hile the US economy had been enjoying 128 consecutive months of growth and a 50-year low unemployment rate, business leaders forged ahead with strategic plans for advancements and expansion. However, as the global pandemic slammed on the brakes of the economy and everyday life, it created an abrupt and forceful reminder that contingency planning is also of paramount importance in strategic business planning. Taking the time to proactively contemplate learnings from the current situation and studying key business drivers that will have a substantial impact on the organization can help prepare the business to make smarter, nimbler determinations looking forward. A comprehensive version of this exercise will include defining scenarios that factor in a range of future operating environments for the organization and its team.
Pandemic Propelled Thinking into the Future
From manufacturers to technology companies, how and where business gets done has been forever and fundamentally impacted. For those businesses who heavily rely on distribution and logistics, revisiting disruptions of the supply chain and geographic footprint of operations will be a continuous need. For others who depend on human capital to continue business operations, evaluating the safety and capacity for teams to be on site together will be an exercise to frequently review. Knowing scenarios such as these are the future, how can businesses make deliberate, informed decisions while serving the changing needs of their customers?
Mitigating Risk Means Understanding Your Options
Both of these situations illustrate opportunities where location modeling can provide data to round out short and long term decision making. In a crisis, the clearest course of action may appear to capitalize on what is readily available, which might include current warehouse or office space. Upon further review backed by location data, firms can quickly determine if other options such as renting space in a more desirable geographical area could provide optimal output. This tactical change might provide closer proximity to new distribution channels, untapped or unexpected suppliers, and crucial clients or provide some necessary distance from a natural disaster risk area. For leaders needing to swiftly re-structure vital talent, being able to discern where to efficiently find top talent or disperse an existing team, occupational data can provide detailed insight and a strategic advantage if a course of action is deemed viable. Engaging a trusted advisor and partner to help leadership teams skillfully filter through the data and drill down to the most actionable information is highly recommended.
Review of Current Conditions May Require Renegotiation
During the review of current state conditions, businesses may realize their previous growth trajectories had been smartly developed into important economic incentive awards over the coming years. Now is also the time to revisit those agreements and understand commitments from both parties. Incentive awards are typically based on retaining or adding new jobs and in the past, if those numbers were not met, a repayment to state or local government would be required. Now is the time to reach out to your state and local economic development officials to discuss the road ahead. Again, this is another scenario where capitalizing on the experience and relationships of a professional economic development consultant like Ginovus to advocate on your behalf can help your organization regain its footing.
The Shift from Surviving to Thriving
Leadership teams who embrace contingency planning will be able to execute decisions more swiftly and respond faster to events in the marketplace. This style of thinking encourages insight by considering a wider range of possible outcomes, which identifies potential concerns and new opportunities. The pandemic has pushed us to new levels of resilience, creativity, and innovation. Now we must continue to build upon this unexpected momentum and use it to reimagine our return to a prosperous future.