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Looking beyond the pandemic

It’s arguably not too early to be thinking about how to adapt to a post-pandemic economy

By ATB Economics 19 May 2020 1 min read

We are still dealing with the pandemic itself, but it’s arguably not too early to be thinking about how to adapt to a post-pandemic economy. What will be the same as it was before the acronym “COVID-19” entered the popular consciousness? What will be different? 

To this end, McKinsey and Company has published an informative article entitled “From thinking about the next normal to making it work.”

The majority of jobs—it’s over 70 per cent in the United States—can’t be done from home. But for the other 30 per cent, remote working is likely to be the new normal. There are pros and cons to this, and the article stresses that “remote working is about more than giving people a laptop [and that] the norms associated with traditional work—for example, that once you left the office, the workday was basically done—are important.”

When it comes to supply chains, the article points out what might seem obvious in hindsight: make sure that resiliency is given as much weight as cost. For example, rather than rely on a single factory simply because it has the lowest prices, think about how you can build flexibility into your supply chain, reduce the risk of disruptions and maintain a reputation for reliability. 

This also involves paying more attention to the entire chain. “One area of vulnerability the current crisis has revealed is that many companies didn’t know the suppliers their own suppliers were using and thus were unable to manage critical elements of their value chains.”

The article also talks about the shift from an online to a contact-free economy and admonishes us for “thinking of the contactless economy as something that will happen down the line.” From health care and education to construction and banking, the digital transformations that were meandering along before COVID-19 have accelerated and will continue to do so.

The common thread running through these observations is the idea that successful businesses (including non-profit organizations and public services) will be the ones that think through not only what they will have to do, but what they should start doing to not only survive, but thrive, after COVID.

The contactless economy is here to stay.

The contactless economy is here to stay.


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