The novel COVID-19 has brought with it a myriad of challenges and uncertainties for enterprises across the globe. As governments grapple with what are best strategies to flatten the curve, businesses are busy trying to figure out strategies to sustain themselves for whatever comes next. The pandemic has thrown many in the deep end where if they do not learn and adapt quickly you might find their businesses overwhelmed. This begs the question, amidst all these challenges, are there any opportunities that might be arising? There are several pathways that might serve new opportunities to enterprises during this period to increase their resilience and sustainability.
New value chains
Businesses have been unusual for majority of enterprises for the past few weeks. This pushes for the evaluation of existing value chains and identification of new opportunities. Technology for one, will present a huge opportunity for many enterprises that use the B2C model as numbers of walk-in. Customers are set to remain low. Enterprises could integrate e-commerce and begin developing logistical models than ensure seamless customer experience from product browsing to delivery and post sales support.
New modes of working
COVID-19 has made us realize that remote work is actually possible, whether productivity has remained at the same level or it has slumped is yet to be evaluated. That said, enterprises will have to evaluate what aspects of their operations actually need central physical working space and this could inform new modes of working and reduced expenditure on brick and mortar spaces.
Rethinking product lines
COVID-19 has forced organizations to evaluate the core products in their offering to enable them focus more on products that show most promise and are essential to the consumer. It is now the right time to consider retiring products that have maintained slow growth and low market share for extended periods before the virus.
Digital scale up
Post COVID-19 enterprises might be faced with a customer who may remain socially distant, as these enterprises implement digital solutions it will be necessary to maintain their confidence that they are able to receive the same value and personalized attention through the new digital media and marketplaces. This will call for the implementation of customer experience management systems which allow the enterprises to maintain customer loyalty without affecting their satisfaction with the services or products. In future, conferences and workshops could start moving to digital platforms. It is essential to then be prepared and have proper support systems for such.
Teams find themselves collaborating differently and changing how they communicate to deliver expected results. In-order to fully embrace the new changes presented post COVID-19, teams will need to be agile in enhancing skills like unstructured problem solving to meet the changing demands from the markets they operate in. On the overall, enhancing mental agility is critical to make employees more resilient in wading through the uncertainties of the times and quickly adapt to anticipated frequent changes.
Addressing climate change
COVID-19 has given us a glimpse into how what was once considered a black swan event can snowball into a global crisis. Climate change has been with us for over a century and as the greenhouse gas emissions continue rising, we are faced with another imminent crisis at global scale. Enterprises can contribute towards averting that looming crisis posed by climate change. When enterprises look deep into their production processes they may discover that there actually exist some inefficiencies that that could easily be mitigated and improve savings on energy costs. For example, in the light production industries, the grid power could be supplemented with other green sources such as solar which means during the day production could rely more on solar powered energy and therefore translating to savings on power.
There is a lot of waste in many production processes for enterprises, but can this be converted to be a resource? For example, plastic waste can be converted into fuel oil for energy and sludge can be converted into fertilizer. Enterprises can explore ways in which waste could be re-used and recycled to inherently formalize a circular economy which is a win-win for the enterprises and also contributing to reduced emissions.
These pathways could be explored further within your enterprise and turn them into competitive advantages in the post-coronavirus world.
By Kelvin Mwendwa