As we emerge from the COVID-19 global pandemic, lingering effects continue to impact supply chains, prices, and productivity across industries, business owners and leaders are challenged to focus on long-term strategies for health and growth.
However, it is this spirit of planning and optimism that fuels innovation – to foster resilience and transform how we deliver goods and services.
The following five areas are considered critical by industry and economic analysts for long-term planning. Discuss their potential impact on your future with trusted advisors.
1. Supply Chains
Continued disruption to supply chains will require long-term planning for alternative distribution channels, material substitutions when possible, and enhanced communications processes to support team and client expectations.
Due to supply chain disruption and higher demand, inflation is a major concern going forward.To deal with the higher cost of goods and services, organizations can plan through flexible budgeting, reducing product or service lines to focus on the most successful options, and also identifying new and more accessible and emerging product and service lines.
Signing bonuses. Raises. Remote work options. Flexible schedules and new benefits.Employers are looking for new ways to attract people while keeping the top talent they have. The key is to offer the right mix of monetary and non-monetary incentives that are competitive and still affordable.
For employers who can hire workers in other states or possibly other countries, now is a perfect opportunity to explore remote work arrangements and incentives. Many people moved “back home” or to a more desirable location during the pandemic. Allowing them to live where they want while offering a meaningful remote non-profit role or an exciting remote corporate position may entice them back into the workforce sooner.
Outsourcing certain functions of the company is another strategic method for managing short staffing, either temporarily or permanently. This can range from outsourced client accounting and advisory services to outsourced human resources, marketing teams, or logistical teams.
3. Technology Investment
Technology applications are only part of the solution to transform an organization, but the pandemic has accelerated adoption of tech tools for streamlining processes, communicating to new audiences, and securing data:
- Cloud-based data retrieval and document sharing
- Cloud-based workflow tools
- Paperless processes
- Video and digital programming
- Social media marketing
- Online learning
- Push notifications and SMS texting
- Chat bots
- Cybersecurity enhancements
In the near future, transportation and logistics challenges, as well as staffing shortages, may accelerate adoption of technologies such as driverless vehicles, robotics, and artificial intelligence. With this will come the need for new job descriptions, training, new processes, and protocols.
4. Real Estate Portfolios
Many business leaders and organizations are rethinking the size and use of the physical plant or office of the future. From co-working spaces and hoteling to consolidation of office locations and reduction of office or plant square footage, these decisions can strengthen your real estate holdings or weaken them.
Planning is required to determine exactly what the future holds for in-person work and events. Is “location, location, location” still the most important aspect of commercial real estate? Or is it “flexibility, flexibility, flexibility?” Commercial real estate firms are already looking at repurposing and retrofitting spaces for alternative uses while also considering the future of sustainable and eco-friendly real estate. Offering more services to tenants, known as Real Estate-as-a-Service (REaaS) model, is also on the horizon.
5. Government Responsiveness
If recent experience is any indication, response from government agencies is expected to be slower than ever. Like private entities, they are dealing with the effects of short staffing and, therefore, delays in decision making and funding allocation.
If your business or entity relies on government funding, you should continue to seek alternative sources of revenue. Meanwhile, conduct more frequent budget monitoring and forecasting. Maintain up-to-date financials to support clean audits and access to other financing.
As always, please connect with us for additional guidance.