With the current crisis in the world regarding COVID-19 many businesses face large challenges that they haven`t had to deal with for decades. The official guidelines from the likes of CDC or RIVM urge everyone to stay at home, reduce exposure and flatten the curve, which poses obstacles to businesses. However, thanks to our interconnected world and the availability of technology, we can combat these challenges.
Phase 1: Change Management and Adapting
This is the phase most of the companies in Western Europe are facing right now, as they need to adapt to a new system, new regulations and take new safety measures to combat the spread of the epidemic. Most companies were semi-prepared for this and had contingency plans to quickly react to the restrictions, bans and home-working, but it can still hit businesses who rely on manpower being present on-site heavily.
There is a myriad of solutions that help businesses in this phase. The first challenge is to keep in touch with everyone both internally and externally. There is an abundant supply of online conference tools, that come to the rescue for this problem. The infrastructure for the whole company to be working from home can be built out, with remote access to servers, programs and tools.
Phase 2: Crisis Management
As the epidemic continues, companies will suffer losses, both in personnel falling out due to illness and in loss of revenue due to clients and customers cancelling orders. It is getting increasingly more difficult to find suppliers and resources to keep the business running. It becomes difficult to predict when the phase will end and how it will affect the company in the long run.
It is important to keep in mind that scaling back is not always the right move, instead, we have to look at descriptive analytics and process automation as much as possible. This phase offers a chance to get rid of obsolete processes and practices in the business, focusing the resources available on the tasks that keep the business afloat. It`s also important to keep most of the measures the company has implemented in phase one.
Phase 3: Catching up
Once the epidemic has died down, companies will have to deal with the piled up work and to get back to normal business processes. This is a daunting task, as normal operations need to continue as well as having to deal with the left-overs from the epidemic. Most businesses will need more manpower and technological advancements to process all the outstanding tasks without overhiring and sinking too many resources into the phase.
Outsourcing and freelancers are some of the best resources the businesses will have in this phase, as they can provide a quick boost to manpower and bring in solutions temporarily without upsetting the existing operational balance of the business. AI and Data Science solutions will dominate this phase as businesses rush to exploit the possibilities provided by technology to bring the business back to standard operations and in some cases exceed that.
Phase 4: Innovation and Prevention
Once business is back to normal, companies will need to start innovating to avoid the effect of Phase 2 if an epidemic strikes again or to gain the upper hand in the re-balanced market. In this phase, companies will spend resources on innovating their systems, their processes and their tools. Most businesses will also look into ensuring business continuity in the event of manpower falling out.
Robotic Process Automation, Classification solutions, cloud services will be dominating this phase, and businesses will be competing for the vendors available to the market that can bring state of the art solutions.
At COMPUTD we are committed to making Phase 3 as easy as possible for both our current and future partners! If you have any questions, concerns or just want to know what the best solutions are for your organization to return to business as usual after Phase 2, don`t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on our Contact Form.