All directions or other directions?
Either way you will probably be OK as long as you keep moving.
If you don't care where you are going, then any direction will take you there. But what if you do care, except it is not entirely clear where exactly you want to go. Many companies today know, that they don't want to be, where they are, but where they should go is less clear. Maybe you find yourself in the same situation and are looking for directions. Keep reading.
Anyway - but not anyhow
Several excellent consultancies (perhaps all?) have studied the impact of Covid-19 on business operations. For instance McKinsey wrote a very interesting analysis of the German Mittelstand companies (read it here) and Valcon studied the impact on procurement (read the report here). Much thought has also gone into the Work-From-Home or Work-In-The-Office question (for instance in Harvard Business Review and FastCompany, check out our linkedin profile to see more).
All of these reports have great recommendations for actions (at least we think they are great, but check them out for yourself to see, if they work for you). We think, that it all boils down to this:
You want to be better prepared the next time something like Covid-19 comes around. It may not be a virus next time. It could be something entirely different, but in any case, you want your operations to be robust and resilient.
You also want to ensure that you even have a business after the crisis, so you need to not only survive, but actually be competitive. This also means, that you need to be flexible and adaptive to changing situations and you likely need more suppliers and more collaboration with both customers and suppliers.
There is a clear pattern, that digital technologies are key to support points 1 and 2. The companies with the highest levels of digital maturity have done better during the crisis and will come off to a better start after the crisis.
When you are at a crossroad and are faced with the challenge of chosing a direction without knowing exactly where you want to go, it will help you to know, that your organisation and the technology which supports it can adapt to the path chosen. In any case there will be more such choices and decisions to make further down the road. It is OK to stop and think for a little while, but soon traffic will build up, so you need to keep moving. Most companies were not prepared to handle a crisis like the current, because they forgot to move before the crisis. The lesson is to keep moving now and bridge the digitalization gap. Waiting for the one perfect solution is likely to make you less robust and may also cost on competitiveness.
Any way you decide to take your company will be better than standing still. How you decide to move will have a bigger impact on the results than whether you go in all directions or the other ones.
Reach out to us to share your thoughts and to discuss how we may help you on your journey. Follow us on your preferred social media channel and read more about how we use AI technology to help you manage procurement processes more collaboratively and more flexibly on this website.