtual services which can be utilized as a springboard for a business move to a more efficient operating model.
Pent-up demand for social experiences that may create an explosion of demand and a significant, yet comparatively short-term, earnings opportunity. Consumer support for businesses offering a valued service to them and their loved ones in their regional community during the lockdown. This is a very good advantage for businesses as benchmarking indicates that contactless transactions typically take half the period of chip and pin and are faster than money too.
It’s very likely that all businesses will see a substantial change in their performance post-Covid-19. Businesses that thrive after lockdown ends will have refined their approach, redefined their working model, and connected it to a precise and flexible workload model which helps them calculate the hours and costs required for all of the websites they operate from.
Workload models and the related time and motion studies required have been associated with production and manufacturing lines. Enlightened retailers and warehouse operations have used them for several years and with the development of the service economy, we’re seeing more service-based businesses applying the fundamentals too.
By way of instance, in businesses that understand the value of right-sizing their teams and carefully fitting resources set up to need such as call centers, account management, and sales support operations for sales teams and support admin functions. We are in unchartered territory.
We are in the middle of a health crisis that’s creating an as yet unidentified financial legacy that nobody can predict with any accuracy. As business leaders, we’ve lost control of how and when we operate, and it’s not possible to know when we’ll get back to what’s very likely to be a new standard.
While there are lots of things we can not control, we can work to deliver our business values today and plan for the time when a business opens up again.