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Business-as-usual is yet months away to come back, if not years. Now, we are experiencing a “second way” of the pandemic, and many countries are retaking lockdowns to prevent the escalating cases of contagious people.  Current circumstances forced essential changes. Will they stay for the opportunity of innovation?

Organisations started changing the way they operate, pondering how to frame strategies which guarantee a business-enduring plan for the future.  Industries, possible coming out of lockdown in upcoming months can strength those best procedures to adapt more rapidly to whatever their new normal concept.  Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO) role is vital to redesigning such operations -crucial to driving growth.

Reset your business strategy

Businesses SCs are paying particular attention to their consumer’s shopping behaviour.  For this, we should be watching China closely; they are progressively reopening its financial system.

How to equip leaders to guide their teams towards transformation? Following three premises: Respond – Recover – Renew (Gartner’s.)

·       Drive your company throughout each phase of the pandemic.

·       Agile respond so your staff can act accordingly to modifying priorities.

·       Take smart actions to guarantee business continuity.

·       Identify the capabilities needed to strengthen your workforce and operations.

·       Build up plans to leverage and refurbishing operations.

·       Adapt and align strategical-operating plans models to meet business goals.

·       Build a way out to recovery, no matter where you are on the process.

·       Make financial arrangements to reopen.

CSCO near-term priorities in response to the pandemic

CSCOs are looking at colleagues’ high-priority viewpoints to take the best decisions to favour teams, customers, shareholders, and themselves, whilst addressing potential demand shifts and uncertainty, consequences related to the pandemic.

Watch Chinese businesses which have already started to rebuild and transform their operations. For example, instant-demand can suddenly shift much from one episode to the next; it is the reason why leaders operate with a zero-based forecast — at least until demand returns to normal.

CSCOs are transferring the most-experienced planners from usual tasks into new responsibilities to focus on collecting key indicators to communicate better scenario planning; sometimes, this position involves managing the recovery of scorecards (an excellent system to settle down when re-start operations. For instance:

·       Establish a demand plan again once 90% of your employees come back to the workplace.

·       Consider the growth rate of COVID-19 cases.

·       Pay attention to consumer’s spending.

·       Make sure the supplier’s piece goods availability.

·       Assess the potential of your factory’s production.

New ways of doing business

Businesses are retaking work in ways they had never visualised.  CSCOs must evaluate which of these new managing approaches applied during the pandemic could remain, which require to stop; pay attention to what and where potential- strategical values have come to light. Instant-demand can suddenly shift much from one episode to the next; it is the reason why leaders operate with a zero-based forecast — at least until demand returns to normal.

Chinese organisations demonstrated strong-business resilience.  For instance, a beverage and food producer usually sell most of its products to customers via a distributor; at some stage in the lockdown, they realised that such way of doing business was limiting its capability to move up goods to customers.  They chose to pass over the distributor and sell directly to retail customers; shortly, they will operate by a hybrid-model of direct/indirect sales.

Or the retailer who noticed an escalating-online sale throughout the lockdown, as numerous consumers could no longer shop in physical-establishment. They chose to invest in changing from a multichannel strategy to an integrated-business and a single team of inventory.

With this line of attack, they can sell to consumers most efficiently, whether this modification towards increasing-online sales is transitory or a long-lasting one.  They benefited from its employees and sales assistant’s expertise, hosting a live-stream event, generating revenue similar to pre-coronavirus in-store sales.

What kind of business will succeed?

Under such challenging circumstances, those that evidenced resilience, innovation, improved-business models, and better adaption to the new market environment; those with a robust digital-automation framework; plus, businesses considering top-digital providers as strategic partners who will not risk the company.

Several forms of partnerships have proven benefits for both parties: Partnering with the competition; customer-supplier relationship; channel/platform relationship, new customer-value partnership (investment partnership which invests in researching and building new opportunities.

CSCOs must ponder several common areas of automation, like contract management, accounting, sales operations, accounts payable, travel experiences, invoice delivery, and even payroll. Leverage your powerful-automation technology with stakeholders.

Further comments: These examples are only a small sketch of many revealing the business creativity and agility to respond to this unparalleled disruption. For companies trying to understand what this “new normal” could look like, China is an excellent place to start; consider employees’ current skill-sets and update them. Keep stakeholders engaged in the process so that the end-result centres on your key business priorities.

Are you doing your best to reset your business strategies to overcome pandemic effects?

Dave Food

M: +44 7775 861863


Photo credit: Unsplash

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