Pandemic Lessons Learned. Click to keep reading…

Pandemic Lessons Learned. Click to keep reading…

For Chris Stevens, Industry Week contributor, 2020 is a year that has necessitated so much change that the new normal is starting to feel more like business as usual. Here are the lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis that can help you navigate into the future.

Embracing digitization
As companies were forced to tool up for employees to work from home, it’s clear that planning on disruptions will be key to the success of organizations going forward. Companies need to shift entire systems and processes to allow work to continue regardless of working location. Manufacturers that enable integration into digital manufacturing services will experience advantages including speed to market, automated quoting, on-demand production, improved quality and more.

Planning for disruption
Spend time answering the “what if” question that would have the largest impact on the business. Recent events have shown that having a business continuity plan is not enough. New teams and innovative responses should be put in place, so critical business decisions can be implemented within hours, to maintain the safety and health of employees and the organization as a whole.
Scenario Planning
Push the company culture to ask difficult questions. Prepare for potential disruptions and global crises that may await you on the horizon. Leaders need to know what may derail the company, and what skills are possessed in-house that can be used as new opportunities come into view. Tesla, GE, and Ford ramping up ventilator manufacturing earlier this year are recent examples.

Extend your supplier network
Find and develop regional partners that can help mitigate the risk of long, complex logistics that are susceptible to global hiccups (and disasters).

Host a Hackathon
Technology driven companies use this technique regularly – attack a problem head on within a predetermined period of time. Assign roles to each participant, allowing them to focus on the problem while knowing what others are responsible for. While you may not solve every problem, you will start to drive a shift in the culture of your organization.

Invest in your Employees
Be sure that you recognize employees that have maintained productivity through the challenges of the pandemic. Look for skill gaps internally, and establish digital training programs to ensure your team is ready to face future disruption.

While the COVID-19 pandemic was not predicted by most, it is an event that you can use to rethink “business as usual”. Stevens suggests using these lessons to embrace digitalization to provide agile supply chain solutions that will allow for any potential crisis.
Read more at Industry Week.

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