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StrategyJun 15, 2020

Post-COVID-19 Strategy: Accelerate into the Future

Gail Stout Perry, Matt Huizinga, and Sachin Malik

There’s no doubt about it, the last few months have brought on unprecedented changes on a global scale. What did we even talk about before COVID-19? Rarely are we faced with such a monumental issue that the entire world has to put their best minds together to solve a communal problem. While we have never been faced with an issue that has caused us to proactively shut down the economy and pause trading, not once but four times, we’re finally at a point where we can take a deep breath. We’ve survived the initial impact, and we’ve adapted in order to get through the initial shockwave that is Coronavirus. It’s time to focus on the future, and how we can combat the long-term effects that this pandemic will undoubtedly have on all of us.

Recently, Credera created the Now, Next, Future Framework to help clients navigate this time full of unknowns. This framework focuses on prioritizing emerging impacts, constantly innovating to adapt for or take advantage of new operating conditions within a foreseeable time horizon (for example, the next 90 days), and incorporating the adjustments to continue pressing on towards the long-term goals without missing a step. In this article, we will be focusing on the “Future” section of the framework and how insights from the “Next” portion of the framework can be utilized in five dimensions of an organization to accelerate towards future goals.

five dimensions to accelerate towards future goals

1. customer service and experience

It’s been amazing to see some of the ways that companies have brought their immersive experiences to their customers. Take Alinea for example, highly regarded as one of the top restaurants in the world, the average price for a meal for one person is around $300. People wait months to be able to dive into this multi-sensory experience. With dining rooms across the country being closed for the better part of three months, Alinea has begun offering an at home experience. Customers can now pick up a pre-made six course meal starting at $50 per person in which they can embrace their inner chef and recreate a portion of the immersive dining experience.

What we can learn from Alinea are lessons that can be applied to the future. How are you expanding your market? At a time where most of us are staying at home, it is imperative that you begin scaling your direct-to-consumer options. Being able to bring your experience or services to customers directly at home could help you reach a completely new segment of the market or create a new revenue stream. For those who are hesitant to return to a dining room or spend $300 on a meal now have alternative options.  Alinea was able to pivot from their traditional offerings while keeping an eye on their long-term goal. Which begs the question, are you agile enough to be able to shift your focus on a new short-term interim goal? How quickly can you execute?  Has the shift resulted in an improved customer experience or has it opened up a new customer segment?

2. employees

All companies had the same questions when the nation-wide stay at home order was put in place. How is this going to impact our work? Is this going to impact our ability to be successful? In the months following our initial scramble to send out monitors and keyboards to everyone, we learned one thing – work from home, works. We’ve passed the test and people are happy. People no longer have to make long or tedious commutes and can spend more time with their families. Companies like JP Morgan and Facebook have committed to keeping a work from home routine even after the dust settles. proving that we’ve been successful in making our transition from the office to the living room. What does this mean for us? It means it’s time to start asking yourself if we really need to invest in real estate for office spaces, or can we continue our investment in digital capabilities?  Are we no longer restricted to certain geographies when it comes to hiring? How can we best prepare to keep the remote work routine?

3. financial

Revenue streams had to be improvised to survive this pandemic. How have you satisfied a customer’s needs and desires through a new revenue stream? Will the new revenue stream continue to be successful and profitable in the future?

Fossil prioritized its digital strategy during the pandemic and noticed an increase in online sales from 10% to 30% from Q1 to Q2. With the investments that Fossil has made to scale their digital capabilities, they anticipate that in the last six months of the year, 60% of their sales will be online. The shift from brick and mortar to online has allowed them to reduce their costs and further increase their bottom line by becoming a leaner and more efficient company. Companies that can successfully identify and make investments in alternate revenue streams during this time, will set themselves up for success.

4.operations

Are you able to look at your supply chain and identify every piece in the puzzle? Can you access the necessary data to make quick and effective decisions? Supply chains came to a screeching halt as a response to COVID-19 and CFO’s were left without the necessary information to act and adjust their supply chains as their suppliers began to shut down.

Supply chain decisions need to balance resilience and cost, not just cost. According to a survey done by PWC, over half of CFO’s are prioritizing visibility into the health of their suppliers so they can be proactive instead of reactive. In addition, over one-third of CFO’s are investing in automation now to use supplier information to aid in future decision making and are renegotiating contract terms to shift the focus from cost to a balance of cost and resilience in their supply chain.

5.technology & data

Technology can be one of the hardest areas of a business to upgrade because any system downtime means lost revenue. During COVID-19, many businesses have slowed down or paused, and it’s the perfect time to pay down tech debt or upgrade technology to focus on agility. Moving foundational legacy systems to the cloud allows a company to function the same whether employees are working from the office or remotely. The cloud also moves fixed costs for legacy systems to scalable variable costs. In the event the businesses slow down again with another pandemic, their IT operating costs will also be greatly reduced.

With the new scalability, companies can leverage their business intelligence and analytics using regular computers from home to gather and analyze data on the rapidly changing consumer desires and provide insights to management.

moving forward

Companies have been faced with a never seen before complete shutdown that has jeopardized their long-term investment plans. After a few months of responding to COVID-19, now is the time to use those responses as accelerants to complete long-term goals.

Don’t let COVID-19 put your business behind. If you are looking to get your business back on track to achieve your future goals, reach out to Credera at findoutmore@credera.com.