Five Keys for Turning Challenge into Opportunity
To capitalize on what they’ve learned, transform, and thrive in a post-COVID world, supply chain leaders should focus on the five core pillars:
- People. Leaders must reassure, clarify, protect, encourage, motivate, recognize, and reward people they manage. Each of these actions can make a fundamental difference in a successful post-COVID-19 transformation. When the crisis hit, companies were consumed with resolving the immediate issues at hand. As they continue to react, it’s important that instead of making isolated decisions in order to survive the crisis, leaders consciously think strategically about establishing a legacy that will help their company not just survive but thrive.
- Cash. Challenge assumptions to secure cash. With a changing profile of demand and an uncertain future, the key is having the right inventory and the ability to manage it optimally in an uncertain environment. In addition, companies should reduce payables and receivables as much as possible by preserving the most critical relationships.
- Infrastructure. This is the time to validate access to resources and test resilience assumptions. Companies should think not only about their footprint, but also understand the footprints of their service providers and suppliers. Connect to operating assumptions and understand that they will change because the environment is changing. Finally, understand the financial implications of decisions that are being made at a very rapid pace.
- Planning and decision-making. Focus on integrated, shorter interval planning, and decision cycles. The tactical adjustments you make should align with your long-term strategy.
- Customers. It’s always important to have a pulse on customers, but especially now. The drop in demand is more likely to have lasting effects that shouldn’t be ignored. Consider social trends that your company needs to address. Think about the impact that working from home and social distancing have on your business. Although the impacts of the pandemic are still coming to light, taking these steps will ensure leaders are better prepared to bounce back and be ready for what the future holds.