For the first time in many of our collective memories, New Zealand has imposed restrictions on our personal freedoms that we may ever see again. While the reason is noble, it has forced many businesses to look internally to their own systems and business continuity plans. From this crisis come the opportunity to look at how digital solutions and changes to business models can assist businesses moving forward.
Traditional distribution models are being investigated with on-line ordering and collection becoming something that the restaurant trade moved into. Our own clients were thinking it, but with the forced restrictions, these plans moved forward as a necessity and will now become the normal add on value service.
Software and digital solutions become important as businesses look to how they can continue to operate in this new environment. In our accounting practice we have adapted well by having cloud-based software, access to a server through VPN access, phone’s rediverted thanks to VOIP and with computers we are doing Zoom meetings as a away of having social connection with staff and connecting with clients. While I still prefer to meet face to face, digital solutions enable the wheels of the company to continue to turn.
But not all companies can digitalise. Companies that are involved with physical product may need to look at ways to bring digital strategies into place to assist. If you have travelled overseas (not recently due to COVID-19) your duty free is waiting for you by typing in a code and a robotic arm will collect and distribute to you on a concourse. Perhaps this could be scaled into a distribution model, where the face of the organisation (say Amazon) is based in one jurisdiction, but the product is distributed from the manufacturer and shipped to the customer from another distribution centre. How will this impact on infrastructure like buildings and staff?
In the lockdown, I ran out of whiskey (the horror!!) and found an on-line distribution outlet that has a significant range to choose from, much more than my local bottle store, and had it delivered within 4 days. A new way of traditional retail stores and way of connecting shops and customers are flourishing out of the forced way of looking at business survival.
This time should be taken to reflect on your current business model and identify ways which could make the new digital era a success for your business. There are a large range of digital services, and if you need assistance to work through this minefield please feel free to contact us.