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Canadian steel manufacturing

Preparing a Canadian Steel Manufacturing Industry Client for the Post- COVID-19 Era with Custom Market Intelligence Solution

Canadian Steel Manufacturing Industry Overview

As the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, companies in the Canadian steel manufacturing industry are facing operational and financial challenges. Also, travel restrictions, quarantines, and workforce shortages are increasing challenges for companies in the Canadian steel manufacturing industry to fulfil their contractual obligations to their existing customers. Besides, supply shortages, fulfillment delays, and increasing transportation costs are making it difficult for steel manufacturing companies to maintain profitability. As such, manufacturing firms will need to look beyond their own economic viability and plan for the post-COVID-19 era.

This success story provides comprehensive insights into how Infiniti’s custom market intelligence solution helped a Canadian steel manufacturing industry client to centralize cash management, reassess business plans, build a resilient supply chain, and prepare for the post-COVID-19 era.

How can companies in the Canadian steel industry prepare for the rebound and ensure business continuity? Our market intelligence solutions can help clients in the steel industry to understand the change in volumes and values post the COVID-19 crisis. Request a FREE proposal.

Business Challenge

Our client, a Canadian steel manufacturing company, witnessed continued downward pressure on the product demand owing to the COVID-19 crisis. Also, the client faced cash-flow liquidity challenges and difficulties in managing debt obligations. Besides, the Canadian steel manufacturing industry client encountered continued weakening links in their supply chain as some of their vendors and suppliers faced operational challenges. Consequently, the client witnessed a decline in sales by 60% compared to previous months. This subsequently impacted the company’s profit margins. They wanted to revamp their traditional operating model, address technology gaps, and build business continuity strategies to succeed in the post-COVID-19 world. They chose to partner with Infiniti Research to leverage their expertise in offering market intelligence solutions.

Other key objectives of the Canadian steel manufacturing industry client were:

  • Identify potential market risks and devise contingency plans in case of unexpected disruptions
  • Reengineer their supply chain and build a resilient supply chain for the future
  • Increase real-time visibility into every part of the supply chain
  • Rebuild demand forecasting and capacity models for developing resiliency in the face of future demand shocks

For a detailed evaluation of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on your business operations, contact us here.

Our Integrated Approach

In the initial phase, the experts at Infiniti Research worked closely with the Canadian steel manufacturing market client’s production, sales, and financial team to understand the extent of the impact caused by the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic. Also, the experts reviewed the company’s capital and corporate cost budgets to identify marginal investments. After conducting a thorough analysis, the experts helped the client to devise strategies and plans to retain and deploy the workforce during the slowdown. In addition to this, the experts helped the client to evaluate automation solutions to reduce the number of workers on the factory floor.

In the next phase of the engagement, the experts identified potential weak lines in the supply chain, especially in regions already affected and likely to be impacted by the COVID-19. Also, the experts identified vendors and suppliers to help the client with their raw materials requirements. While selecting vendors, the experts assessed factors such as potential exit charges, permanent establishment status, and preservation of tax attributes on the movement of goods.

The final phase of the engagement involved experimenting with radical designs of supply chain models and building a resilient supply chain.

Business Outcome

By leveraging Infiniti’s market intelligence solution, the client was able to identify divesting non-core and underperforming assets and identify new ways to reduce cash outflows. As recommended by the experts at Infiniti Research, the client outsourced some corporate functions and achieved a reduction in operating costs. Besides, the Canadian steel manufacturing industry client was able to devise risk mitigation programs for employees who worked on-site.

The experts also helped the client to identify potential weak lines in the supply chain and devise supply chain risk management strategies. Furthermore, by closely reviewing inventory position and assessing supply chain complexities, they were able to adjust inventory for the post-covid-19 period. In addition to this, the client was able to revamp their traditional operating model, centralize cash management, address technology gaps, and build business continuity strategies to succeed in the post-COVID-19 world.

Want to know more about our COVID-19 business continuity support solutions? Request more info here.

Chinese oil and gas industry

Market Potential Analysis | Devising a Business Continuity Plan for a Chinese Oil and Gas Industry Client to Succeed in the Post-COVID-19 World

Chinese Oil and Gas Industry Overview

Although the Chinese oil and gas industry has been witnessing a positive growth over the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic has shattered oil demand and caused excessive revenue changes in the sector. Besides low demand and lower prices, social impacts, structural issues, workforce management hurdles, and supply chain complexities are increasing challenges for companies operating in the Chinese oil and gas industry. This current landscape in the oil and gas sector is pressurizing players in the industry to undertake practical steps for responding to the coronavirus crisis. To maintain a superior level of operational excellence in the post-COVID-19 era, oil and gas companies must also consider some critical factors including crisis management, reliability, productivity, supply chain management, and cost optimization.

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused a significant threat to global oil and gas industry. Our business continuity support solutions can help you to combat the business impact of COVID-19. RFP here.

Business Challenge

A leading oil and gas industry client based out of China, witnessed plummeting oil prices and production declines owing to the coronavirus outbreak. Also, the Chinese oil and gas industry client encountered weak lines in its supply chain as their vendors and suppliers faced operational and financial challenges due to the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. Besides, faced with challenges such as geographically fragmented supplier base, potential cash flow constraints from foreign operations, and workforce management hurdles, the company wanted to gain complete visibility into spend and re-evaluate their operations. They chose to partner with Infiniti Research to leverage their expertise in offering market potential analysis.

Other key objectives of the Chinese oil and gas industry client were:

  • Implementation of crisis management and response plan to emerge successful in the post-pandemic world
  • Optimization of spend analysis and categorization
  • Reviewing of capital and corporate cost budgets
  • Divesting under-performing assets
  • Setting up risk mitigation programs around employees
  • Assessing links in supply chain and identifying potential weaknesses
  • Adjusting cash flow management
  • Determining a market-determined pricing system
  • Identifying alternative vendors and suppliers to meet the immediate demand in the post-COVID-19 era

Contact us to know the potential impact of COVID-19 on your business and for action plans to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

Our Integrated Approach

Infiniti’s market potential analysis involved a five-phased approach:

Crisis management and response: The experts at Infiniti Research carried out a review of the Chinese oil and gas industry client’s capital and corporate cost budgets to identify marginal investments. Also, the experts assessed how profitability and cash flow generation can support the ongoing operations of the client in a low oil-price climate.

Workforce management: The experts gathered necessary data on the Chinese oil and gas industry client’s employees and set up risk mitigation programs around employees.

Supply chain and operation: The experts closely analyzed the client’s supply chain complexities and identified Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. Besides, the experts identified alternative suppliers in non-impacted regions of the world to help the client meet their immediate requirements post-COVID-19 crisis.

Financial reporting: In this phase of the engagement, the experts helped the Chinese oil and gas industry client to modify their risk factor disclosures and reassess the financial balance sheets.

Cash flow management: The experts reassessed the client’s cash flow statement forecasts and analyzed the best and worst-case scenarios over the short and long term.

Business Outcome

With Infiniti’s market potential analysis, the Chinese oil and gas industry client was able to improve spend data quality, visibility, and accuracy. Also, the client was able to gain complete visibility into procurement and streamlined processes. Besides, the client was able to take immediate and contingent safety measures for their employees.

By analyzing the potential market demand post-COVID-19 crisis, the experts recommended the Chinese oil and gas industry client to reduce their capacity and cost structure through staff reductions and related measures. To reduce operating costs and run the operations smoothly, the experts recommended the client to consider outsourcing portions of their corporate functions, including moving IT to the cloud and shifting internal non-core operating functions to contractors. By doing so, the client was able to lower operating costs and eliminate maintenance capital. In addition to this, the experts helped the client to identify alternative suppliers to help them at times of immediate requirements.

The Chinese oil and gas industry client was also able to safeguard the supply chain operations by understanding supply chain risks, manage cash outflows, develop a range of scenarios to predict future outcomes, and identify local suppliers to support them at times of immediate requirements. Also, the Chinese oil and gas industry client was able to examine the company’s financial spend and identify new ways to achieve a reduction in cash outflow. Furthermore, by closely reviewing in year inventory position and assessing supply chain complexities, they were able to adjust inventory for the post-COVID-19 period.

As China’s oil and gas industry is recovering from the COVID-19 crisis, it’s high time for oil and gas companies to outline action plans to succeed in the long-run. We can help you achieve this strategic objective. Learn more about our business continuity support solution.

CPG industry challenges

Preparing to Combat CPG Industry Challenges in the US Due to Coronavirus

As the COVID-19 situation unfolds across the globe, it presents new operational and leadership challenges for CPG companies. As a result of the crisis, there is a seismic shift in the way consumers shop and what they shop for, creating new CPG industry challenges. The US has seen an exponential increase in the coronavirus cases over the last fortnight. This has left players grappling with new CPG industry challenges relating to how to manage the demand-supply inadequacies, formulate an action plan to turbocharge logistics flexibility, and to adjust the existing commercial strategy to suit the new norms. To address the crisis head-on and ensure business continuity, companies must respond to these new CPG industry challenges by quickly rolling out contingency plans while doing their part to minimize the spread of the virus.

Lessons for US CPG companies from other infected countries

A common CPG industry tre18nd and the coronavirus spreads is that consumers are increasingly stocking up essentials and grocery items, while the demand for non-essentials have drastically declined, posing new CPG industry challenges. US consumer goods companies can learn from the mistakes of other countries and better prepare themselves to face this black swan event. Based on the analysis of our CPG industry experts on the impact of COVID-19 in countries like China and Italy, four main category archetypes have emerged and are most likely to show a similar trend in the US:

  • There is a huge spike in the demand for categories such as health and hygiene (hand sanitizers and disinfectant masks), instant meals, and medical supplies. These items are being rapidly undersupplied across channels which in turn results in rigid turnover and frequent out-of-stock situations.
  • CPG categories such as shelf-stable groceries, daily hygiene products, and bottled water face constrained supply and reduced stock-levels.
  • Decline in non-essential CPG product demand in categories including snacks and savories, soft drinks, personal care products, and pet food.
  • Steep decline in luxury product sales including cosmetics, alcoholic beverages, and confectionery.

As more consumers are shifting to online channels for purchases, this creates new CPG industry challenges for players in terms of adapting their logistics and supply chain to this new trend. Furthermore, these spikes and dips in demand have created intense stress for CPG companies and require them to rapidly adapt their strategies for production, transportation and distribution, key account management, and marketing. 

During times of crisis like this, it is critical for companies in the CPG industry to take calculative and well-executed measures to ensure business continuity in the long run. Request a free proposal to know how industry experts at Infiniti Research can help you plan your next steps during the COVID-19 situation.

Action plan to combat CPG industry challenges due to COVID-19

In countries like China and the UK, CPG companies have faced intensified challenges due to the short-term nature of their contingency plans. To exacerbate the situation, travel restrictions across countries have created logistical bottlenecks, further worsening the existing inbound and outbound supply chain challenges. Here are some strategies for players in the US to effectively combat CPG industry challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis and react effectively to this unprecedented business shock.

Review production plan and inventory management

The need of the hour for CPG companies is to define a contingency plan to ensure supply continuity. Companies in the CPG industry must determine the weakest links in their supply chain including raw materials, packaging, or workforce and build strategies to address these issues in the order of priority.

Build logistics flexibility

Working with local authorities to understand the COVID-19 hotspots and lockdown areas will help companies to better plan the logistics and delivery to these territories. A major revamp would be required for the existing transportation and logistics plan to improve logistics flexibility. Furthermore, steps can be taken to stop or limit the logistics of the non-essential category.

Enable frequent and real-time customer communications

Making account managers constantly available to address customer conversations, especially in critical channels, is vital for companies in the CPG industry during the coronavirus crisis. Working with multi-functional teams to quickly resolve pain points and bottlenecks are essential to provide proactive and quick responses to the customers. CPG companies must also consider creating agreements with manufacturing teams to produce larger batches of specific SKUs in order to increase product availability. 

For more insights, get in touch with an industry expert.

Food and beverage companies

How the Global Food and Beverage Sector Will Change Post COVID-19: Lessons from China’s recovering F&B Industry

For several months China’s food and beverage companies bore the brunt of demand-supply adversities due to the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has also had a severe impact on the global supply chain, foodservice sector, commodity prices, and demand for essential and non-essential products, especially after some of the major cities in China went into complete lockdown. As China enters the recovery phase after months of battling the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak, the food and beverage sector companies in China have started to resume operations. However, the food and beverage sector in the country is far from going back to the normalcy as it was before the crisis, much has changed in the consumer approach to the F&B sector. We’re seeing the activities across the value chain take a different direction. From the introduction of automated, contactless sales amidst the rising food safety concerns to safe online purchasing and offline food delivery involving ‘no touch’ technology, the industry seems to be dancing to a very different tune. As a result, food and beverage companies in China are rolling out new initiatives to meet the seismic shift in consumer purchasing behavior.  

In this article, food and beverage industry experts at Infiniti Research examine the changing consumer habits in China about what they eat and how food and beverage companies across the world will soon be faced with similar challenges.

food and beverage

Request a free brochure to know more about Infiniti’s business continuity support solutions to help your business bounce back with the right strategies during COVID-19.

New Trends Global Food and Beverage Companies Can Expect

Provide easy-to-prep meal options

As food service companies shut shop during the COVD-19 outbreak, there has been an increased spike in the demand for canned foods in China over the past few months. However, due to the prolonged nature of the existing crisis, consumers are now seeking to explore more nutritious options apart from canned or frozen. A recent analysis by experts at Infiniti Research shows that consumers in China are gravitating towards in-home products as compared to canned or frozen foods. Food manufacturers can take this as an opportunity to explore new avenues of business and invest into introducing easy-to-prep meals to suit changing consumer demands.

Increasing concerns over product safety

Consumers are now highly aware of the importance of hygiene and food safety. Food and beverage manufacturers across the globe must consider technological advancements like blockchain to enhance visibility and transparency into their supply chain. As consumers begin to become more cautious about the safety of the food products that they consume, allowing ample visibility and transparency can help gain and retain consumer trust in the brand.

Increased popularity of online buying

A notable trend in China post the pandemic is that a greater number of the elderly population are resorting to online buying platforms than ever before. Known to be less tech-savvy, this group of the population needs to have an easy-to use interface and clear images and easy to read product descriptions in order to fuel the trend and increase the popularity of food delivery among this group of the population.

Want more insights on how the food and beverage sector will change in your region post the pandemic and how your business can stay prepared? Request a free proposal from our industry experts.

Chinese automotive industry

Devising a Response Framework for a Chinese Automotive Industry Client to Combat COVID-19 Challenges

The coronavirus outbreak has had a major impact on the Chinese automotive industry and has led to an unforeseen disruption of business operations. After the SARS outbreak in 2003, China had never witnessed such a huge impact until the coronavirus outbreak. As such, leading automotive companies in China have already begun implementing changes in business operations to ensure business continuity. While some others are still struggling to maintain productivity and retain employees. Implementing a sound business continuity plan is the key to survive through these tough times and emerge stronger.

This case study outlines how our market potential analysis helped a company in the Chinese automotive industry to create a threat-map dashboard, devise sound marketing strategy, and develop better digital capabilities amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

To rebound from the impact of coronavirus pandemic and rise stronger post-COVID-19 crisis, companies in the global automotive sector will need to address the immediate challenges that COVID-19 brings and create a detailed plan to ensure business continuity. Our market intelligence experts can help you to achieve these strategic objectives. Learn more here.

Business Challenge

The client is an automotive manufacturer and supplier based out of China.

As the Chinese automotive industry client had to make difficult choices such as closing production facilities and suspending discretionary spending owing to the fast-spreading COVID -19 pandemic, the company witnessed a decline in sales by 20%. Also, the client faced difficulties in addressing near-time cash management challenges and ensuring organizational resiliency.

The Chinese automotive industry client, therefore, wanted to prepare themselves to survive through these tough times and emerge stronger in the post- COVID -19 environment. In addition, as the number of individuals infected by the COVID -19 pandemic was decreasing in China, the client wanted to undertake a robust strategy to revive the supply chain, match demand and supply requirement, and protect their workforce to restart their production facilities. They also wanted to evaluate the market potential for their products and services in the post- COVID -19 environment and plan accordingly.

Other key objectives of the Chinese automotive industry client included:

  • To safeguard the supply chain operations by understanding supply chain risks and taking actions to address disruption
  • To implement robust marketing and sales strategies that suit the changing customer behavior
  • To manage cash outflows and improve liquidity
  • To identify internal and external risks and develop a range of scenarios to predict future outcomes
  • To increase local production and temporarily stop reliability on foreign imports

Wondering what to do next? Get in touch with us for more insights on COVID-19’s impact on consumers and businesses across various sectors.

Our Integrated Approach

Our market potential analysis followed a five-phased approach:

In the initial phase, the experts helped the Chinese automotive industry client to create a threat-map dashboard that provided them with real-time data. The threat-map dashboard also helped the client’s employees, suppliers, and customers to keep pace with the potential impact of COVID -19 and the company’s response.

In the second phase of the market potential analysis engagement, the experts helped the Chinese automotive industry client to develop contingency plans and implement safety protocols to tackle the coronavirus challenges.

In the third phase, our experts worked closely with the client’s direct suppliers to gain insights about their production capacity and potential issues. Also, the experts segmented the client’s key suppliers based on their production capacity. Besides, the experts helped the Chinese automotive industry client to identify the right set of suppliers to deal with product shortages.

The fourth phase involved devising a sound marketing strategy. After closely analyzing customer data, the experts recommended the client to consider supporting dealerships in providing demonstrations and test drives for customers at home.

The final phase of the market potential analysis involved conducting financial stress tests to examine the client’s current cash flow and balance sheets.

Business Outcome

With Infiniti’s help, the Chinese automotive industry client was able to devise a thoughtful approach to revive the supply chain, match volume to actual demand, and protect the workforce post- COVID -19 -crisis. The experts also helped the client to identify alternative suppliers in non-impacted regions of the world and improve visibility to supply chain risk.

By leveraging Infiniti’s market potential analysis, the client was able to adjust production needs as per the requirement and ensure employee safety. Also, by identifying and mitigating the risks of declining sales, the client was able to maintain financial health. Besides, the experts helped the client to understand potential supply chain risks and take actions to address disruption.

The creation of the threat-map dashboard helped the Chinese automotive industry client to encourage transparency and stay updated about the potential risks of the coronavirus outbreak. Also, by analyzing the potential for product shortages and possible revenue decreases, the experts helped the client to set new production priorities to manage demand-supply requirements.

The experts at Infiniti Research also helped the Chinese automotive industry client to identify local suppliers to support them at times of immediate requirements and product shortages. In addition to this, the client was able to understand how COVID-19 affected customer concerns, adjust marketing to focus on available models, develop better digital capabilities, and enable online sales channel.

We can help you to prepare for the rebound, gain agility, and ensure rapid response post- COVID -19 crisis. Request more info here.

US healthcare system

US Healthcare System: Managing Supply Shortages and Demand Surges to Minimize the Coronavirus Impact

Over the past few weeks, the US has outpaced all the other countries to become a major hotspot for the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst the rising pressure, the US healthcare system is also faced with the harsh reality of acute material shortages including ventilators, intensive care capacity, healthcare staff, masks, and even medicines to treat the infected. These healthcare supply shortages are largely hamstringing the heroic efforts of professionals in the US healthcare system to battle the pandemic. The US healthcare providers, now more than ever before, require the right supply chain management strategies to overcome supply shortages, optimize resources, and to ensure the agile expansion of capacity.

This article from healthcare industry experts at Infiniti Research highlights some operations management and supply chain best practices for providers in the US healthcare system that are grappling with the sudden demand surges and supply shortages of healthcare resources.

Addressing supply and demand gaps in the US healthcare system

Managing healthcare delivery system

As the US healthcare systems continue to run at almost full capacity, extreme supply and demand shocks can be expected. The need of the hour for healthcare providers in the US is to proactively manage how patients enter and proceed through various nodes of the healthcare delivery system. During the COVID-19 outbreak healthcare providers are struggling with system congestion due to the increase in the inflow of patients. To manage the rapidly increasing demand due to the novel coronavirus, several hospitals are postponing non-critical surgeries and diverting patients not requiring critical care from hospital settings to home care. However, healthcare providers must complement this strategy with the right technology and infrastructure to support this such as telemedicine and mobile care units. Furthermore, having adequate visibility into short-term future demand provides hospitals and other care sites the opportunity to plan patient flows more efficiently.

Managing supply shortages and bottlenecks

Managing resources while providing adequate care to patients is not an easy task especially in the case of a highly contagious virus like the COVID-19. But failing to do so could also prove to be fatal and result in a vicious cycle that the US healthcare system has already started witnessing. During the existing crisis, healthcare providers are not just facing shortages in testing equipment and staff, but there is also a significant scarcity of protective gear for healthcare workers. This leaves them highly vulnerable to the infection as the patient inflow to healthcare facilities increase. In countries like Spain and Italy, close to 15% of the COVID-19 patients consists of healthcare workers. A similar situation could make the existing healthcare staff shortage worse for the US healthcare system. Identifying the root cause of the supply bottlenecks and timely forecasting of probable bottlenecks in supply of testing and protective equipment can help avoid such adversities to a large extent.  Proactive and agile supply forecasting provides important visibility into the future state of the supply chain and enables organizations to effectively identify potential shortages well in advance. Pooling resources from other healthcare facilities in the country that have lower demand can also help stabilize the demand-supply gaps.

For detailed insights into how providers in the US healthcare system can better manage their resources and bridge supply-demand gaps with healthcare market intelligence, Request a free proposal.  

food service

How the Food Service Industry Can Survive the Coronavirus Pandemic

As the coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, restaurants and food services companies are affected in various ways. With major countries having declared a state of emergency, closure of non-essential businesses, and social distancing, the food service industry sales are down by around 80%. While few restaurants are able to maintain normal revenues by providing meals via takeout and delivery options, others are still confused on whether to choose to remain open or close temporarily. For restaurants to survive during the coronavirus crisis, they will need to find creative solutions and adapt to customers’ plight. As customers are more budget-conscious these days, one strategy for restaurant owners to consider is creating new discounted entrees. Also, adding healthy food items on the menu can help attract new customers.

In this article, our experts have outlined key strategies for companies in the food service industry to navigate the covid-19 crisis.

Key Strategies for Food Service Companies to Survive the Coronavirus Crisis

Prioritize employee health and wellness

Today, restaurant businesses are encountering labor shortage challenges and high turnover rates, compelling restaurant owners to focus into keeping their staff safe and healthy. In the middle of such an escalating health crisis, food service companies will need to connect with their employees and try to understand their needs. This can be done by implementing an EAP (employee assistance program) process. Also, small restaurants can choose to partner with a third-party service provider and ensure business continuity by providing home delivery options. While others can choose to offer paid sick leave and build trust of employees. Moreover, food service companies should ramp up cleaning processes to ensure safety of customers as well as their employees. This can be done by installing hand sanitizing stations, installing sanitary door openers on washroom and kitchen doors, sanitizing POS system, and many more.

We can help you to scale up your business and ensure business continuity. Request a FREE proposal here.

Reassure customers

As retaining customers are highly imperative for continuity of business operations, food service companies will need to efficiently communicate with their valuable customers regarding changes they may be making, share sanitization procedures, and encourage support. Any mode of communication such as website, social media, customized emails, and marketing advertisements can be used for the same. Of all these, targeted marketing campaigns can help companies in the restaurant business to reach out to the audience with personalized messages.

Analyzing past customer data and providing valuable customers with a reward or discount can help food service companies to retain valuable customers and increase online orders. Also, as customers are now looking for budget-friendly meals, restaurants must scale up menu and look for new ways to reduce operating costs. Besides, offering an all-day breakfast and brunch menu can generate more business as most people are working from home.

Understand the CARES Act

As the coronavirus cases are increasing in the United States and impacting the operations of businesses across various sectors, the US federal government passed a stimulus bill, called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). The CARES act ensures to provide financial support for small and medium-sized businesses through a lending program. Besides, the policy provides aid for the healthcare system and ensures federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.

In addition to this Act, the US government is providing lower-interest loans called the economic injury disaster loan (EIDL) to businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. As the government is looking to support businesses through various plans, food service companies must keep pace with these policies and utilize them at times of needs.

Manage profits

The coronavirus outbreak has created a sharp downturn for companies in the food service industry, compelling many restaurants to close temporarily. To manage profits and maintain productivity during this period, food service companies will need to understand the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in their business operations. The next step involves making most out of the current inventory and reducing wastage of ingredients. Besides, food service companies must focus into increasing average check size and negotiating better deals with suppliers. In addition to this, companies in the food service industry can add an additional third-party delivery system or adapt menu to optimize for online delivery.

Look for financial support

During this critical time, some lenders and companies are offering hardship allowances. So, companies in the food service industry can consult their lenders for allowances in rent and other utilities. Also, the US restaurant workers community foundation is providing low-interest loans for companies in the restaurant industry. As such, restaurant owners can make use of such offers to bring back the business to normal condition post covid-19.

Focus on premium deliveries

Recent studies show that millennials and Gen Z customers are showing preferences for budget-friendly meals, but also for enhanced experiences in delivered food. As such, the trend for chef-led delivery brands is expected to pick up over the coming weeks. As such, companies in the food service industry can focus on providing customers with higher quality food cooked in cloud kitchens.

Want to gain more insights into our services for companies operating in the food service industry? Request more info here.

Banking industry

Covid-19: Potential Implications for Companies in the Banking Industry

The coronavirus outbreak is causing widespread concern and economic hardship for businesses worldwide and the banking industry is hardly an exception. China has been worst hit, followed by Europe and the United States of America. While the duration and future impact of the coronavirus outbreak remains uncertain, major banking companies have already adopted business continuity plans such as establishing a central task force, suspending large-scale gatherings, and making arrangements for teleworking. However, these basic steps and actions can no longer help banking companies to maintain profitability and smoothly run their operations. For banking companies, enforcing a sound business continuity plan is the key to survive through these tough times and emerge stronger in the future. To help save your business from the ongoing crisis, our market research experts have outlined the strategies for banking companies to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

Covid-19 pandemic is impacting the banking industry in multiple ways, from workforce and business continuity issues to the client service considerations. Our market intelligence experts can help you to create strategic plans to combat the covid-19 challenges with resilience. Request a FREE proposal here.

Banking Industry: Practical Steps for Responding to the Coronavirus Crisis

Normalize workforce measures

Labor shortage issues in the banking industry are putting high pressure on business leaders to run operations smoothly. This further results in greater delays and subsequently, customer dissatisfaction. Today, major banks have adopted proactive measures such as emphasizing workplace hygiene and offering alternative ways of working, but banks will need to make sure that the measures they have taken are designed to get the best out of their employees while preserving their mental and financial well-being. These involve ensuring deep cleaning of all branches, identifying infected individuals, ensuring continuity of main services with minimal staffs, and monitoring customer service capacity against need.

In cases of trading activities, execution is becoming difficult for companies in the banking industry owing to constraints in working remotely because of technology and compliance requirements. To tackle this challenge, some banks have segregated employees and activated business continuity plan sites. However, in the case of this prolonged crisis, banking companies will need to take backup plans that include the potential to move immediately to a work-from-home model. Also, banks should train segments of employees for whom working remotely is possible for the new working environment. Subsequently, companies in the banking industry must make sure that both employee relations and internal technical support are sufficiently staffed and trained to accommodate elevated levels of business. Besides, companies in the banking industry must consult with risk management service providers to employ risk management strategies.

Analyzing and combating business risks is not an overnight task, it requires proper planning and execution. With over 15 years of experience in devising risk management strategies for organizations across various sector, we can help you to create an ideal business risk management framework for your organization. Contact us here.

Provide essential banking services to retail customers

At this critical time, people especially the old generation who are less likely to adopt digital channels, will need essential banking services such as ATM operations to fulfill their daily needs. So, banks must ensure to continue branch and ATM operations, without compromising the safety of employees. Besides, banks must continually assess consumer demand for in-person services and adjust capacity accordingly. For instance, Chinese government adopted strategies like providing limited services to customers, other than ATM access. Besides, banks in Hong Kong, Italy, and Germany have reduced working hours and are operating with minimal staffs.

At the same time, companies in the banking industry must try to encourage customers to leverage digital channels for banking needs. This can be done by increasing the limit of online activities and providing tutorials online. However, a shift to digital banking may increase fraud and information security risks for companies in the banking industry. Therefore, banking companies should consider implementing risk management strategies before the widespread adoption of digital banking services.

Support households and businesses with credit

As individuals and businesses who are already in debt are more likely to be financially impacted by the quarantine measures and lack of employment, companies in the banking industry should support their liquidity needs through credits. From a credit perspective, banks must identify sectors that are highly affected by the coronavirus outbreak and offer supports. This can be done by engaging with clients to understand their issues, segmenting customers based on their needs, and adjusting risk mitigation actions accordingly.

The impact of covid-19 on supply chain operations have been dramatic, compelling major businesses to draw on credit lines to support working capital and stockpile cash. Consequently, adopting strong internal liquidity-management practices will be required for banks to effectively support market liquidity and changing customer borrowing needs. Besides, companies in the banking industry should stay vigilant about liquidity measures to support their customers. In addition to this, banking companies should focus on business continuity planning, rethink balance sheet challenges while managing loan, find ways to trim costs and replot the post-covid-19 strategy.

Want to understand the potential impacts of the covid-19 pandemic on your organization? Request more info and our experts will get in touch with you with comprehensive insights.

US healthcare

Staying Prepared to Combat the Pandemic: Lessons for the US Healthcare Industry from Italy’s Response Flaws

The WHO (World Health Organization) ranks Italy among the top 10 countries with high quality of healthcare and related services in the world. Although the Italian healthcare system is far from perfect, this rating by the WHO is largely based on equality of healthcare access and other healthcare outcomes such as life expectancy and healthy life years of the population. Despite displaying qualities of a higher level of care and healthcare services, Italy is currently the new epicenter for COVID-19.  Despite now having some of the toughest measures in the world to contain the spread of the pandemic, Italian authorities were slow to react and fumbled many of those steps in the early stages of the contagion as they sought to preserve basic civil liberties as well as the economy, raising the fatality of the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The number of reported coronavirus positive cases in the US has skyrocketed over the past few weeks, and the death toll from COVID-19 in the US is not far behind from that of Italy. The rising number of cases has already overwhelmed the US healthcare industry. In this article, healthcare industry experts at Infiniti Research outline some key takeaways for the US healthcare industry from Italy’s flawed response to the outbreak and how healthcare companies in the US can prevent themselves from a similar fate.

US healthcare industry COVID-19

Ensuring protection of healthcare staff  

The US has surpassed the initial phase where the spread of the COVID-19 can be contained completely. As such, what companies in the US healthcare industry need now is to be equipped with the staff and resources to cater to the rising number of cases in the country. In Italy, over 2500 healthcare workers have become victims of the novel coronavirus outbreak. They account for approximately 20% of Italy’s healthcare staff who are out of action due to active infection and are subject to isolation or even death due to the virus.

The US healthcare industry cannot afford a similar situation at the current state, as such, they must ensure the safety of healthcare staff at all costs. Appropriate PPE should be provided to the staff based on the area in which they work Furthermore, supplies should be plentiful and necessary training must be imparted to the staff on guidelines to treat coronavirus patients. Apart from this, it is vital to offer timely and efficient testing of staff in order to ensure safety.

Rationing resources fairly

The surging COVID-19 cases can drive companies in the US healthcare industry into an agonizing emergency scenario and will require caregiver to take several crucial decisions. Rationing the available resources fairly to meet the demand of the rising number of cases would be one of the most crucial decisions to be made. The resources include ICU, ventilators, medicines, and staff to care for the patients.  One of the first steps in managing available resources is screening outpatients who are unlikely to need critical care and urging them to self-quarantine at home. Providers in the US healthcare industry must also strive to look at the cases and try to evaluate as quickly and efficiently as possible the likelihood that they can improve a patient’s condition faster.

Set patient treatment guidelines

Providers in the US healthcare industry Hospitals could adopt a lottery or first-come-first-served system for triaging patients. However, this could mean that someone less sick is treated before an infected patient who needs critical care, thereby potentially failing to achieve the goal of saving the most lives. Hospitals could choose to treat worse-off patients first, but if those people are unlikely to survive, doctors might be better off focusing on people who are less infected. However, the chances of survival of these guidelines in an extreme crisis situation remain to be seen. Professionals in the US healthcare industry are of the opinion that as the US currently lacks an exact historical comparison for how the coronavirus pandemic could play out, these guidelines offer general principles for steering hospital decision-making. Having predetermined guidelines prove helpful not just for determining which patients to treat but also on how long to treat them.

Undertake extensive testing

Timely and rapid testing for healthcare workers as well as the general public with symptoms, and those who are asymptomatic is the need of the hour to help the US healthcare industry to prepare better for what lies ahead. Apart from the clinical benefits to COVID-19 testing such as creating an action plan for treating low- and high-risk patients, the primary purpose of testing during a pandemic is advancing public health. Testing allows tracking who has COVID-19 and can help limit the community spread of the virus.

Want more insights on how our healthcare market intelligence solutions can help stakeholders in the US healthcare industry to better organize patient treatment plans, allocate medical resources, and be better equipped to fight the pandemic?

Coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus Outbreak: Strategies for CEOs to Navigate the Covid-19 Crisis

In just a small span of time, the coronavirus outbreak has had a major impact worldwide. While some organizations have managed to find ways to maintain productivity, others are still struggling to ensure business continuity. With the fast-changing global situation resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, market activities are disrupted on many levels. Today, consumers are compelled to use online services to fulfill their daily needs, putting many industries under pressure. Also, the government initiatives such as ‘lockdown’ and ‘social distancing’ have taken a direct hit on the transportation and travel industry comprising of hotels, tourist spots, and resorts. Besides, as the cases of infected individuals surge rapidly, business leaders are under great pressure. This compels them to assess the potential risks and act with rapid response solution. To help save your business from the ongoing crisis, our market research experts have outlined critical strategies that business leaders must consider to navigate through the covid-19 crisis.

Strategies for Business Continuity Planning During COVID-19

Secure liquidity

During this crisis, a major challenge for small and medium-sized businesses is access to capital. As revenues take a hit during this period, organizations will need to keep running business operations at lower costs. This majorly applies to small and medium-sized companies where overhead costs like rent, utilities, and payroll leave very little liquid cash to business leaders. To combat this challenge and keep the business running smoothly in the long-run, business leaders will need to look for new ways to provide immediate liquidity. This is where proposals such as ‘Small Business Workforce Stabilization Fund’ can be taken into consideration. This proposal will help small businesses impacted by the covid-19 to avail financial assistance and keep business solvent. Besides, business leaders must focus into developing incident management and scenario plans that are specific to the crisis, communicate effectively to stakeholders, and plan on how to meet government priorities without compromising the safety of the workforce.

In response to coronavirus outbreak, some businesses are developing contingency plans, while others are adapting strategic initiatives. Is your organization prepared to combat the covid-19 pandemic challenges? If not, RFP here and our experts will help you build rapid response plans.

Manage workforce

During these days, talent management is the biggest risk business leaders are talking about. Lack of workforce can put high pressure on business leaders to ensure smooth delivery. This subsequently can result in greater delays, errors, and ultimately customer dissatisfaction. Besides, as people are less willing to move outside their home cities, filling existing vacancies will be tougher for business leaders. As such, business leaders will need to embrace a defensive talent strategy, which focuses on identifying and retaining key contributors. Besides, assessing remote work strategy and attending to immediate global mobility concerns, such as HR policies and first-aid plans can help businesses to efficiently manage the workforce and subsequently maintain productivity.

Ensure supply continuity

As China is the mass exporter of merchandise to countries across the world, the coronavirus outbreak in China has affected almost every industry, including pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, automotive, and consumer electronics. Although the ripple effects of the coronavirus outbreak are difficult to assess, business leaders can take steps to mitigate risks and prevent potential supply chain disruptions. Establishing an alternative supply base can reduce dependency on one specific region. Also, recent studies show that organizations that solely depended on China for parts and raw materials were drastically hit. Even the company’s whose suppliers depended on China for raw materials were hugely affected by the coronavirus outbreak. As such, it’s high time for businesses to avoid reliance on single-source suppliers for raw materials and other requirements.

To ensure supply chain continuity, supply chain leaders must also constantly monitor Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. Suppliers’ production, warehousing, and distribution sites must be monitored and supply chain leaders must make sure that their Tier 1 suppliers have undertaken robust risk management programs.

Are you scrambling to manage the impact caused by the coronavirus outbreak? If yes, our experts can help you to optimize business agility and reduce costs in the face of business uncertainties. For a FREE consultation, contact us here.

Build organizational resilience

According to experts at Infiniti Research, organizations must follow a five-phased approach for building organizational resilience and ensuring ongoing operations.

#1 Defining the business model

Owing to the coronavirus outbreak, business leaders must initially focus into their core customers to ensure the continuity of operations.

#2 Identifying uncertainties caused by coronavirus outbreak

By leveraging SWOT analysis, business leaders can identify uncertainties from the coronavirus outbreak. Besides, information technologies (IT’s) potential uncertainties can also be taken into consideration.

#3 Assessing the coronavirus impact

The third phase involves assessing and categorizing uncertainties based on their severity for the business.

#4 Designing changes

This phase involves developing tentative strategies for executing changes. This phase also involves identifying and leveraging digital technologies and capabilities to facilitate business operations.

#5 Executing changes

In the last phase, business leaders must apply an agile approach to executing the initiatives. Besides, agility, speed, and quality are the key to enabling the continuity of operations.

Want to know how the coronavirus outbreak will impact your business? Request more info and our experts will help you gather data-driven insights and plan your next move to minimize the business impact of the pandemic.

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