The new coronavirus strain has spun the world on its feet throughout 2020, and epidemiologists expect it to continue onward in the long run. As the new normal is looking more and more permanent than a temporary shift, various industries have had to completely rehaul and retool to survive the shift in the economy and society. With an expected continuation of intermittent lockdowns and renewed public habits, here are some of the ways industries are coping with problems that rose to the surface with the brunt of this pandemic.
Taking stock of supply management
Among the sections that took major hits during the year is the supply chain in general. Pretty much no industry was free of this burden, and with a lot of people and core forces being out of commission for a while, its repercussions have been continuous. COVID-19 not only revealed holes in healthcare but in how various industries manage their supplies.
The latest analytics from market intelligence shows that some of the most impacted industries include leisure facilities, restaurants, and the auto industry (more so on parts and equipment). This is what makes resources like automotive inventory management software so crucial in times like this. It allows impacted industries to monitor the use of their stocks and optimize whatever they do have on hand.
This benefits the industry and patrons because of the costs cut and reduced tendency to run out of stock. With better software for management, these industries can anticipate shifts in-stock availability in line with demand and avoid long downtimes with properties. What makes this so essential is that there has been a significant increase in risk when dealing with supplies and partners, only being an issue on top of the disruption of the chain in the first place.
Putting in more resources to power remote work
It’s been crucial for companies of all industries to keep up with the times anyway and put in enough time and resources to equip themselves technologically for future-proofing. However, the events of this pandemic have forced the hand of every industry to speed up their adoption of more innovative approaches and integration of tech. Even in healthcare, online check-ups are becoming a norm for non-urgent and non-COVID cases.
The most prominent fields that are using remote working are education, marketing, business administration, and information technology. It has revealed that many businesses can manage most of their operations without bringing people physically to the office for non-essential tasks. Even crucial meetings have been relegated to the online world, hence the booming popularity of conference applications like Zoom, Google Meet, and the like.
Although it has forced industries to integrate new practices and put resources into providing the needs that workers require to stay connected online efficiently, it also gets balanced out by the savings that come from possibly reducing the overhead it takes to maintain an office. It has also been a good way to improve productivity since less time is wasted on menial tasks and people being pulled in out of their purview.
Pushing contactless methods in transactions
Interaction cannot be avoided, and not all industries can continue to operate purely off digital set-ups and remote connectivity. For this reason, various businesses have implemented new methods that reduce or even eliminate the need for physical contact. This rings true for banking, food, retail, and other consumer-centric sectors.
Simply note the increase in delivery rates, businesses investing in shipping and logistics solutions that are quick, efficient, and reliable, and the widespread integration of e-commerce for the option to have parcels left on the doorstep or picked up. There has also been a significant increase in the adoption of cashless payments, as 82% of cardholders and bankers find contactless payments cleaner than exchanging banknotes. Whereas cashless payments were not necessarily the global norm last year, that has completely changed this year. Even transactions that still involve cash now involve more careful processes of disinfection and not actually touching hands. Many applications even give incentives for users to make use of all contactless options, from paying online, having their orders dropped off, and down to asking for no utensils (the latter specifically for the food industry).
A lot has truly changed since the start of 2020, and the world already looks and feels completely different in just a few months. It’s interesting to note what continuous changes will be sustained to keep industries running well into 2021 and beyond, especially considering entertainment and attractions. One thing is for sure; things will eventually turn out for the better.