Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has an impact on all sectors of society. Along with severely affecting the health of millions of people across the globe, COVID-19 has also hit enterprises and economies harshly. The industrial world is also suffering from the novel Coronavirus as much as the health sector. Here are some important points that enterprises need an awareness of in the current situation.
The pandemic is still spreading
While the media is now talking of reopening and the lifting of curfews, the pandemic is still spreading around the globe. Even the countries with high growth economies are getting hit seriously. Many believe that the rate of infection of coronavirus is controllable. Lockdown still seems the most effective way of slowing the spread.
Lifting lockdown is an experiment
Never before has any economy been shut down in this way or reopened during an ongoing pandemic. Nobody is sure whether reopening will have a positive or a negative effect. Countries that were doing well in the initial stage of reopening are now witnessing an increase in the patients after reopening the economy.
These considerations are relevant when thinking of reopening the enterprises. Companies have to find new ways to contact their clients, employees, and workforce and ditch their previous high-contact methods.
Everything depends on tracking, testing, and quarantine
The resources and funds required for testing, tracing, and quarantining are high. Many countries with small economies are facing huge issues in keeping track of all the patients. Contact tracing and quarantining is important. It is seemingly the only solution for prevention we have at this time.
Innovation and clinical evidence
At present, billions and billions of dollars are being spent in pursuit of drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for the virus. In the last few months, numerous efforts have been made to find a vaccine or some sort of therapy to fight against the disease. For the widespread use of any vaccine, it will take a long time but for the health workers, a vaccine may be available by the end of 2020.
How to get back to work in the current scenario?
The economic challenges that the pandemic has brought are unprecedented. Companies have suffered huge losses in the ongoing pandemic. Many enterprises are finding it difficult to restart their operations in this risky environment. Here are four key areas that organizations should focus on to restart their operations.
The workforce is likely to be the most affected of any part of any enterprise. How enterprises handled their workforce in the pre-crisis times is entirely different from the present and future. The things enterprises need to work on in the workforce are as below.
- Protect Employees: The first and foremost thing is to keep the employees safe. Initiate preventive measures to support employees in these tough times. The first protocol would be to make the workplace safe. Hand sanitizers, facemasks, and proper hygiene must be implemented.
- Support Home Working: Provide their teams with the resources and support to work remotely. Remote work is best implemented by using efficient remote working software. Using these, working practises can be optimized and the negative impact of COVID-19 diminished.
- Communicate effectively: It is important to maintain effective communications in times of global uncertainty. The management must lead the team with responsive and empathetic communications. By doing this, employees feel connected, supported, and have the will to work.
Crisis management and response
Most of the enterprises were not ready to face the recession brought in by COVID-19. Many companies have successfully made management plans specific to this crisis and are looking forward to the new normal. If you haven’t done anything yet you need to take action now.
The measures that you could take as an enterprise are:
- Leverage the crisis management team- Create a crisis management team. Allocate funds and empower them to make decisions to mobilize effort across the enterprise.
- A crisis management team can also help you in assessing your future strategies and plans.
- Identify core areas that need an immediate response It could be the sales department if revenue has been affected negatively. Or the production unit that has the unprocessed raw material. Look for areas that need real-time course corrections and start working on them.
Operations and supply chain
Another important area that every enterprise has to focus on is its operations and supply chain. The negative effects of the COVID-19 are difficult to assess and reduce, but enterprises can start to moderate supply chain distributions. The steps that enterprises can take in this field are as follows:
- Identify alternative scenarios – As the previous supply chain has almost come to an end, the enterprises need to identify alternate operations. It could be to take the business onto an online platform and partnering with shipment companies that are using “contactless” delivery.
- The enterprises also need to improvise on pricing strategies and customer engagement.
Finance and Liquidity
Managing the finances and the liquidity position of the enterprise amid the ongoing crisis is crucial. As the economies have slowed down, many companies are facing difficulties in managing their funds. It can also result in lower revenues and reduced cash flow.
Measures that enterprises can take in the current situation are:
- Revise your pre-made plans and prepare yourself for the worst scenarios.
- Assess the impact on your current cash position and plan future events accordingly.
- Focus on identifying financial and operational levers.
The effects of the Coronavirus are everlasting. You can take protective comprehensive measures to reduce its after-effects. Stay safe in the hard times, and keep working on positive productivity.
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