COVID-19 has undoubtedly altered the ways humans operated traditionally by now. We adapted some changes to ensure safe survival in such critical times. At the same time, some were enforced on us under the influence of traumatic stress. No aspect of human life has not seen a change in response to COVID-19. From the way we interact with others to our perception of medical precautions, everything has been revamped. The world has seen an unparalleled urge to reorganize our traditional operations. Now that might include our domestic routine, civil discourse, or corporate strategy.
There’s no doubt that the onslaught of COVID-19 has wiped off the strategies of most enterprises. It’s high time to gather all leading stakeholders and brainstorm on how organizations can recover. Post-crisis management is inevitable to keep companies alive in this havoc. There’s already a long list of companies going bankrupt due to the economic downturn induced by COVID-19. If you don’t want to add your company to that list, start working on crisis management and tweak strategies.
COVID-19 caused a decrease in per capita income in 90% of emerging markets shrinking the global economy by 4.4% in 2020. The world has borne a direct financial loss of almost $3.5 trillion. Leading companies like Whiting Petroleum, Diamond Offshore, and JC Penney have filed for bankruptcy. Only the companies that pondered their strategy and incorporated required changes have shown resilience and survived the financial apocalypse.
Bankruptcy, declined sales, shrunk market size, lost customer base, and reduced financial muscle is still not a dire situation for your company. They are just a harbinger of a strategic modification. Where it all started, China is the only country to show positive economic growth. It shows that with proper strategies in play, companies can tackle the atrocities of COVID-19. This article discusses some of those strategies that can help your company to recover from the pandemic.
1. Invest in Human Resources
This pandemic affected 2.7 billion people in the global workforce. It also made us realize the shortcomings of our skillset. Most people could not adjust to the changing workplace requirements and protocols. In such a situation, you should invest in your human resource. As an employer, it is your responsibility to provide necessary training and development to your existing workforce. You can motivate them to enroll in an online MBA no GMAT required, and other degrees to expand their learning circle. Moreover, companies should also sponsor their professional education. It would benefit them in return.
2. Start Valuing Data
A radical shift toward digitalization has abruptly increased the significance of utilizing big data and data analytics. Almost every company contains massive data sets lying uselessly in its data warehouses. Now is the best time to use that data and foresee how the market dynamics shift. Especially companies operating in the IT industry can gain valuable insights about the business world through data analytics. It will help you to make well-informed strategic decisions for your company. Higher management can understand the corporate environment better if they have better data visualization and trend analysis.
3. Revamp your marketing strategy
Your traditional marketing strategies might have been producing results for your company. You might have never thought of integrating digital marketing into your overall marketing strategy, but times and demands have changed. COVID-19 has hiked the number of internet users, and online traffic has increased exponentially. Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Pay-per-Click, Content Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Email Marketing, and Marketing analytics are crucial in such a scenario. Customer orientation and customer value proposition have radically transformed. It places a considerable urge to revamp your marketing strategy and equip it with the latest tools.
4. Logistics Cost Optimization
The logistics cost can easily be up to 25% of the total GDP of most developing countries. The most significant disruptions caused by COVID-19 are certainly in the landscape of logistics. Air and water freight have become more expensive. It has increased the price for most raw materials and finished goods that move across continents. You should go back to the slate and chalk a new supply chain and logistics strategy to ensure maximum cost optimization. The global change in different production factors has eradicated some channels while producing new options for material sourcing. You should devise the best plan for your company with minimum cost.
5. Follow the Japanese 5s
Health protocols and hygiene precautions were the most crucial adaptation in workplaces. It is in the greater good for companies to continue motivating these precautions. The best way would be to adapt the Japanese 5s; sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. While workers perform their routine tasks, they should sort, set in order, and shine their workstations. Eventually, it should develop into an organizational standard and sustain over time. That is how your company will have an efficient operational policy. When human resources and skilled workers are already scarce, this methodology can enhance your workforce’s productivity.
6. Adopt Lean Manufacturing
The significance of resource optimization and reducing waste is already very substantial for our environment. However, COVID-19 has reiterated its importance. You should revisit the functional design of your company and identify if there is excessive waste production. Try to identify any process, step, or machinery that’s producing waste above an acceptable threshold. It would help if you eliminated or optimize that factor to ensure fewer wastages. The resulting lean manufacturing will provide you controlled costs and better competitiveness.
7. Initiate Channel Development
Channel development refers to exploring more options to reach your prospective customers. COVID-19 has blocked some usual channels that you might have been using so far. It has also created new ones. Ecommerce is at historical highs. 16% of global retail is now taking place through social media only. Widespread online conferencing tools have opened new means to interact with potential distributors and dealers across the world. Now you can access international markets through virtual platforms instead of taking long flights to meet business executives. Increased acceptance of technology in business has opened new avenues of channel development.
8. Develop organizational resilience
All these technological and commercial innovations and changes in your corporate strategy will not produce prolific results without organizational support. The higher management should motivate employees to spread positivity and develop organizational resilience. Ultimately, it would enable your company firstly to recover from the challenge of COVID-19. Secondly, it would help you adapt to an incremental change to face sudden disruptions in the external environment.
You can summarize the entire journey of strategic adaptation intro three words; respond, recover, and renew. Your company should respond to external stimuli and act accordingly. Through a proactive response, it will then recover from the shocks absorbed during these times. Then it will enter into a renewal phase. Your company will realize a new and improved business philosophy with augmented resilience and data-driven market insight.