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Post-pandemic transition time: Staying ahead of the curve

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Manabu Yamazaki

By Manabu Yamazaki

One year into the pandemic and we have seen a paradigm shift in the way organisations operate. The priorities change swiftly but business continuity, building resilience and long-term efforts to adapt to new circumstances remain the major ones.

The new phase of business recovery has redefined customer expectations, introduced new ways of working and the need for intelligent solutions to facilitate them. While customer experience, digital strategy, and growth will stay the key focus areas, it has become even more important to rethink these concepts with a new understanding and build priority actions to enable them.

Making business simple in the new hybrid work environment
Adapting to a hybrid work environment has accelerated the use of technologies that were previously feasible but not widely implemented. Increased use of automated systems is raising the complexity of tasks and requires a technologically enabled workforce even for entry-level positions.

Business can be made simple, if organisations extend support to its customers and employees with the best-in-class products and office automation solutions that enable a comprehensive, consistent, and automated experience through cloud-based solutions. Hence, organisations with more technology investment and higher-skilled workers will benefit the most.

Focus on customer delight, from ‘pre’ to ‘post’ purchase
Customers are the key catalysts to ensure business prosperity given their ongoing journey with various products from multiple organisations. The understanding of user journeys by businesses and adopting a customer-centric approach across various customer touchpoints is a key aspect in ensuring customer satisfaction. This helps in driving encouraging outcomes for the business by living and working together for the common good. Therefore, organisations must be continually invested in providing the customers with a portfolio of innovative products and solutions alongside ensuring continued and seamless customer service and aftersales support.

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Adding a new focus on resilience
As lockdowns become a part of the new normal, global value chains will eventually come to a halt. Such risks have led organisations to rethink how to build resilience into their supply chains by becoming self-reliant with a focus on building inventory to avoid any further impact of globalisation. A dual approach of lesser dependency on one manufacturing facility and attempts to re-shore some production to domestic suppliers across diversified production centres can be worth deliberating.

Lead with empathy
The effects of the global pandemic are not just on organisations and their leaders, it trickles down to the junior-most level. Business prosperity can be achieved by embracing empathy at the workplace which is a key to the people-first culture. While being empathetic has been core for every organisation, it has now evolved to a more internal, compassionate, and supportive form. It is critical that organisations assist employees in these difficult times with medical and mental assistance for their overall wellbeing.

Expediting the transition to agility
The past year has taught businesses the importance of agility, be it in terms of people, functions, processes, or even strategy. It took a pandemic for businesses to realise that agility needs to be ingrained across layers of the organisation to experience its true power and bounce back faster in times of crisis like this.

The writer is president & CEO, Canon India



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