How to transition from “survival mode” and grow

COVID-19 has exposed businesses both small and large to a negative financial impact that many were unprepared for. For many entrepreneurs and their employees, a worldwide pandemic that would affect industries across the globe, all in varying ways, was not included in their financial models or forecasts.

Companies have had to pivot, whether they wanted to or not, to remain in business. While shifting was easier for some, for many, it has forced them to make complex and challenging decisions.

In our recent blog titled, Second-Wave Fears Are Driving Businesses to Adopt New Technologies, we addressed the concerns facing Canadian businesses as they navigate the complexities of COVID-19. We can see the impact of COVID-19 on the business community, not on the news but rather in the stores and walking down the street.

Businesses that have been shuttered for months are up for sale, commercial spaces are standing empty, and everyday companies of varying sizes are declaring bankruptcy. Within the first wave of this pandemic, businesses with limited resources and who were not prepared to weather the daily changes closed quickly and without warning. As we find ourselves amid the second wave this fall, we are hearing more companies share their strategies for weathering the financial challenges they are facing.

Products, processes or both?

In the early days of 2020, businesses who acted quickly were faced with an important decision. Do we shift in the products we offer, or adjust the processes we utilize? Many companies chose to expand their product offerings, most notably in developing personal protective equipment. One such company, known for its hockey equipment, saw the opportunity to utilize the tools and materials available to them and create masks for essential workers. With sporting events either postponed or cancelled altogether, their choice to fill a need in their community not only paid off financially but built their brand equity as well.

For businesses that could not alter their products and continued to see a need for their offerings in the marketplace, they had to change the way they engaged with their customers, vendors and local communities. Some of the best examples of this can be found within the food services industry ranging from local coffee shops to global restaurant chains. To continue serving customers, businesses within this market changed how they provided services. Despite being forced to close their doors to the public, they used this opportunity to alter their business structure and provide take-out and delivery. Not only were these businesses continuing to engage with the economy, but they were able to make use of what was available to them and introduce new tools to continue to serve their clients. It took one business to offer contactless delivery, and now this featured service is utilized by companies from every industry, allowing many to remain operational.

New tools for the new norm

Opinions vary on how long COVID-19 is going to have an impact on businesses. Every area of life has been affected by this pandemic, causing many to wonder what is coming next. For example, just a few weeks ago, a major retailer of professional clothing attire shocked the nation when they filed for bankruptcy. Predictions suggest that it may take on average 1.5 years for businesses to recover, [1] so how can a company adapt to the new norm and transition out of crisis mode? By adopting tools and taking advantage of the resources available to them.

Cloud-based technologies have been utilized by companies for years to share information, monitor projects, track results, increase productivity, and help teams remain connected no matter their location. ERP, also known as Enterprise Resource Planning, allows businesses to stay on top of the many moving parts within a business while supporting the safety and security of their employees through its remote access capabilities. Comprised of a suite of offerings that businesses can choose to take advantage of based on their specific needs, ERP’s can assist in the following ways:

  1. Track orders, prepare shipments and monitor door to door delivery and service.
  2. Monitor employee performance and provide resources and tools to increase productivity and output.
  3. Create, manage and store documents to be shared with specific teams or provided company-wide.
  4. Management of inventory for products stored within the premises and offsite.
  5. Access to statistics for easy analysis to determine areas of improvement.
  6. Human resource and management solutions available department-wide.
  7. Managing financial resources and monitoring invoices from the moment they are sent to when payment is received.

Cloud-based ERP solutions allow businesses to bring their processes together into one centralized platform. It provides for employees to remain safe and secure at home and enables them to continue to serve customers with the same level of excellence as the business transitions operations from on-premise to digital.

Additional resources from MNP

When COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic at the beginning of this year, we knew it would impact the business community at every level. No industry has been spared, but it has required companies and employees to adjust to the changing marketplace and meet the needs of Canadians. From the beginning, our goal has been to assist businesses throughout this transition and provide resources and tools that they may use and trust.

Our Business Advice Centre covers everything from government updates and mandates to establishing your business recovery plan. We explain tools created for overall success and how they may help your business streamline, plan, and save money in the long run. We understand that knowledge is power and are continuing to share our knowledge with you so that you may be able to move out of crisis mode and begin to grow.

Schedule a free consultation with our experts to discuss how MNP can help with your next digital transformation initiative.

Connect with us to get started

Our team of dedicated professionals can help you understand what options are best for you and how adopting these kinds of technology could help transform the way your processes function. For more information, and for extra support along the way, contact our team.

Author: Dan Caringi

Dan Caringi is a Partner with MNP Digital and a leader within the firm’s national Digital Solutions practice.