If we can say anything about the current pandemic, it is that it has shown us that we are indeed not invulnerable. And as our flaws have become glaringly clear, we may also find ourselves alarmed at just what doesn’t work anymore. And so it is true for businesses. Here are three things that no longer work for businesses, and what they can learn from them.
Matching Manufacturing To Current Need. It probably sounds like a competent strategy. Keep only what you need to build what you need to sell in the near future. This way you don’t take on a huge overhead to store products and should demand change, you don’t find yourself with a whole bunch of stuff nobody wants anymore. But the problem with this strategy now, is that it is also vulnerable to things like natural disasters, and yes pandemics. When items are in short supply, you can’t buy what you need to make the things you can sell. Now, many companies are learning that it is better to have enough finished products and supply to build more (use the term stockpiling if you want) than to find themselves caught in the midst of a pandemic without the ability to sell, or build to sell.
Be Good At Only One Thing. It is admirable to be the best at something. To build the best electric car, smartphone, solar panel, or running shoe. But what do you do when the bottom falls out? Case in point – restaurants can no longer operate as restaurants and now must adapt to the current take out industry. What the pandemic has revealed is that being great at one thing is fine, but to survive, you have to learn how to adapt, to diversify, to shift strategies. What smart companies are now doing is employing a sort of multiple market approach to business so if one industry goes bust, you have plenty of others that can pick up the slack.
Have People Work In Groups. There was once a time when we thought bringing people together to work on a project was equivalent to having two cars in the driveway instead of one. As the theory goes, if you add more intelligent minds, your productivity level goes up accordingly. The problem, however, is that it doesn’t really work, the net gains in productivity don’t equal the increased education and experience added. Somehow productivity leaks out at the seams. Now what the pandemic has revealed is that having people work together may not always be possible – or smart. It is actually a great way to spread disease. And again, not being able to adapt in the face of a pandemic, natural disaster, of economic slump is the recipe for a business that won’t survive.
Have enough product to sell and ready to be build. Be ready for whatever may come. And be able to adapt working space to need. These are the lessons learned at the mercy of the pandemic that may go a long way toward a successful business future.
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