AmCham Philippines conducted a webinar entitled “Crafting a Strategic Response During a Crisis” last May 26. Sharing their expertise to the attendees are Mary Jade Roxas-Divinagracia of PwC Philippines, Terry Alan Farris of Arowana Capital, and Troy Lockyer of Lockforce International. Here are the important thoughts from this online event.
The pandemic drastically altered the way we do business, especially brick-and-mortar entities conducting the sudden shift to ecommerce. The use of technology and innovation to automate and streamline processes is widespread that investors are now considering offshore, low-cost service hubs and enhanced cybersecurity.
1) Realign Cost Structure
With profits falling, cost-cutting methods must be made while still upholding the welfare of one’s workers. Expenses must be prioritized. Any spending done, besides overhead expenses, must at least add value or help improve business operations in hopes of reaping a return on investment.
2) Supercharge Digital Transformation
Maximize the benefits of various platforms to market products, manage operations, analyze data, simplify systems, and enhance customer experience.
3) Carve Out New Revenue Streams
Take advantage of the opportunities e-commerce offers to increase market share and reach. Streamline products if possible and always value customer relations. Evaluate partnerships, mergers and acquisitions.
4) Prepare Workforce
Be knowledgeable about your workers, both professionally and personally. Provide avenues for growth, and skills building and learning. Establish models, structures or infrastructures to empower your employees to work with passion. Consider flexible work arrangements and monitor the base of productivity of quality results.
5) Strengthen Capital Efficiency
Evaluate the current business entity and model. Optimize capital structure and be open minded to strategic partnerships.
Value destruction phase concerns with minimizing revenue losses. Meanwhile, value preservation will eventually focus on strategic allocation and prioritization of goals. Value creation is optimistic in seeing opportunities in strengthening one’s competitive market position. The new normal will particularly be keen on the safety and health of workers, adapting flexible working hours, and arrangements to ensure well being of employees.
The tourism and leisure sector was one of the most devastated industries in the country with strict travel guidelines still in place. As will be the case from now on, health and safety of all stakeholders must first be resolved. Food chains are also advised to simplify kitchen operations, easy for preparing, take-out and delivery options with minimal physical contact.
In order to build a more resilient business, smaller spaces and teams are advised while diversifying the customer base through various marketing strategies and digital tools is advised. Establishing partnerships with online platforms and logistics companies will prove beneficial in improving online customer experience.
The power and utilities industries are also encouraged to embrace remote working even more while emphasizing the need for the latest technology to enhance quality of service and acquire customer satisfaction. Building the capacity for analytics may also help identify areas for further improvements. Establishing specific measures to implement low carbon energy consumption is also a priority.
The industrial manufacturing industry is also being prepped for post-COVID recovery. They must be diligent in tracking the demand for goods, especially on high-margin products. Identify M&A and divestiture opportunities. Automate and integrate digital training tools as well for the workers. Alternative supply chains must be re-evaluated and planned to factor in transport limitations.
In order for all the recommendations mentioned above, having the right team — people with diverse and yet complementary skills set, correct analysis and assessment (SWOT), and openly discussed with constructive feedback — to plan, execute, evaluate and monitor is as crucial in having a strategic response to recover and thrive after an economic downturn.