By | Nishant
The COVID-19 crisis has hit businesses like never before. Governments, business fraternity, and people are trying their best to fight the virus. Lockdowns, self-quarantine, and isolation have helped curb the spread of the virus. The world is accepting the new normal and is adapting itself to the changing conditions and circumstances. Recently, WHO COVID-19 special envoy, Dr. David Nabarro, said that it’s highly unlikely to have a COVID-19 vaccine before the next two years. This goes on to say that humanity has to cohabitate with the virus and find innovative ways to deal with it. The lockdown has helped save millions of lives but it has also affected business continuity. Many businesses, especially SMEs have shut down. And big businesses are either slashing salaries or handing pink slips. After 2 months of lockdown, the government is devising strategies to open up a few sectors of the economy to bring them back on track. This includes manufacturing and construction, both labor-intensive work that employs a huge chunk of people. Lately, we have seen interstate and intrastate migration of laborers. This threatens the very fundamentals of the economy as laborers provide fuel to it. The government has taken note of it and has divided the country into 3 zones – Red, Orange, and Green – according to the following parameters: Number of COVID-19 cases reported, number of tests conducted, doubling rate, etc. In green zones, companies can function like they were operating in the pre-lockdown times. In orange zones, the operations are moderately restricted while in red zones it’s heavily restricted. This is a good step that will give impetus to businesses to create employment opportunities. But apart from government policies, businesses also need to think out-of-the-box. This article discusses 3 important business revival strategies that companies need to adapt to the post-COVID-19 crisis.
- Implement Remote Working solutions
The first point in your business revival strategy should talk about remote working solutions. It’s the new norm. Businesses across all industries are working towards assimilating remote working tools and implementing work-from-home solutions. This is because it has huge benefits when it comes to securing your workforce from falling prey to the virus. Firstly, it allows employees to work from the comfort of their home thereby saving them from unnecessary exposure to the virus or coming in contact with asymptomatic carriers. Secondly, a study conducted by Airtasker suggests that remote workers work for 1.4 days more per month than their office counterparts. Thirdly, it brings a work-life balance in the employee’s life. This helps them save commute time, play a greater role in the lives of their kids, spend more time with their family, and manage their daily affairs the way they want.
Some of the most used remote working tools are mentioned below:
- Video Conferencing: Video conferencing helps geographically separated teams to have a face-to-face brainstorming session. Skype, Zoom, etc. are some of the best examples of video conferencing tools through which teams can connect.
- Collaborative tools: Collaborative tools help teams to work on the same project from distant locations. The best example is google docs. It allows teams to write and edit documents and spreadsheets simultaneously.
- Document sharing tools: These tools help teams to share important documents instantly. The best examples are Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. They enable teams to share files that can be opened from anywhere.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic ends, businesses should build resilient remote working solutions. This will ensure that those whose physical presence isn’t mandatory are working from the comfort of their home.
- Make use of ERP systems
The second point in your business revival strategy should be the inclusion of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system as it ensures the smooth functioning of a business. It provides added capabilities and extended functionalities that help businesses to increase their production, improve the quality of their products, make their services faster and efficient, and decrease their reliance on the human workforce. All in all, it helps businesses to stand tall in their respective industry and emerge as a formidable player.
If you are already using an ERP system then you are in all likelihood reaping its benefits – receiving raw materials on time, manufacturing products with a skeletal workforce, and facing fewer supply chain problems. On the other hand, if you haven’t already invested in an ERP software then you are most probably sitting at your home and waiting for the pandemic to end. You should learn from your shortcomings and invest in an ERP system at the earliest.
Following are some of the benefits of an ERP system in business:
- It creates Bills of Materials and Bills of Lading automatically.
- It takes care of cash receivables and cash payables.
- It takes care of trivial functions and performs them repeatedly at superfast speeds
One of the most important functions of an ERP system is to find suitable vendors and distributors. It creates a list of vendors according to set parameters so that if the primary vendor is unavailable, you don’t fall short of raw materials. Also, it creates a list of distributors so that you don’t face problems while delivering finished products to buyers.
- Make use of CRM systems
The COVID-19 pandemic has virtually locked people inside their homes. The government imposed lockdown has strict guidelines for people venturing outside. This has curtailed the sales of many businesses, especially micro-businesses, whose survival depends upon daily transactions with their customers. Therefore, the third point in your business revival strategy should be the implementation of CRM systems. The following points describe why they show a ray of hope in such tough times:
- They help businesses stay in touch with their clients.
- They create a customer database that can be used to send important emails, documents, articles, and links to help them stay safe during the Coronavirus outbreak.
- They allow your customers to raise issues and get solutions instantly.
- They gather important data and pin-point what people are searching for. This helps businesses to alter their offerings as per customers’ wants.
- They suggest the types of discounts you can give to increase customer footfall.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the concept of customer relationships will gain a deeper ground. This is because it will increase customer stickiness and thereby improve your profit-making potential. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a turning point for humanity. It has changed the way we live, interact with others, and do business. Those companies that prepare a well thought out revival strategy – implementing remote working solutions, ERP, and CRM systems – will rule the roost while those that don’t will dwindle in obscurity.
About the Author:
Nishant likes to read and write on technologies that form the bedrock of the modern-day and age like machine learning, data science, AI, and robotics. His expertise in content marketing has helped grow countless business opportunities. Nishant works for Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of CRM and ERP Software to small and mid-sized businesses in India.