It's only natural to say it's just "business as usual" when it comes to doing business during a crisis like COVID-19, but there are 5 areas you should address now to come out better on the other side. (This is part 2 of this blog series, click here to go back and read part 1 first.)In the first part of this blog we gave you some action steps for helping your employees, customers, and cash flow that were based on McKinsey research of many businesses across industries.
Here in part 2, we're going to look at your supply chain and your technology. Read on for an action plan for optimizing both.
If you remember in the earlier post we discussed the two qualities a business needs in times of crisis: speed of response and discipline of approach.
We've identified 5 Areas where response and approach should be applied.
The 5 Areas of Business Impact Are...
- Your employees-their safety, ability to work and maintain employment, and their overall stress.
- Your customers-their concerns and possibly a sudden sharp decline in demand for your services.
- Your current available cash-revenue will drop, what is your current liquidity situation and how will it be affected over a prolonged recession?
- Your supply chain-how will on-going logistical issues beyond your control impact your supply?
- Your technology-are you set up to sustain operations and support remote workers?
This blog will look at #4 and #5 in more detail.
Predict Impact to Your Supply Chain
You may not be experiencing any negative side effects, but globally right now trucking capacity to ship is running at about 60-80% of capacity and goods are facing delays of upwards of ten days (McKinsey, 2020).
Hopefully, all of your suppliers have been honest with you if they are experiencing extended supply times due to COVID-19. Either way, now is the time to contact all of your suppliers to get a general risk assessment.
1. Find out if there are things you can do for your suppliers to make order management easier for them. (Even offering this should move you up their queue as you show concern for their challenges.
2. Take inventory of all of your necessary supplies for the next 60-90 days. Anticipate shortages and have a contingency plan if you run out of usually available inventory.
3. Have sales start reporting SKU-level demand more frequently, so you can estimate needs going forward.
4. Depending on your business model, you may want to adjust your terms of service and manage customer expectations--plan for the worst, but expect the best.
5. If certain products are experiencing scarcity--let customers know, they may want to stock up!
Evaluate Your Technology
There's a joke floating around the internet that goes something like, who was the driver in your company's technology infrastructure upgrade? And the available answers are:
It made me chuckle, but the truth is that the coronavirus has revealed technology gaps in many industries around mobile device management, remote access, communication channels, and remote security.
Even if your business is back to normal operations in the next 3-6 months, this occurrence should not be seen as an isolated incident. A modern business should really look at their technology road map and make plans for integrating the following:
- Remote desktop solutions.
- Cloud files storage and sharing that is encrypted and secure.
- Hosted Azure servers (for their stability and scale-ability).
- Teams or some other remote-friendly communication hub.
Simply, going back to the old way of doing things, once this is over would be missing a golden opportunity to set your business up on a technology path that will bring you value for years to come.
Check out our free resources page for some great content on Teams, remote connectivity, and a variety of other technology tools and solutions.
If you'd like a consultant to talk you through any of these options, or anything else Microsoft 365-related. Please Contact Us. We're happy to help!
This is Part 2 of a 2 Part Blog Series. Part 1 Covered Employees, Customer Relations, and Cash Flow.
If you need help assessing your business technology and would like a 12-month road map for the future. Contact us today.