Taking the long view – strategic shifts that the crisis will drive
In planning for the longer term, businesses must be aware of economic change. That means asking a number of important questions:
- Are we in the right markets and selling the right products?
- What skills do we need in order to pivot to alternative products, or new markets?
Businesses must be prepared to evaluate the resilience of their end-to-end supply chain, working both up and down the chain with customers and suppliers, sharing data and providing more insights. This should involve working with suppliers beyond Tiers 1 and 2.
Linked to this is the need for a full-scale lockdown exit strategy. Again, there is a lot to consider. Businesses will need to gauge, for example, how staff can best return to workplaces while maintaining social distancing protocols, and if these proposed measures are sustainable. Assessing the impact on productivity, costs and corporate culture are all crucial considerations.
Businesses must also consider developing a digital strategy with a robust digital backbone reimagining how they can increase their online presence, create alternative channels and develop new customer channels. They should also consider how they can become more agile and flexible within the supply chain, and able to switch to alternate/new suppliers if required.
Through this phase, it is key to focus on effective people management and good clear communications. Businesses should invest in training, ensuring their employees understand the changes in the business, how they are likely to affect them directly and what they need to do to ensure they remain efficient and productive in the new normal.