A global pandemic, travel restrictions, lockdowns, climate change, economic recession, rising unemployment levels and unprecedented government economic stimulus. How can businesses survive in such an uncertain and volatile world? According to a study by McKinsey in April 2020, 90% of executives surveyed expected major changes to the way they conduct business even after the pandemic has been overcome.
One way for businesses to keep up is to become agile. Given the rapid changes affecting customer behavior and financial markets worldwide, adapting and staying flexible is paramount to building business resilience.
For those who are quick to adapt, this could prove to be an opportunity. Another survey conducted by McKinsey shows that companies that invested in innovation during the 2008 recession outperformed the market by up to 30% for the next five years, while 70% of participants in a recent survey agreed that the changes caused by the pandemic could turn out to be opportunities for business growth. Although this crisis has exposed weaknesses in most organizations, it has also resulted in fresh prospects and open doors for many.
Here are a few ideas that could help:
Back to the drawing board
The pandemic has significantly impacted almost every industry, especially airlines, leisure facilities, food retail, entertainment, automotive, apparel and tourism industries, through supply chain disruptions, factory closures, restrictions and a rapid fall in demand. Yet, other industries such as alcohol, online retailers, healthcare insurance and animal food manufacturers see a rapid boost with companies scrambling to increase capacity and meet the growth in the market.
In almost all instances, companies will need to step out of their long-established comfort zones, reimagine their operating model and realign strategies in order to better face the current climate.
Ride the digital wave
With digital infrastructure proving to be a critical component for the survival of companies amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, investments which normally spanned over years aiming for incremental growth have been fast-tracked overnight.
Given this massive shift to a more digitally driven lifestyle, it is highly likely that the post Covid-19 “new normal”, will continue the trend by seeing more remote working, telehealth, remote learning, virtual events and so on. Those companies that manage to utilize technology and fast-track their digital transformation will be the ones to stay ahead of the competition.
Ensure flexibility in planning
When it is almost impossible to predict how the economy and society might change over the coming weeks and months, it is imperative to build in flexibility and make swift decisions, allowing plans to adapt to changing circumstances. Building and maintaining this speed of decision-making into the “new normal” can be a long-term source of competitive advantage.
Embracing agile methods would mean members at all levels of management can jump into quick meetings to problem solve, with sufficient authority being passed down to relevant individuals. However, emphasis should be made on keeping decisions in line with the company’s long-term goals and strategies while avoiding panic reactions and ensuring sufficient policies and procedures have been established to support the new operating model.
Outsourcing can be a quick and easy solution which could rapidly restructure the company’s operating model while providing a steppingstone to drive transformational change. Here’s why:
- Outsourcing provides the flexibility required in terms of capacity and personnel, without the additional hassle of costly and time-consuming HR issues.
- Outsourcing to low cost, and high value destinations such as Sri Lanka could immediately cut down costs and add value to the company’s deliverables, given that it is a cheaper alternative to hiring in-house staff.
- The outsource service provider could have greater process and market expertise while being digitally updated, enabling them to focus on continuous improvement to stay ahead of their competition.
Companies are already familiar with having their staff working remotely, hence it would not be a major leap if outsourcing is integrated into the existing operating model.
One such comprehensive back office and shared services solutions provider is H Connect International, a subsidiary of billion-dollar conglomerate. Having employed over 200 specialists with multi-vertical and global service experience, it focuses on catering to small and medium sized businesses.
With a proven track record of zero downtime, showcasing its ability of ensuring continuity and adaptability in crisis, H Connect offers a unique operating model whereby each client is supported by a dedicated team comprised of the allocated resources, an account manager, back-up resources, a customer experience manager and access to expert support. It has the ability to scale up exponentially and adopt rapidly to meet client needs while providing cost-effective services.
Companies around the world are scrambling to meet changing customer behaviour and environments caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, by relooking at their operating models, adapting the latest digital tools and attempting to increase flexibility. One of the fastest solutions available to implement these changes, build resilience and reshape themselves is to begin outsourcing their processes.
Find out more at www.hconnectint.com