Post-Pandemic Readiness: Five strategic priorities to succeed in the new world

June 2020

Jim Bourke, HLB Global Advisory Leader

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The post-pandemic world arises

To increase your post-pandemic readiness and succeed in the new world, we have identified five strategic priorities to unlock business transformation: Digital acceleration, Workforce transformation, Consumer acumen, Cost management, and Supply chain reinvention.

As we head down a path of uncertainty, the risk of sitting tight and not investing in transformation will decrease company growth or possibly result in lost market share. To maintain competitive in the new world, business leaders must adopt greater agility to anticipate change and mitigate its impact. To drive sustainable change in the organisation and re-write the manual, tough questions need to be asked within boardrooms. This report helps you identify the strategic priorities to focus on and the actions to take.

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Five strategic priorities to increase post-pandemic readiness

Digital acceleration

While business transformation through digital technologies has been on the CEO agenda for over a decade, the lockdown measures in response to COVID-19 have forced businesses across all sectors to rapidly adopt technology enabled processes to keep operations running remotely. From home-working arrangements to online sales and distribution channels, they are here to stay. Businesses that do not prioritise digitisation and the adoption of new technology will fall behind the competition and will not be able to keep up with the needs and demands of customers and employees alike.

Workforce transformation

The well-being of your workforce is directly linked to business performance. In the post-pandemic world, interactions between people in both the physical workplace as well as via digital collaboration platforms must be adjusted to fit a more agile working model. This also includes more flexible arrangements to up or down-size the workforce more easily depending on business needs. Key to success is fostering a flexible and open culture within the organisation.

Consumer acumen

Findings from HLB’s Global Survey of Business Leaders revealed that pre-pandemic, just 24% of business leaders planned to focus on customer acumen in 2020 to strengthen their business. But in a post-pandemic world, we identify consumer acumen as one of the five strategic priorities in order to succeed. The wants and needs of your customers today are likely to look different from what they did before. With consumer spending in decline, B2C businesses in particular need to make sure their products, sales channels, customer service and brand messages meet the new demands of their customer base.

Cost management

The foreseeable future remains uncertain, and in times of uncertainty, cash is king. The pandemic has shed light on the importance of cash preservation and cost control. Strategic cash control and cash management will be key to survival of businesses during times of change. The key to your continued survival will be your ability to quickly adapt to unanticipated disruption. Business leaders should centralise cash where possible and optimise operational efficiency and productivity.

Supply chain reinvention

The pandemic has uncovered a variety of issues and inefficiencies in global supply chains. One common challenge is replacing or augmenting manual processes which are dependent on the action of individuals. For example, manually inputting information—whether it be for purposes of filling orders or completing a multitude of tasks—can get easily delayed and slow the supply chain process. Data analyses to inform procurement processes and decision-making on inventory requirements can be made more efficient through the use of digital technology.

 

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Post-pandemic readiness: Five strategic priorities to succeed in the new world

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