Whilst the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is yet to be fully understood, what is certain is that the way we live and work will permanently change to some extent.
The organisations who react fastest and take advantage of the shifting business landscape will give themselves the best chance of success in the “new normal”.
With that in mind, we have given some thought to the key changes business leaders ought to be considering.
It is often said that in times of crisis “cash is king”. As a business leader you should be looking at ways to conserve cash and adopt financially prudent practices wherever possible.
Costs can be reduced by identifying and implementing improvements and efficiencies in the way your workforce operates. You may have been doing something a certain way for a long time without much thought. Now is the opportunity to consider how that could be improved.
You may wish to consider looking at outsourcing some functions, so that fixed costs can be reduced.
You could also revisit or retender contracts with suppliers, to see whether savings can be made on that front.
Many businesses are still working remotely, with a lot of staff working from home. This has brought into sharp focus the importance of technology in enabling your workforce. Data, cloud and cybersecurity will be ever more central to business strategies, and you should be looking at those and other ways of using technology to drive efficiencies, automate processes, analyse business performance and improve customer and staff engagement.
You might consider how your business can become more virtual and whether, given the proliferation and effectiveness of videoconferencing solutions during the crisis, it makes sense for your workforce to be spread over multiple locations. The increased use of this cost-effective technology could also present opportunities to recruit and use types of workers you may not have considered before, such as freelance, home-working and overseas talent.
Covid -19 has massively impacted the global supply chain. Some of the impact on your business may have been unavoidable, but over-reliance on certain suppliers exposes your business to greater risk of business interruption shocks and may reduce your competitiveness. It’s important to regularly assess your supply chain resilience and spread the risk where possible, so that if unexpected events happen, you can return to “business as usual” quickly and effectively . Expanding your supply base may help give you a better platform for price negotiations and you may also wish to audit your key suppliers’ business continuity plans as part of making sure that they are also mitigating major risks.
With travel and shipping heavily impacted and a global recessionary climate, risk aversion and greater protectionism are likely to be features of the new political and business climate. That may well lead to increased emphasis on local supply chains, particularly for essential or strategically important supplies. As well as considering localising your key suppliers, you might also look for opportunities to leverage the increased desire to buy locally amongst the customer base in your home market.
The crisis has required businesses to take fast and decisive actions to protect themselves and mitigate the impacts. You may wish to consider how effectively your decision-making processes have held-up. This could be an opportunity to re-jig your corporate governance and other internal management, so that you are as agile as you can be as a business and able to react quickly as the opportunities and risks of the post Covid-19 business landscape emerge.
For further information or advice on any opportunities, risks or changes to your business strategies that you are considering in the context of the “new normal” please contact Alex Zachary or any of our corporate and commercial team on 01753 889995 or email