COVID-19 needs Rapid Business Decision-making


22 June, 2020

by Chris Smith

Decision Inc. UK

The COVID-19 crisis has pivoted the way that leaders plan. Decision-makers are under pressure to deal with an accelerated pace of change, and long-term planning has been replaced by quick, tactical decision-making. Legislative changes, consumer behaviour, supply chain disruptions and remote working are all constantly shifting complexities that leaders will need to consider in order to make decisions rapidly.

Changes in legislation will give businesses important new tools that will provide assistance. This will include business rates relief, possible VAT holidays, the availability of new kinds of loans, and government support for employee wages. Customer behaviour has also changed drastically over the past few months. Many companies now rely on digital means to sell their goods meanwhile customers are embracing digital engagement and online shopping to minimise face-to-face contact.

These digital interactions are extending into ways of working with other businesses. Organisations are moving to electronic ways of working and transacting. Although this improves turnaround times, more attention must be given to the solutions that are required to engage effectively.

Impact of COVID-19:

Traditional supply chains are being reinvented to adapt to the uncertainties that COVID-19 has created both locally and internationally.

Worldwide, the increase in the number of employees that work remotely has changed the way that we manage teams. This brings new requirements to ensure that data remains protected. Most home networks are not adequately secured from malicious threats. Therefore organisations must take the required steps to protect remote employee devices, especially when they are accessing mission-critical data.

Making quick, informed decisions now requires a different approach. With the business environment changing on an almost-hourly basis, business leaders must be able to develop and execute operational plans within these newly defined requirements.  Above all understand how these complexities rapidly impacts business performances.

The challenge with most conventional planning approaches is that they often focus on long-term outputs and require significant time to arrive at a final plan. At Decision Inc. we have designed a Coronavirus Planning approach that is tailored to the immediate requirements that companies are facing. Helping them to quickly and accurately assess impacts on their business’ performance and finance requirements. Our consulting team uses leading technology to develop financial and scenario models while working remotely with the finance and operational teams of our customers.

Our focus is on:

  • Revenue and cost scenario modelling and forecasting.
  • Focused planning for working capital and the impact of changes to cash flow.
  • Financial statement modelling to facilitate key financing discussions.
  • Business unit planning across operational metrics to drive financial outcomes.
  • Expense management and optimisation to support cash flow.
  • Driver-based planning and modelling.

Using this approach, business leaders will be enabled to better understand and prioritise focus areas. They will also be able to make informed short-term tactical decisions that reflect the current realities around cash flow. But more than that, they can run different scenario models across several variables to gauge how best to ensure the company can adapt and survive in these uncertain times.

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