Fundamentally a business has two dimensions, the supply side and also the Demand side. First, allow us to check out the Demand side: Demand comprises the consumers. Thanks to the effects of pandemic, many companies have pack up or are on the brink. People are laid off or are subjected to pay cuts. The result’s a cash-strapped consumer. OnWe’ven supply chains on the availability side, tons of vendors/processors haven’t any work and idle capacity.
So, What should the Strategies to Deal with the Effects of Pandemic?
1. Cross-Domain Synergies and Aggregation of Idle Capacities
Businesses ought to explore synergies in supply chains to aggregate idle capacities to optimize costs. Optimized costs would naturally result in lower pricing, which might be music to the ears of cash strapped consumers and it’ll minimize the effects of pandemic in their buying capacity. These synergies are compelled to be beyond the traditional upstream/downstream integration, i.e., synergies being explored across different domains.
Case in point: Post the financial crisis of 2008, a Chinese manufacturer of washing machines liquidated their assembling facility and moved it onto two container ships. The ships would go from port to port, collecting the requisite components from vendors, loading them on to the boat and assembling them into finished products en route to their sales destinations within the western side. The manufacturer wasn’t only ready to optimize costs and managed to chop down the cycle time, thus increasing the throughput per unit of time.
2. Monitor the Changing Spend Basket
- Essentials like food, toiletries, utilities, home rentals/EMIs, etc.
- Semi-essentials like clothing, snacks, etc.
- Discretionary spend on entertainment, travel, fashion, etc.
Due to the pandemic effects, the cash-strapped consumer is possibly to economize on categories two and three. So, please check which type your startup offering falls in and strategize accordingly. By now, many people have identified spends that we could live without.
3. Analyze the Changing User Journeys
New touchpoints of interaction are emerging. Businesses got to analyze these changing user journeys carefully and adapt their offerings accordingly. What has changed/is changing? Consumption of entertainment, modes of communication, grocery stocking patterns, responses to medical emergencies (people don’t prefer visiting a clinic/hospital OPD) are the effects of pandemic. Ask yourself whether your sales channels are adapting to changing user journeys. In short, visualize new use cases that support the changing user journeys and explore unique tracks to take advantage of them.
4. Identify Niches
The talk about ”digital adoption” has increased because of the COVID-19. However, we can see that these discussions hover around online classes in schools/colleges, work-from-home environments and ordering online. This pandemic has created a situation where there’s a shortage of six million nurses across the world. In-person teaching is out of the question considering the prevailing situation. So virtual training is the only option. However, nursing is a type of profession that can’t be taught impersonally through a screen. A nurse must be made aware of ”live” situations around a patient’s bed/in an operation theatre/in an emergency ward. Such initiatives will need the help of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR).
Moreover, a nurse needs to feel the physical body too. This can be where virtual training, AR/VR combined with 3D printed replicas of the human anatomy, would prove significant. Opportunities needed to be explored here, instead of run-of-the-mill Edu tech talk restricted to schools and colleges (this space is far too crowded). That’s what we mean by identifying niches.
5. Ask, “What Your Product Do Fundamentally?”
Ever wonder why companies like Dynamatic Technologies that focus on precision-engineered products for aerospace and automotive giants venture into the domain of producing ventilators. It started manufacturing the foremost affordable ventilator within the world (that functions without electricity), ideal for deployment in rural India where power supply is erratic. Asking the above question will help enter new markets and build competition for unsuspecting incumbents.