COVID Aftermath: How is the Business World dealing with the New Normal?

Posted by Maria Katrina dela Cruz
May 07, 2021
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Now that we’re halfway through 2021, organizations are scrambling for ways to get their edge back in the competition. Though business grants and vaccination efforts keep them on their feet, the post-pandemic period, or what we call the ‘new normal’, toll in the business world is yet to finish unfolding.

exploring the new normal in the business world
2020 is the year we adapt, while 2021 is the time we thrive.  A year after grappling with the pandemic, even the corporations and SMEs that are set on their ways were forced to ride the wave of changes, and kept up with the trend of today just to remain operational. We’re beginning to see the changes that will stay with us for the long haul. 

    1. For SMEs

      • Virtual leadership

At the time of vulnerability and uncertainty, employees look up to business leaders for guidance and clarity. They entrust their jobs and the company’s future into your hands, which puts a great deal of pressure in your shoulders when making tough decisions. But thanks to technology, virtual management makes things work, even from a distance. 

 The crisis proved that in the most inopportune times, leadership styles can change, and even change platforms, but nonetheless, if you are an effective leader, it will always show. With the right mix of optimism to boost your team’s morale, and realism about the firm’s future, virtual leadership can bring results in your favor.   

      • Supply chain management 

Like any other facet of the business, the supply chain had its share of negative impact and positive changes when the pandemic hit. The slowing down of production of raw materials (such as in factories) created delays in manufacturing. So in order to reduce employee exposure to the virus, they put major investments into high-end technology and machines. 

This increasing trends of automation and digitalization of the supply chain increased future efforts to upskill the workforce in using the technology and adapting to virtual work. Indeed, digital transformation will expedite, and lead us towards an autonomous supply chain that will connect the business across planning, procurement, manufacturing, and logistics that goes beyond the premise of the office. 

    1. For Chief Financial Officers 

      • Financial management 

Doing less with more. 

COVID-19’s impact on business budgets left organizations in a massive deficit, which means they have to make do with the little they have. It is imperative for CFOs to sustain the company’s liquidity through various government fiscal stimuli, or loans in credit markets to make sure they stay afloat for the short-term. 

One way to look at the situation is to identify where cash can be released, or finding new lines of credit, just in case their network of financing sources become lesser or more restrictive. 

      • Digital Transformation 

Even before the pandemic ushered in, CFOs have seen how technology transformed everything from their line of work up to the major changes it brought in the field. 

Besides their finance functions, CFO roles have also extended to strategic planning. Delivering business outcomes today has been achieved with the help of edge-cutting technology that provides them with business analytics that align with the enterprise objectives. Digitalization optimizes CFOs’ capabilities to do intensive judgment over complex matters. 

Read Next: The Role of CFOs in Contingency and Crisis Management

      • Corporate Planning 

Strategic plans for 2020 were swept away when the pandemic struck— wreaking havoc the corporate strategy CFOs were just starting out by then. Whirlwind game plans were established during the 2nd quarter of the previous year, under a very different context. Executives had to reassess company functions, take an in-depth look at the industry’s circumstances and see to it that their vision is still met with a recalculated key strategy. 

As we mentioned in our previous blogs, flexibility will play a big role in the future of the field. The fragility of the current environment will likely last for a long time, which emphasizes the need for more liquid arrangements in your post pandemic business strategy. For instance, is your work-from-home setup a long-term solution or just a temporary patch to the safety concerns from the virus? Are your policies going to change in light of the crisis? How are you planning to inject flexibility in terms of technology? Do you consider upskilling your employees to use technology in their everyday tasks?

    1. For industry leaders

      • Marketing your services 

For the big names in the industry, digital marketing also stands an important factor on how COVID-19 has changed business. Though not a major shift, more organizations are leaning more to social media and digital marketing nowadays.

The pandemic created a reshuffled market, making it hard to identify where your primary targets are. There is also a significant change when it comes to consumer behavior that raises concerns about communicating the brand’s message across.

Adjust your marketing strategies to a more mindful and emphatic tone. Let the people know you acknowledge the presence of the crisis, and you recognize how it affects them. Aside from this, you may also want to channel your marketing efforts towards Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid search, digital advertising, social media, and digital events which are all sustainable ways to expand your network. 

      • Restructuring business models 

If your business is severely hit by the pandemic, chances are, your business model didn’t work effectively. Develop a resilient and flexible strategy that can withstand the most abrupt challenges.

Whether it’s for short or long-term plans, post-pandemic plans demand agility and quick decision making amid the dynamic industry conditions. There will be cross-functional collaborations across the different departments, a need for real-time insights and industry standard metrics, the CFO’s analytical abilities and intensive focus on the matter. 

An important thing we learned in this crisis: reinventing our business models and service delivery approach is a must to continue recovery in the volatile space we are in. 

Finding new equilibrium during the new normal in the business world is still a long way to go. However, it is no excuse for us not to continue seizing opportunities for surviving and thriving in a new environment. 

If you’re finding it overwhelming to attend to your expanding roles, we’re here to help. D&V Philippines offers right-hand CFO solutions that provide you the best support you need. Download our Premium CFO Solutions whitepaper to know how our comprehensive finance and accounting services can help you achieve better business results.

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