Implications on different industries amid the COVID-19 outbreak
The covid 19 virus outbreak has turned out to be one of the biggest threats to the global economy, pushing many institutions to restructure their forecasts. The virus has infected millions of people globally across more than 100 countries within a span of the last 10 months, forcing the authorities to shut down education institutes and businesses bringing much of the world’s economic activity to a halt.
The Covid-19 impact has created a sense of uncertainty in the global economy bringing down the stock prices in the majority of the markets. It has created a major fury on the oil markets as well, with the market decreasing by more than 8 mb/d in 2020. The global economy is expected to shrink further by more than 2%, with speculation of not recovering fully by 2021.
The COVID-19 has caused an unparallel global health emergency affecting every industry that will be constantly redefined and redesigned in the coming years. It will have long standing repercussions on companies, as they have to continuously adapt to uncertain market conditions, constantly re-route their supply chains strategies, adapt to shifting consumer demand patterns and constant interventions by the Governments.
High Tech industry
The industry will face supply disruption that may reduce manufacturing and assembly capacity with most units opening partially and in some cases reopening are completely delayed. There will also be problems concerning material supplies because of travel and logistic restrictions. This has made companies immediately evaluate their short-term goals and have a clear roadmap to develop new capabilities and change their mid and long-term goals.
As most of the service industries have indefinitely shifted to work from home option is likely to drive the demand for High tech products in many categories. There will be a growing need for digital collaboration tools and advanced IT infrastructure support such as cloud computing for the employees to keep working remotely and also keep in touch with their customers.
Communications and network equipment
Although there will be short term effects, the industry will see an increase in demand in chips for computers and servers as more companies are opting for cloud and mobility solutions to facilitate work-from-home. Large online learning and media & entertainment companies will look to invest in long term network infrastructure to strengthen their workforce capabilities and to deal with unexpected demand surge.
The way forward
The industry’s dependency on China is very high which the epicenter of the covid 19 crisis is. This will lead to supply challenges resulting in a shortage of supplies which may lead manufacturers to sell their products at higher costs.
Aerospace and Defense
The Airline industry requires its leaders to respond to the immediate crisis at hand now, while also deliberate unique ways of working to tackle the post covid-19 stage with the decline in cases.
As an immediate measure, most Airlines are asking for deferrals in delivery of new fleets and in some cases cancelation of orders, keeping in mind the possibility of reassessing their business model. They are also working on realigning their fleet requirements considering the long-term demand shifts.
The supply of critical components and parts is vital for the Airline industry. The present challenge in hand may force the firms to explore alternate near shore sourcing options to mobilize their response faster.
Resilient engineering systems
The resilience of their engineering systems and remote security will play a critical role, as most companies would have never deployed their work space to work remotely. They will have to update their older IT platforms and deploy large scale digital activity such as cloud technologies, machine learning, advanced analytics, and AR&VR technologies. The future holds on how they embrace innovation and encourage new collaboration with technology experts.
The way forward
With the commercial aerospace markets on pause and defense markets dependent on government. The companies with a resilient workforce and stronger ecosystem are best positioned to overcome the present situation.
Media and Entertainment
The media and entertainment industry has seen a major turnaround in the supply, consumption, and advertising ratios throughout the world. On one side the demand for streamed, live, and multiplayer content is at an all time high with movies in theaters live sports & events largely shut down.
Companies that have strong digital infrastructure are seeing a surge in viewership and are mobilizing their resources pretty well. Especially News channels, online education, and entertainment platforms are playing a critical role by acting as a bridge between governments, consumers, and businesses during this uncertain time.
Adjusting to evolving trends
Many sports companies are exploring new ways to reach their customers by using e-sports and simulated events to connect with audiences. There has been a surge in viewership with some professional athletes engaging through the platforms. Musicians as well as some movie makers are exploring streaming platforms to showcase their content till lockdown exits.
The surge in network demand may require companies to identify and prioritize critical requirements and set up a resource team to deal with immediate optimization efforts. Most of the companies will have to set up data collection engines that can optimize key network performance indicators by opting for machine learning platforms.
The way forward
Companies with strong capital backing will look to restructure their business models by seizing opportunities to acquire innovative start-ups. Also, market leaders should identify the means to resume new content created keeping in mind the government regulation. Also, they have to constantly interact with local administrators to create a roadmap once the situation calms down.
Consumer goods and Retail
The crisis will permanently change the consumer’s buying behavior and will have a long lasting effect on the retail industry which may not go back to the world we knew.
Retailers and consumer goods producers need to create a value chain relevant to the present crisis and build capabilities to face a volatile future, that is drastically shifting towards a more healthy and reliable lifestyle.
Dynamic virtual workforce
The need of the hour is to create a transparent virtual working strategy that strengthens the company’s value proposition and preference.
The challenge remains to take immediate actions to sustain their core business by flexing relationship with stakeholders, to create a road map for future growth and resilience by:
- Creating a cross-functional control center to monitor key performance indicators.
- Create a digital task force to redesign the marketing plan to meet deeper demand and supply priorities accelerated by e-Commerce channels.
- Creating robust logistics and supply chain functions driven by the latest technologies.
- Reprioritize enterprise investment plans with smart M&A opportunities.
The way forward
Companies need to work towards redefining relationships and trust with consumers. Also, put efforts into building a strong association with employees to rethink the best possible ways of working amid this crisis. Companies also have to redefine their relationship strategies with stakeholders and partners, keeping in mind the dynamic market requirement.
Industrial Equipment manufacturers
Industrial equipment plays an important role in the world economy with revenue exceeding $2.5 trillion employing close to 30% of the global workforce. The pandemic has disrupted both the manufacturing and supply chain operations which in turn has created a big and grappling impact on the total well being of the global society.
Companies have started responding to the crisis by taking protective steps to streamline supply chains and operations. They are in the process of planning new ways of working once the crisis settles down by keeping in mind employee safety and business continuity as the prime focus.
Enable virtual work
Companies must ensure alternate ways to procure raw materials and protecting their workforce at large by establishing:
- A rapid response system.
- A Strong command center to deal with all operational issues
- Update existing IT infrastructure and systems to facilitate work from home option
- Digital channels to continue regular interaction with partners and customers to keep them well informed about the latest products and services.
- Be updated with surging e-commerce medium
The way ahead
Companies must think through and take a longer-term view on the situation, as the Industrial Equipment industry may never be the same again. They should focus on interacting with multiple stakeholders including the government on how to revamp and get back to normal business. Protecting employees and customer is very vital and will require new technologies such as the cloud to take care of the supply chain and other operational functions. Leaders have to seize this opportunity and position their businesses to reach greater productivity in the future.
The COVID-19 outbreak has brought the life science industry to the epicenter with companies working in collaboration tirelessly to develop tests, treatment and vaccines. The challenge remains in ensuring business continuity while keeping employee well-being as a top priority.
There has been an uncompromised attempt by this industry to significantly increase the production capacity of essential equipment such as ventilators and protective equipment on an immediate basis.
Empowering workforce in long term
The current crisis is the time to modernize the healthcare industry and create an exhaustive technology infrastructure that can strengthen the workforce to manage supply chain challenges. There should be easy availability of basic materials at all important hotspots around the world so as to continue manufacturing of essential medicines and clinical trials.
The present situation has put the medical community in a spot, as social distancing has become a new norm created a distance between people and healthcare professionals.
This has prompted healthcare professionals to use technologies such as chatbots, virtual answering machines, and robots to facilitate safe engagement with patients. The bigger challenge will remain in handling an intensely personal patient situation, where face to face interactions are a must.
The situation has also brought a lot of focus on the use of advanced data analytics and predictive modeling tools which are extremely necessary for understanding the patient experience across multiple touchpoints.
The way ahead
There is no time to make systematic changes as an immediate response to the crisis is a top priority. MedTech companies are trying to adopt a more responsible mindset that is more agile and affordable.
The COVID-19 outbreak will have a permanent impact and implications on the healthcare industry with people’s mindset expected to completely change towards the healthcare fraternity. There will be constant expectations to innovate and implement better ways of treating patients.
Manager - Business Operations & Content Management