One of the greatest enduring lessons from the pandemic is that companies can get work done far more effectively and efficiently on a virtual basis than they ever envisioned. Post-pandemic strategies for productivity, especially within the Global Business/Shared Services ecosystem, include:
- Accelerating the use of automation and leveraging the full breadth of IT enablers, beyond RPA, to include IA, Analytics and Blockchain (e.g., many companies are now pros at executing a financial close with a virtual workforce)
- Increasing services scope, both in “newer” areas being supported (e.g., Legal, Sales and Marketing) and additional value to existing processes from a decision support and analytics perspective
- Defining a compelling career path for employees in addition to accessing talent globally in a virtual environment
- Proactively managing your ecosystem of partners, including captive centers, outsourcers, the “retained/local” aspects of processes and IT vendors
However, as you look to become more efficient and drive costs out of the system, there are specific areas to pivot investment.
4. Modernize logistics
Automation and end-to-end planning to support real-time demand and increase speed-to-market will be the priorities moving forward. Consumer demand for transparency, availability and delivery will continue to drive the need for agile operating models. In this environment, complexity is the enemy of logistics.
Driving this complexity are an accelerated shift to e-commerce, which constrains outbound distribution capacity, and higher service levels driven by large retailers, backed by hefty fines and the potential for de-listing.
Responding to these pressures using the existing distribution infrastructure risks significant cost increases. Expedited shipments, labor overtime, expanding workforce and carrier premiums will all contribute to an increasing cost of goods sold. This is especially important, given that many CG companies were able to expand their margins in the last year due to increased throughput — and therefore face tough quarterly comparisons of finance performance post pandemic. Investigate the following tactics: