Covid-19, what happens next? How to prepare your business in 7 steps
The covid-19 pandemic has drastically altered our lives and changed our daily consumer habits. There is a new normal upon us and it is critical to rapidly rethink your daily processes and operations within your business. Even though we are on the verge of reopening certain aspects of the economy, we will need to maintain similar business practices in the following months and years to come.
Preparing for these strategic changes have become a top priority.
This article is the launch of a series of 7 blog posts. These articles cover how Canadian businesses have been affected and how we can help. The 7 topics are the heart of every business and will provide suggestions to help prepare your business for the future.
"People adapt well to change when deemed necessary, this crisis has made it necessary."
Jean Monet, Economist.
Here’s a sneak peak of the 7 topics we will be covering over the weeks to come:
1. Ecommerce: Finding the Holy-Grail During Lockdown
The first thing you’ll notice is increased website traffic and online sales, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Whether you are in Consumer sales (B2C) or Business sales (B2B), the COVID pandemic has forced consumers to conduct most of their shopping online.
Businesses who had already adopted an online strategy saw a boost in sales. A Chicago-based market research firm conducted a study on 30,000 people surrounding the GTA and discovered 3 in 10 Canadians are now shopping for products online. Ontario’s online sales have grown nearly 300% during the pandemic. The unfortunate part is that some businesses were prepared, while others had to urgently improvise to stay afloat.
In general, consumer preferences have quickly switched from face-to-face buying to online purchases. Companies who had adopted online channels are already creating customer loyalty and are better positioned to persevere once the lockdown is lifted. These new buying patterns are more than temporary and once new buying patterns form, they are hard to reverse.
In episode 1 "Adapting Your Business to The New e-Commerce Realities", you will discover how your company can quickly adapt to new buying habits, regardless if you’re selling B2C or B2B. It is vital for all companies to think strategically and prioritize their shift to ecommerce.
2. Impacts on Your Supply Chain and Deliveries with Online Sales
There’s no doubt that online sales will help increase the bottom line and equally it comes with some risk: will your customers receive their shipment on time in order to be satisfied?
The explosion of online sales during lockdown has shed a light on logistic processes. Shipping merchandise pallets from the warehouse to distributor is not the same as shipping out individual orders.
Some of our clients are facing the reality of this. They have had to restructure their organization and shift employees to the warehouse to help navigate new shipping strategies because of the surge of online orders. We’ve even seen big giants like Amazon have to adapt.
For essential service companies day-to-day activities have increased in this important time. They are often left without essential materials and are unable to properly match supply with demand.
Being able to rely on alternate and flexible supply sources will be beneficial to many companies. There are millions of suppliers available today but it is important to quickly find suppliers that are able to meet the needs of your business on time.
In the meantime, if you are currently in this situation and actively seeking new supply sources, SAP has opened its Ariba Discovery platform for free. Access to 4.1 million potential suppliers during the crisis.
4. Why it’s Necessary to Review Your Business Processes
This has been a really important category for our essential service clients. Most of them have seen a higher demand for their products and services. Buffer stocks were flying off the shelf and it was important to ramp up production to keep up with the demand.
Before COVID hit, late deliveries and shipment mistakes were easily overlooked. Since the pandemic, these mistakes have cost companies in a big way.
It is important that we shed light on reviewing your business processes and systems during this pandemic as it can affect the interactions within your company and when dealing with consumers.
What is an ERP? An ERP is an integrated management system that makes it possible to consolidate your company's data and business processes in order to help your business run as efficiently as possible.
An ERP is not a new tool, but many businesses still use solutions that are limited or sometimes obsolete and do not provide what the business actually needs. The needs of many businesses have evolved overtime and have become essential in this time of crisis.
A company who implements a modern or intelligent ERP will have a competitive advantage over those who don’t. You will discover how easily it can bring flexibility, efficiency, certainty in decision making due to real-time analytics, task automation, ease of collaboration and predictive functions.
In episode 5 "The Benefits of a Modern ERP in Time of Crisis" you will learn how an ERP is the foundation that gives your business a competitive edge and the opportunity to see this crisis as an accelerator; your journey to the digital transformation!
6. Telework and Collaboration, the New Working Standard
Canada has been a pioneer at adopting remote work practices and collaboration tools. Despite our advances, this crisis has taught us we can improve in certain aspects. Having the majority of employees shift to remote work raises a lot of questions.
Not only do the daily work habits need to be altered, but most resources must be adapted to new standards: collaboratively working on documents, needing answers to a specific question, finding multiple ways to use business tools, trying to eliminate back and forth through email for budget reviews, the list goes on!
7. Security of Information has Never Been More Important
Companies are now forced to quickly optimize their information systems: from new applications, new users, new access points, the list is can be quite long. Unfortunately, they are having to skip testing periods and with that comes many risks. The additional risks are additional to the ones we take every day and are sometime underestimated.
The number of incidents grows with bigger businesses, for example: people can leave, access of information can be given by a breach of security, or possibly applications being blocked in a form of ransom, to name a few.
More and more, companies are conscious of the risks and lean on the loyalty of human resources, the integrity of their processes, the resilience of their infrastructures and the confidence of their clients.
In conclusion, all companies who quickly adapt these forward-thinking principles of business will have a competitive advantage in the economy of the future.
The question now becomes, how do you incorporate such tasks with ease? Createch is here to help you with that. In fact, there is a possibility that the government may fund such activities to help Canadian businesses succeed post Pandemic. We are here to answer all your questions and help you navigate these uncertain times.