This COVID-19 crisis will end – the timing of when is less uncertain. Lockdown is easing, shops are opening and businesses returning to their offices.
However, we can expect that the changes consumers, customers, business owners and employees made during the crisis will continue beyond the “end point”.
The legacy of using new digital platforms, the switching of in-store grocery shopping to online and remote working, will become the “new normal” for many. These behavioural changes existed before the crisis however the adoption, acceleration of use and ready acceptance of these ‘new ways’ will see a fundamental, if not a permanent, shift in how we all behave.
For many “bricks and mortar” businesses over the last three months, the required tight management of cash-flow and overhead reduction, have shown that new and quite radical adjustments, are possible. There will be a drive to reduce costs by migrating customers to self-serve online. Some may choose to reduce or even close their physical premises and others the opportunity to forgo expensive international sales conferences in favour of more regular Zoom meetings. Many will have to ensure their supplier and delivery models are robust moving forward.
However, reducing costs cannot be at the expense of the customer experience (CX). This switch needs careful planning with a customer-centric mindset and alignment with existing operational functions and practices. The result may see a simplification of portfolio, development of tiered service agreements and slimmed down physical operations.
Chalk + Ward are able to help clients visualise the post COVID-19 landscape and anticipate the responses needed to meet the revised needs of their customers. As well as our experience of resetting strategic direction, brand management, maximising marketing and sales resources, we provide the resource and capacity to directly coordinate strategy execution, remove functional barriers and operational silos.
We make a genuine long-term difference to our clients’ performance and are proud to be trusted at Board level for our unique commercial, strategic thinking.
If you would like to discuss your post Covid scenarios, please do get in touch.
Peter brings a wealth of entrepreneurial and practical experience in improving SME manufacturing, supply & distribution and capital equipment businesses. He has significant business development and strategy execution experience together with management of complex B2B distributor networks, improving salesforce effectiveness, transforming operational productivity, leading portfolio strategy planning and determining international market entry plans.
Peter has been involved in M&A negotiations, including synergy assessment, due diligence preparation and post-merger integration and has led a number of transformations and cost reduction programmes. He thrives on aligning vision and strategy with “day to day” tactical plans to secure and support profitable growth.
Peter was previously Group MD of Vapormatic for 16 years a global £50m aftermarket subsidiary of John Deere ($34b) and a member of the WW Leadership group. He is a Mechanical and Production Engineer, with Commercial Law experience and an MBA from the University of Exeter.