Are you ready for the return to work? Whether it’s returning from limited operations to full operations or reopening factories, warehouses, or offices, the thought of returning to a semblance of normalcy may be exciting—but challenges may persist.
This according to a recent survey from APQC, who found that despite expected challenges over the next few months, many business leaders are confident in their ability to handle returns, the potential for a second wave, and other post-pandemic realities. So what do you need to know and what are companies like yours focusing on as the lockdowns are lifted?
Confidence Abounds, but Action is Necessary
According to the report titled Reactive to Proactive—The Next 90 Days, more than four out of five businesses are confident or very confident in their organization’s ability to pivot to the “new normal.”
But, as reported in Material Handling and Logistics, the survey found that no matter how confident leaders are, they will have to overcome challenges, update initiatives, and develop new skills to not only survive through Q2 2020, but create a sustainable future.
“Our survey found that people have a pretty positive view about how their organizations have already responded to the unprecedented disruption and how they are planning for what is certain to be a changed environment going forward,” said Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland, principal research lead for APQC’s Process and Performance Management practice.
“And while we expected concerns on health, safety, and budgets would be the biggest challenge going forward, organizations are also a bit shell-shocked and worried they are overlooking non-pandemic related risks. In addition, flexibility, in delivery channels, employee skills and technology, seems to be the operative word going forward.”
With just under half of companies reporting the pivot from reaction and putting focus on continuity to developing proactive plans, and 16 percent already beginning to execute on these plans, this report explores the steps to take on the journey and best practices for forging ahead.
Future-Proofing Your Business: Top Goals for Executives Over the Next 90 Days
Though the past few months presented significant change in the way you operate—alternate work arrangements, contingency planning, and embracing digital tools and collaboration platforms, according to the report—the pivot from reaction to proactivity may require new practices to be implemented and temporary changes to become permanent.
“As organizations move beyond reaction, they will be busy implementing long-term changes to future-proof their businesses. These broader organizational transformations include the adoption of digital solutions (e.g., automation) to address potential workforce capacity issues as well as new delivery channels for existing products, new products, and services—all of which require new skills for staff.”
Asking respondents about which practices will accelerate during the next 90 days, the following five practices stood out:
Any change to a business model requires a talent base who can help facilitate this change. Many employees have already needed to learn new skills in the wake of shutdowns, but as organizations return to work, everything from a modification of facility layout to health and safety protocols may change the day-to-day tasks. Understandably, APQC believes that in the next 90 days, reskilling employees will be a top priority, with 31% adopting programs to make this a reality.
Reskilling comes in many forms. Training an employee how to use a different machine or bringing in new software that can make your business run more smoothly will both require employees to update their skillset.
Focusing on Organizational Transformation
One of the biggest realities of the change has been that some companies were not ready for a shock. Few were ready for the demand fluctuations and fewer had plans for being able to pivot. This has provided leaders with a moment of reckoning—it’s time to embrace change. Another of the strategies expected to accelerate over the next 90 days, many are looking at a broad organizational transformation.
Understandably, this may be the easiest time to make this happen. People are already expecting small changes to their activities—but as we’ve discussed, transformations in business are merely a series of changes that snowball into something bigger.
Shortening the Supply Chain
For many organizations, both sides of the supply chain have been hit hard. Getting the items you needed may have become more challenging. Getting the items to your customers may have been harder, and it’s likely you saw unexpected panic buying for some orders and panicked order cancellations for others.
Coming out of the lockdowns, companies are vowing to shorten their supply chain to avoid disruption. Balancing budgetary constraints, supplier relationship management changes, and risk management will require you to know more about yourself, your customers, and your supply chain than ever. In this, companies may look to collaborative supplier relationships and inventory management solutions that can address challenges and connect supply chains more easily than ever.
Digitalization and Automation
Rounding out the top five focuses are two initiatives set to empower the rest. A continued push to digital products and services and automation provides organizations with a framework and path to change.
Adoption of technology, according to APQC, will speed up the organization, address the potential for workforce capacity challenges, and inform new delivery models, leading to an organization-wide digital evolution (or transformation).
The Right Partner, the Right Time: Kissinger Associates
Despite the budgetary challenges that may exist, the path to 2021, 2025, and 2030 starts as soon as you reopen your doors. Companies like those interviewed in the APQC study are doing more than talking about a transformation, they are taking actions to future-proof their organizations.
Flexibility, innovation, and change management will drive companies forward, and the next three months could be your watershed moment in the competitive, increasingly agile, and ever evolving landscape. Whether you’re looking to shorten your supply chain, focus on automation, do more with your business, or forge into a major transformation project, the right partner matters.
As a mainstay in the business management and ERP software industry for the past three decades, Kissinger Associates has helped companies just like yours to increase productivity, improve decisions, and empower your staff. From implementation to training, the right partner can help you on your journey.
Get to know more about your path to a smarter business model with ERP, learn how we help companies deliver change, and get to know more about the team who will help you. Ready to learn more? Let’s get in touch.
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