At this point, almost everyone has had to juggle the ever-changing components of work within the new normal. Contingency plans have been tapped and modified accordingly. SC&RA has been able to do the same – finding steady success with committee meetings via Zoom and other remote means of communication with our volunteer leadership. Because of this involvement and understanding, the Association has been hard at work on initiatives to further support members as we move through the crisis.
As countries, provinces and states attempt to come back online and scale up, we all find ourselves examining what this means to us both individually and industry-wide. As we enter what has been called the “stabilise” phase of this crisis, it is paramount we focus on implementing tactical steps to preserve business value and maintain relationships.
To manage both our current levels of operation while also remaining prepared for what’s next, it’s important to look at how we respond through a lens of planning, and how that planning can be separated into strategic areas of responsibility and empowerment.
Start planning now
One undeniable area is crisis management – which shouldn’t vanish just because societal systems and processes are coming back online. There will be new issues, and the required responses, that pop up within this new phase as a result of the prior disruption. It is very important to keep crisis management teams in place so leadership isn’t distracted and potentially thrown off course by any new fires that emerge.
Communicating early and often with workforce is also vital at this time. Hopefully, the process has been refined a bit over the last few months, as we’ve all had to enhance the way in which we communicate with our workers. Cutting costs may also be a reality for some – which could mean tough choices that affect workers. In addition, pre-crisis profit targets will likely have changed for many, understandably. Workforce modelling can help companies assess their options, including the effects of government programmes and tax breaks, allowing them to use terminations as a last resort.
As for supply chains, the disruption has been very real for many and we can’t expect the problem to go away any time soon. All the more reason to check availability across the supply chain and realistically assess demand – given how much of the world economy will be assessing the same supply chains. That said, start planning now for how and when you’ll scale up as restrictions are lifted.
Never more important
For companies that do business across international lines or within different jurisdictions, it remains extremely important to stay educated on tax regulations that may have changed in response to Covid-19. Tax is one form of stimulus, and changes in tax rates and due dates can help companies conserve cash and plan. Those changes will vary from country to country and keeping up with those changes could help a company both survive and navigate the road ahead.
Amid the rush to return to normalcy, you can’t overlook the customer experience. Almost any worthwhile business endeavour is built on emotional connections to some degree with a certain customer base. Your company’s relationships with your customers, and their connection to your brand, has never been more important. A crisis puts both the strengths and weaknesses in your relationship under a spotlight.
Ultimately, Covid-19 will teach us a lot about the true nature of our business relationships, and how those relationships are built over time, nourished by experience and grounded in expectations. Realistically navigating the path forward will make us all better. If and when the time comes, it will prepare us for any challenges the next phase brings.