AS the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create havoc and to disrupt the entire fabric of society, producers are striving to step up their efforts when it comes to providing consumers with essential goods and to protect the health and well-being of communities.
In order to achieve this, organisations are facing challenges that require extraordinary measures to ensure that essential goods continue to be produced and delivered to Health service institutions, stores and consumer doorsteps.
As many organisations are seeing a dramatic reduction in demand for their services, created mainly due to the strict lockdown measures introduced to halt the pandemic, there are other businesses who have seen significant upturns in their demand. Amazon for example hit an all-time high share price last week and they are expected to hire circa 175,000 more warehouse and delivery workers to keep up with their growing demands. The NHS, supermarkets, banking call centres and medical equipment suppliers are other industries that have also seen an increased demand for their services. Indeed, many smaller, niche, businesses (the likes of hand sanitiser companies, blood testing companies and oxygen tank refilling companies) have been asked to expand at such a rate that their operations are unable to cope with the demand; both in terms of production, but also distribution. The rate and extend to which these organisations are asked to transform their existing operating models is stretching their capability to the limit, causing them to either suspend operations altogether, or at best fail to meet the additional demand.
At TORI we have been helping some of these organisations not only to scale up their operations to cope with the immediate increase in demand, but also to achieve this transformation in a sustainable way. Whilst these austere and difficult times are providing opportunities for some businesses right now, it is also important to remember that any short-term strategies must feed into a longer-term, sustainable operational framework. As a ramp up in capabilities often comes with a ramp up in expenditure; considerations must be made to these outgoings once ‘normality’ returns
To help companies succeed with any Covid 19 related supply chain challenges, TORI has highlighted the key components that need to be incorporated into any operational ‘ramp-up’ plan:
- Baseline your existing service model to protect and maintain delivery of critical business services (non Covid 19 related) that are key to the long-term success of your business
- Identify opportunities to increase capacity in your operations with your existing workforce, eg review ways of working, different shift patterns, short-term change in responsibilities for less ‘business critical’ roles, introduce tools and support mechanisms to allow remote collaboration where possible, etc
- Have a robust business continuity plan that considers the effect an outbreak of Covid 19 within your workforce would have on your operations
- Identify business opportunities and threats that arise from the temporary increase in demand and incorporate / mitigate these in your longer-term business strategy.
Our financial services clients are facing two major challenges; firstly, to maintain their BAU activities and secondly, to prepare for is now commonly known as the ‘New Norm’. The questions we are hearing from many of our clients are “Will things ever return to what was the normal working model” and “How do we grow with a shrinking economy?” To help some of our financial services clients answer these questions, TORI are working very closely with some of these organisations to review existing processes, systems, people capability, automation and ways of working. The review of the current state facilitates discussions around what the ‘New Norm’ might be, how this would impact their current Operating models and what they need to do to introduce flexibility and sustainability in any new strategies they wish to implement.
Whilst we are in these austere and difficult times it is providing opportunities for some businesses right now.
Want to start a conversation?
If any of the above rings true in your organisation, be that keeping the lights on or scaling up to cope with increased demand, we'd love to hear from you. We have experts across many industries in the UK and US who can help and can be reached on:
London +44 (0) 20 7025 5555
New York +1 212 618 1970