Remote working: A new world of work
Work practices would evolve as remote working becomes more accepted and office arrangements increase their focus on health and safety. Companies need to redesign workspaces and revisit talent management strategies to improve capability and agility. This can be achieved by making use of digital collaboration tools to build an agile remote working model and define new KPIs (like tracking results, not hours) to measure performance, creating new strategic roles by upskilling and hiring people with strong digital acumen to accommodate rise of online engagement and emerging consumer-facing technologies.
Cost and cash controls would need to become more agile to achieve higher financial resilience during disruption
The pandemic has led to high fixed costs along with accumulation of poor performing businesses, high built up of non-essentials inventory and delayed receivables impacting cash conversion cycle and hurting liquidity and inability to estimate enough contingency fund for disruption leading to non-availability of finances for business continuity. As a result, companies need to rationalize cost base and implement cash controls to improve their working capital while also hedging against future risks. There is a need to develop leaner fixed cost structure, revisit variable costs, build a more agile procurement strategy, focus on agile liquidity management and manage cash flow proactively.
Digital transformation would become critical to increase efficiency and innovation
Lack of advanced digital capabilities, non-agile supply chain due to technology gaps, rising cyberattacks and the absence of a dedicated digital control team are restricting companies to adjust and operate at optimal levels during disruptions like COVID-19. There is a need for companies to invest in advanced technologies such as RPA, cloud, IoT, AI and data analytics and boost their digital transformation efforts to simplify operations, increase agility and build consumer intelligence.
Timely transactions would be required to fill capability gaps and divest underperforming businesses
Companies need to explore M&As and divestitures to optimize portfolio, expand presence and gain additional capabilities quickly. The report suggests building partnerships in emerging or adjacent businesses to spur innovation, enter new markets and enrich portfolio mix and divest underperforming assets and non-core businesses to unlock funds for reinvestments.
65% of corporate leaders globally are actively seeking to reshape portfolio for the post-COVID-19 world
After disruption due to the COVID-19 crisis, the consumer products industry is entering an era of the ‘new normal’, hence, thriving into the future will require businesses to convert challenges into opportunities with speed. Building digital capabilities would entail investment in relevant technologies and data analytics to understand consumer sentiments, while also creating demand-responsive supply chains to withstand any future disruption.