The recent outbreak of Coronavirus has left the world scared & confused. More so, with lockdowns across countries, businesses are struggling to keep up with this drastic change.
94% of the Fortune 1000 are seeing coronavirus supply chain disruptions - Fortune
The outbreak of the coronavirus in China has hit India's manufacturing & exports of medicines, electronic, textile and chemicals as China is the biggest source of intermediate goods, worth $30 billion a year, according to a presentation by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), seen by Reuters. - Economic Times
Even then, in such times, there are some unsung heroes that are striving hard to keep the supply chains running, thereby servicing millions out there dependent on various businesses for their everyday needs
So before everything else, let’s talk about them!
In the battle of fighting the COVID-19, social distancing is proving to be an effective tool in helping prevent the spread of the virus. Shutting down of offices and work from home are emerging as best practices. Companies across the globe have put into place these practices to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
And even while everyone’s life has slowed down, manufacturers, warehouse staff, pick up & last-mile delivery personnel, are all running at the usual pace. Tightening the masks on their faces & pulling up their gloves, they’re all making sure the business operations do not come to a grinding halt.
While businesses are taking all the precautions to keep everything sanitized & safe, technology is ensuring smooth enablement of these processes.
Technology really is another superhero to be grateful about. One such example of superhero technology is Tock. The restaurant reservation company Tock anticipated the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry. Within a week's time, they launched a to-go platform to help restaurants to quickly set up temporary delivery and takeout options using its service. A shining example of technology becoming our greatest friend in the worst of times.
But how does technology help businesses fight such terrifying situations & yet be equally effective? Here’s how.
P.S Before that, the loudest shout out to the doctors, hospital staff, airport staff, food-delivery & grocery-delivery agents, and journalists for being outside when we are all indoors! We’ll be forever grateful!
There are quite a few jobs that can be done remotely. However, as we said, our superheroes need to go out to save the world. Well, technology can surely help them save some trouble & flatten the COVID-19 curve.
Meeting consumer demands at such times is extremely necessary. With the coronavirus epidemic, there’s a humongous surge in the e-commerce industry. Consumers are buying all the necessities right from regular grocery to medications, hand sanitizers, gloves, masks, antibacterial sprays & even tissue papers online. The platforms & mobile applications such as Amazon, Big Basket, Zomato, Supr Daily & likewise have helped greatly to adapt to this change in consumer buying behaviour.
Even though some sectors are seeing a lot of losses, some have adjusted. Platforms like Dunzo & Tock have helped retail shops & restaurants to seamlessly make a temporary shift online & continue their sale. Technology has offered a big relief to the dipping retail & hospitality sector.
These platforms are not just helping the consumers but also the amazing delivery agents. Many platforms are taking the necessary steps to protect their delivery staff while they’re working hard for all of us.
Food aggregator apps such as Zomato and Swiggy are making the option of 'contactless delivery' available to their customers, and now even McDonald's and Dominos India are following suit.
While employees have moved to work from home, the biggest challenge that comes up is to keep up the transparency through a regular exchange of information. Online communication platforms like Zoom, Skype, Hangouts have been a great helping hand to continue business interactions.
Another challenge that arises is for businesses to keep up with rising demand especially in case of the e-commerce sector. As supply chains come under strain, the technology capabilities, with regards to booking and processing orders seamlessly, will be tested.
At Bizongo, we’re helping businesses with technological platforms like Procure Live to keep the system up and running and be prepared for our customers as they cater to the essential requirements of consumers in this time of crisis.
For any business to be in control, it’s very necessary to stabilize the supply chain. Automating major supply chain functions using technology can help them do so. These platforms will make sure that all the necessary resources & data are received by the concerned authority working on the field with minimum interaction with others.
Even with a futuristic vision, automation might just be the way to go to ensure stability in times of crisis.
The coronavirus has also caused the schools & colleges to shut down. With no view of how quickly the situation will settle, educational institutions are opting to offer online courses so as to not disrupt the learning cycle of any individual.
An unsung hero amongst us all are teachers. Sitting at home, they’re majorly worried about both, their student’s health & future. E-learning platforms help them ensure that they’re putting out most of their curriculum online & keep the learners hooked to studying at home & not lose their vision in such times.
Looking at the current scenario, embracing technology should become an integral part of the business strategy for those who do not want to see themselves left behind.
“Data from China shows that the (online shopping) numbers will stay elevated even after the crisis, as more people are exposed to the ease and fun of online shopping,” Anindya Ghose, professor of technology, operations, and statistics at New York University’s Stern School of business, told Quartz.
But beyond all these efforts,
Put your earned business capital to good use. LVMH, the French maker of Dior and Givenchy perfumes and cosmetics, has decided to repurpose its production lines to make hand sanitizers to cope with shortages in that country.
That might not help your business but it will help people & that’s what businesses are all about!
The pandemic is settling. Apple, for instance, reopened all its 42 stores in China last Friday. Nonetheless, India is yet to go out of the radar. But, by following social distancing with rigour, we’ll recover as well.
We all need to contribute. Each one of us.
So stay home, rock at your job, save the world!
And after all this comes to an end,
“Maybe the world will become less materialistic or consumers will be less materialistic.” -Marshall Fisher