COVID-19 tore through the entire economy over the past year, derailing even the best laid business plans. A common instinct across many industries has been to write off the losses, and restart the system that had been working well enough before external events brought things to a temporary standstill.
But instinct, by its very nature, is a poor guide during unprecedented times. A new business climate calls for new ideas – especially those which reflect the rapid advance of technology, as well as the myriad changes in customer and employee expectations as a result of the pandemic. Only proactive adaptation, powered by far-sighted strategic insight, can help today’s struggling businesses become the success stories of tomorrow.
Finding the path
At a foundational level, companies should continue to pursue a familiar set of goals. It remains essential to design products and services people want, save on production, and establish a competitive advantage within the market.
To do so, all types of organisations should consider embracing these 4 qualities:
- Business-driven. Every task should complement the overall strategic direction of the organisation, and should be performed as cheaply and efficiently as possible. Projects should make sense within the organisation’s current structure and market position, while also acting as a stepping stone for desired improvements in both of these areas.
- Focused on results. All operations should be designed with clear goals in mind, as well as measurable outcomes at each stage to monitor progress. Wherever practicable, tasks should have short time horizons and be designed in such a way as to positively impact the organisation’s bottom line.
- Industry-driven. Best practices should be maintained at all times, following standards appropriate to the relevant sector. This process starts by identifying inefficiencies and tightening up loose ends – but proactive assistance can deliver even greater results. By actively seeking out potential improvements and upgrades, organisations can achieve better results with fewer resources, for a more pronounced competitive advantage within their sector.
- Less vulnerable to risk. Each process should be backed by controls to ensure their safety and reduce vulnerability to unexpected developments. Transparency is especially key here – not just for internal supervisory purposes, but also for the benefit of stakeholders whose concerns merit attention and reassurance.
The above set of priorities represents Grant Thornton’s assertive approach to providing business consulting services. The list transcends time and circumstance, essentially showing the way forward in a general sense.
More specific prescriptions will necessarily reflect the present business environment. For example, new advances in technology – involving data analytics, automation, network capability, and a host of other digital tools – can radically improve processes that are out of date today, but would have been deemed cutting-edge just a few short years ago.
Sound business guidance is all about taking the initiative. We help our clients master both the general and the specific, with special attention toward efficient execution of a well-designed plan. When applied, this guidance lets companies respond to changing market conditions, adopt new technology, and continuously improve their processes to properly compete in any environment.
But finding the path and walking it are two very different things, and our team of consultants can provide valuable assistance with both.
Walking the path
Moving from theory to practice takes a great deal of knowhow, from sector-specific operational details to recent advancements in digital technology. The main goal is to update all relevant procedures using technological and structural solutions, resulting in increased performance and greater overall efficiency.
This effort revolves around five core focus areas:
- Strategy & business model – This top-level service blends standard business analysis with specialised forecasting tools, for the purpose of steering our clients toward the strategic paths that make the most business sense. We provide tailored planning and development, alongside far-sighted business model transformation, to put a stable growth trajectory within reach.
- Human capital management – People are the engine of every business, with enhanced people skills needed for any successful agility-based digital transformation process. Through proactive talent acquisition, skill development, and other leadership transformation initiatives, our clients can boost the skills of their personnel at every level. Human capital management represents a major part of the greater organisation transformation project, by increasing team cohesion and capability.
- Process optimisation – Beginning with operational assessments in a variety of departments, we then address inefficiencies using technology-based solutions. We determine and then help to bring about improved processes and greater internal control, enabling our clients to strengthen their operations even as they reduce costs.
- System and technology – By implementing the right software and system design, we unlock new capabilities within your organisation. Digital transformation allows for faster data processing, a single source of data, and more responsive business operations.
- Business continuity management – Long-term success requires risk management as well as special planning to counteract unexpected events. We assist you by assessing your organisation’s risks, then developing a business continuity plan with procedures and processes to help your organisation respond effectively to a crisis. We also test the BCM plan to ensure smooth business operations.
Reaching the goal
At every stage of this effort, our goal as a consulting firm is to exceed expectations. This post-pandemic moment demands sound guidance and exceptional determination, to overcome the unusual challenges faced by businesses today. We do our utmost to support every client in these efforts, putting our full weight behind their transformation and optimisation so they can succeed.
Though today’s companies have a steep road ahead, they can also access a greater toolset than ever before. From strategy to execution, we can direct your business to the right tools, and show you how to leverage them for maximum benefit. We can also handle a great number of tasks directly, freeing up your team to focus even more resources on the things that matter most.
Among the many lessons of this pandemic is that every crisis also brings a new way forward. When business slows, or an assembly line is shut down, a new opportunity is created to build it back up again – stronger, better, and more resilient. Modern technology makes this reorganisation process far more valuable, and its effective adoption can give the same businesses a competitive advantage over any competitors that are slower to adapt.
The path ahead may not be easy, especially at first – but with sound guidance and a committed partner to move your business forward, the coming growth period could usher in a generation of success.