Solutions for Covid-19 Challenges

To overcome the challenges posed by Covid-19, businesses can utilise technology to manage their operations and improve their business performance.

Covid-19 and OstendoSolutions for Covid-19 Challenges with Ostendo

Last Updated 25th June 2020

The New Normal

The world has been changed suddenly and dramatically by the Covid-19 pandemic and this puts enormous pressure on businesses to adapt quickly to the challenges of the “new normal” they have been thrust into. 

Covid-19 has spread across the globe rapidly in the space of a few months and it is getting worse. On 19th June, the WHO warned that the pandemic is "accelerating" and has reached "a new and dangerous phase." On 23rd June, Doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (WHO Director General) said it took more than three months for the world to see 1 million virus infections, but the last 1 million cases have come in just eight days. 

Unfortunately Covid-19 is here to stay and currently there is no effective treatment or vaccination against the virus. Any vaccine is a long way off and there is no evidence of long lasting immunity after recovering from Covid-19. 

This means that Australian and New Zealand businesses have to adapt to a world with Covid-19 and the ever present risk of another outbreak.

Covid-19 Challenges and Solutions

All of the world’s economies have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and some of the world’s largest economies have contracted rapidly in a short space of time. Unemployment all over the world has suddenly ballooned to the highest levels since the Great Depression.

A global recession has already started and now is the time for businesses to act to improve their systems and processes so they can meet the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Integrated Information System

When the economy is in recession, businesses need to reduce costs and improve efficiencies as much as possible. Never before has it been more important for businesses to have real time information at their fingertips to make timely decisions and respond quickly to changing conditions. 

An integrated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) business system can be used to collect data once and have it flow through the system where it is required. It acts as a single source of truth for real time up to date information and visibility for managing your business.

There is an initial cost in implementing the processes to use an ERP system effectively, but it will be repaid many times over as you use it to improve your business performance. The cost of not using an ERP system effectively may very well be higher than the cost of doing so.

Click here  for information on the benefits of an integrated ERP system.

Click here  for information on how an integrated ERP system is affordable for small to medium businesses.

Click here  for information on how Ostendo Operations ERP is an affordable cloud solution.

Decision Support

An integrated ERP system can provide you with up to date, real-time information and visibility to control your processes and make critical decisions quickly.

Accurate real-time information empowers you to streamline decision making and improve responsiveness. Visibility of the right information at the right time is necessary for making timely decisions, responding to changing conditions and maintaining a competitive advantage.

Click here  for information on Business Intelligence for decision support in Ostendo Operations (ERP).

Continuous Improvement

Becoming more efficient and reducing waste is the most effective way of reducing costs and increasing productivity. The Lean Thinking concept of Continuous Improvement is an approach to work that continuously and systematically seeks to identify opportunities for streamlining workflows to increase efficiency and productivity and reduce waste.

The steps businesses need to make to improve safety and hygiene in order to reduce the risk of workplace transmission of Covid-19 create challenges for efficiency and productivity.

Click here  for information on how we can help you implement Continuous Improvement in Ostendo Operations (ERP)

Supply Chain Management

Border restrictions, industry lockdowns and reduced international airfreight have severely disrupted global supply chains. The resulting shortages have disrupted industry. Ostendo Operations (ERP) can provide you with the visibility to ensure you have the proper materials and supplies available when required to avoid shortages and overstocking.

One of the effects of the disruption to the global supply chain may be that businesses turn to local suppliers and reduce their dependence on overseas suppliers. This could lead to a resurgence of manufacturing in Australia and New Zealand.

Click here  for information on how Ostendo Operations (ERP) is a solution for Supply Chain Management.

Click here  for information on Material Requirements Planning (MRP) and procurement in Ostendo Operations (ERP).

Covid-19 Safe Work Practices and Compliance

Physical distancing and rigorous hygiene standards are set to be the norm in business for many years to come and this has changed the way businesses must operate in many ways. This presents challenges for productivity and efficiency. Businesses will also need to keep up compliance with government regulations and standards.

Click here  for information on how Ostendo Operations (ERP) can be a solution for Covid-19 compliance.

Online Shopping and Contactless Delivery

With the drive to reduce physical contact, online shopping and contactless delivery have become a lot more popular. However it is essential that online sales are backed up by efficient processing of orders and warehouse mangement.

Click here  for information on how Ostendo Operations (ERP) is a solution for Online Shopping and Contactless Delivery.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

It is essential that businesses refine and diversify their offerings to adapt to the situation and be ready to take up new opportunities. Experts are advising businesses not to cut costs on marketing but to spend on marketing to targeted audiences instead of spending on advertising. Never before has effective targeted marketing and customer relationship management been more important.

Click here  for information on our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) coaching services.

Click here  for information on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems linked with Ostendo Operations (ERP).

Global Economic Recession

The world is staring down the barrel of the deepest recession since the Great Depression and every country will be affected. You don’t have to be an economist to know that the global economic repercussions from the Covid-19 pandemic will reverberate for quite some time to come.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a more negative impact on activity in the first half of 2020 than anticipated, and the recovery is projected to be more gradual than previously forecast.

On Tuesday 23rd June, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) announced that global trade in goods and services fell by nearly 20% in the second quarter of 2020, compared to a year earlier, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The volume of merchandise trade shrank by 3% in the first quarter and initial estimates pointed to a year-on-year decline of 18.5% for the second quarter. In April, the WTO had forecast that global trade in goods would fall by between 13% and 32% in 2020 before rebounding by up to 24% in 2021.

On Wednesday 24th June, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that economic activity in 2020 is likely to decline by almost 5%, substantially worse than its forecast of 3% only 10 weeks previously in April. In 2021 global growth is projected at 5.4%, which is 6.5% lower than the projections in January 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The virus is devastating the economies of the countries that failed to act early and the consequence of delayed action is greater economic and social damage, as can be seen in the IMF country forecasts below.

  Country

  2020

  2021

  United Kingdom (UK)

  -10.2%

  +6.3%

  United States of America (US)

  -8%

  +4.8%

  Germany

  -7.8%

  +5.4%

  Italy and Spain

  -12.8%

  +6.3%

  China

  +1%

  +8.2%

  Brazil

  -9.1%

  +3.6%

  Australia

  -4.5%

  +4.0%

Countries like Australia and New Zealand, that acted early have experienced less economic and social impact and they have been able to restart their economies more quickly.

The IMF actually lifted its forecast for the Australian economy in 2020, forecasting a decline of 4.5%, instead of 6.7% in its April forecast. But the IMF has also projected a smaller rebound for Australian economy in 2021, forecasting growth of 4%, instead of 6.1% in its April forecast.

The Effect of Covid-19 on the Economy

The economic and social impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic are unavoidable, but some countries have done better than others.

Covid-19 is highly infectious and spreads exponentially very quickly if it is not contained early. Many countries have seen a few initial cases rapidly escalate into very high levels of cases in just a matter of days.

Simulations conducted by the University of Cambridge using epidemiology models and data from the US Federal Reserve, have found that without a lockdown and physical distancing rules the virus will spread and infect too many workers to be able to keep industry and businesses operating. The model showed an economy would shrink by 30% or more, not to mention the enormous social impact of the distress and anxiety that would accompany this. 

However with a lockdown and physical distancing rules, the modelling showed an economy would shrink by 15%. This is clearly the lesser of the two evils.

The importance of an effective health response to the economy was highlighted on Monday 20th April 2020, by 157 leading Australian economists from Australian universities who issued an open letter calling on the federal government to prioritise containing the spread of Covid-19. They wrote in their letter that “We cannot have a functioning economy unless we first comprehensively address the public health crisis."

It is clear that an effective health response to the virus is the only way to minimise the economic and social damage caused by the virus and then achieve an effective recovery from it.

Australia and New Zealand Well Placed

Australia and New Zealand have earned international praise for their success in containing the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Because they acted early and decisively, Australia and New Zealand were able to minimise the economic and social damage from the virus and are now well placed to resume economic activity much more quickly than many other countries. It has been hard economically and socially for both countries but the alternatives were even worse.

Because Australia and New Zealand closed their borders and locked down early, they averted disaster and have been successful in flattening the curve and suppressing the community spread of Covid-19. Both countries have implemented some of the highest levels of testing in the world and robust contact tracing measures.

Australia was invited to a global club of coronavirus champions called ‘First Movers COVID Group.’ The ‘exclusive club’ is a small group of countries that responded quickly to the coronavirus pandemic and that are now in a position where they can get their economies back to some type of normality. So far, it has only eight members; Australia, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Greece, the Czech Republic, Israel and Singapore.

A Covid Safe Economy

It must be remembered that Covid-19 has not been eradicated from Australia or New Zealand and the danger of further outbreaks will always be present until a vaccine is developed.

This means the economic recovery in Australia and New Zealand must be Covid Safe to mitigate the ever present risk of further outbreaks.

Australia and New Zealand are now in the process reopening their economies. Australia is gradually easing restrictions while New Zealand has lifted all restrictions. The real concern now is another outbreak. With the virus raging around the world strict border controls are essential to keep Covid-19 out. 

Both countries are committed to introducing a trans-Tasman and Pacific travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so. This will be good for the economies of both countries and opens up opportunities on both sides of the Tasman.

While Australia and New Zealand have given themselves an advantage compared to the rest of the world, they cannot escape the effects of the global recession. Businesses need to start preparing now to be part of the economic recovery from Covid-19.