As the U.S. and over 180 countries worldwide shut down due to SARS-CoV-2, the fast-spreading virus strain that causes COVID-19, many businesses were forced to immediately shift into survival mode, as a “non-essential” workforce in certain states either went on unemployment or, adopted to working from home (WFH). The arrival and fast spread of Covid-19 and the subsequent national shutdown hit our nation and the world in ways not seen in generations. The role of technology during this crisis will be studied substantially in the future and, no doubt, the technological leap caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will likely make 2020 the year that changed the trajectory of technological tools used for business, such as cloud computing, e-commerce, mobile, and remote work.
In this follow-up to my first blog on this subject, the rising role of technology in the new normal, where I discussed cloud technology, and eBusiness and mobile applications necessary to business continuity, the following technologies round out seven essential technical assets that function as mission-critical in order to ensure business survival in any environment.
Integrating CRM and Digital Marketing for Effective Engagement
In the new normal, businesses will need to leverage the tools available to help them nurture existing customer relationships and attain and develop new customers through online marketing. Having a healthy pipeline will ultimately help a business thrive, and having a powerful marketing automation tool to communicate to that pipeline with beautifully designed messages, and then accurately measure the insights and statistics, can help a business improve its overall engagement strategy and win more business.
An Efficient Warehouse, A Better Business
Having efficient warehouse processes is important at any time, but it’s especially critical during a crisis when warehouse employees need to communicate with remote workers. If an employee gets sick for example, the processes and workflows in place should be easily transferable to other employees. With an efficient warehouse
management tool, businesses can reduce costs and ensure the highest levels of efficiency, no matter what size staff is deployed.
Controlling Inventory with a Supply and Demand Planning Solution
Our customers tell us that Supply and Demand planning can be resource intensive, extremely difficult, and very time-consuming when done manually. We tell them that automating their purchasing process with a Supply and Demand Planning tool is key in helping them react to changes, reduce inventory, and increase sales. Utilizing automated forecasting and purchasing tools will give them a strategic advantage in lowering costs and increasing profits because it can take the guess work out of purchasing, and accurately forecast demand and predict long-term trends.
Show Me the Data
Converting mountains of data into valuable information requires a high-level analytics tool that will help companies gauge the effectiveness of past and present processes, and predict trends in order to construct a successful future business model. Tools such as analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are proving to be a catalyst for growth, giving companies the ability to predict, visualize, collaborate, and manage data on a scale so sizable that not having this level of data prediction will leave many businesses without a roadmap for growth.
Today, we have more information on how to fight this pandemic than we did just several weeks ago, and we should know how to better prepare for the next one. We also have the technical advantages to survive economically, as we shift into an advanced state of new normal. Wise companies who have already invested in mission-critical capabilities are in the best position so survive and thrive on the other side of this. For others, it is strongly recommended that these technologies be added in phases into a roadmap that makes sense. While there are no guarantees, we are certain that leveraging technology will strengthen the bottom-line.
As the new normal approaches, what are you doing to prepare?