As I mentioned in the last article Which retailing industries are booming during COV-19, many industries enjoy the thriving sales during the general downtrend of economy but to take advantage of this chance, we have to prepare carefully or at least, have adaptability to sell more products here. Which factors should we prepare here? Let’s check the following list to see if you’re qualified or not
1. Digitalize your sales channel
Although ecommerce has emerged for 10 year and gradually become an integral part in sales of many industries, many people still hesitate to invest in this channel because they have a good sales in offline stores already. And they don’t have audacious ambition that they have to be a millionaire or have to expand business more than they’re today. More expansion, more tasks do they have to worry. I’m OK with the current situation. That’s the cliche I usually hear from these small store owners. However, COV-19 truly poses a challenge that require them to go online or go out of business.
Have an online sales channel that are invested carefully before COV-19 will bring you with the flying colors and accelerated your business more quickly than ever as you can see in Chloe Ting’s channel in the last article. However, if you haven’t invested an online site properly here or even not yet got an online site, don’t worry. You can consider this as a chance that you have to invest an online channel and quickly release it. Now than ever, this is the time that client can browse the websites/social network/online sales channels to buy the products they need.
2. Rebuilding operations
The coronavirus pandemic has radically changed demand patterns for products and services across sectors, while exposing points of fragility in global supply chains and service networks. Many retailers have struggling with purchasing the products when the world’s biggest manufacturer – China stopped operating and delivering products due to lockdown situation. Plus, many commute staffs cannot get to their workplace due to the general shutdown of COV-19 as well. For the tough situation like this, we witness how striking business have adapted, creating radical new levels of visibility, agility, productivity, and end-customer connectivity
Building operations resilience. Many companies redesign their operations and supply chains to protect against a wider and more acute range of potential shocks. The offshore business or what’s called global-sourcing model in product-driven value chains has steadily declined as new technologies and consumer-demand patterns encourage regionalization of supply chains and this trend is expected to accelerate more than ever due to COV-19.
This reinvention and regionalization of global value chains is also likely to accelerate adoption of other levers to strengthen operational resilience, including increased use of external suppliers to supplement internal operations, greater workforce cross-training, and dual or even triple sourcing.
Embracing the future of work. The future of work is defined by the use of more automation and technology, was always coming. COVID-19 has hastened the pace. Because of social distancing, many companies allow 50% staffs work remotely on the odd days of week and 50% staffs work remotely on the even days of week. The digital tools such as Slack, Zoom, Google Meet, etc show their importance than ever for the situation like this. Plus, many companies in Technology field such as Salesforce, Facebook, etc even allow all employees work remotely, maybe forever. Employees across all functions, for example, have learned how to complete tasks remotely, using digital communication and collaboration tools.
Plus, the decrease of staffs due to social distancing policy poses another issues for the retailers need to solve: same or even more sales but we have to serve more orders so we witness an accelerated decline in manual and repetitive tasks and a rise in the need for analytical and technical support. This shift will call for substantial investment in workforce engagement and training in new skills, much of it delivered using digital tools.
3. Rethinking the organization.
In the heat of the coronavirus crisis, organizations have been forced to work in new ways, and they are responding. Much of this progress comes from shifts in operating models. Clear goals, focused teams, and rapid decision making have replaced corporate bureaucracy.
In our client’s case – a leading retailer in providing food and necessities to animals, he had executed curbside-delivery in a long time but hadn’t optimized it. He considered it as a must-have but not yet to focus onthis discipline until COVID-19 lockdown hit his country. The store pickup orders tripled and the number of staffs has been decreased half due to social distancing policy. He had trouble in dealing with this situation then more importantly and more quickly than ever, he decided to optimize it with our assistance. Curbside pickup become an essential part but no longer a nice-to-have option as it was in the past .
Another case of our client who delayed in going live for his business that had stretched for 1 year, due to shutdown situation, went live for 7 days. His staffs had to be trained quickly to be adaptive to his merely online sales channel instead of offline channel only in the past.
In summary, COV-19 has wiped out a lot of the old business operation types, accelerated our economy in the trend of digitalization more efficiently. Without the careful preparation or quick adaptability, even if you’re the dominant in the market, you can lose your cake slice completely to other competitors who are faster in this fierce race.