How will your company recover after COVID-19?

May 18, 2020

By Luke O’Neill for Financial Management

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic came so quickly and hit so hard that companies worldwide are trying to stabilise their business to the point where they can recover.

When Deloitte surveyed CEOs, senior managers, and HR leaders in China, which was affected by the coronavirus first, 66% said they were unable to serve customers and clients because of the outbreak. Almost half of the respondents said they were unable to continue normal business management.

It’s a scenario that’s now playing out globally. According to projections released 14 April by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the direct impact of shutdowns happening globally could see output drop 20% to 25% in many economies, with consumers’ expenditures potentially dropping in excess of 25% in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US.

“With any disruption, the first priority is always ensuring that people, operations, customers, partners, and suppliers are safe,” said Keith Hausmann, chief revenue officer of Globality, a Silicon Valley-based tech company that facilitates the buying and selling of enterprise services through its artificial intelligence-powered platform.

“Once that’s done, leaders need to shift focus and get their services back online as quickly as possible to minimise disruption to customers and their overall business,” Hausmann said. “This is also a time for leaders to think about the operational changes they need to make, including utilising technology to gain a professional edge that will drive innovation, boost operational impact, and increase spend effectiveness.”

Steps finance can take to help the business survive COVID-19
The shutdowns are causing businesses complex and pressing challenges that require a swift and bold response. Follow these five steps to help companies get through the crisis:

Prioritise people’s health and safety. Companies everywhere have had to move rapidly to meet evolving public health regulations and amended workforce laws. Setting clear remote-working arrangements, establishing mental health supports, addressing employees’ concerns openly and regularly, and managing building access is critical to this process, EY suggests. It may also mean reorganising teams, reallocating resources as necessary, and providing infection protection measures where remote working isn’t possible.

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