The spread of COVID19, at today, has reached 216 of the 251 countries and territories around the world, so chances are that you have already put in place actions aimed to continue your business operations, but is this enough? is our focus on what really matters?
Almost all of us are now working from the safe harbour of our houses, images of big zoom gatherings are everywhere on the mainstream media, some companies are rightfully showing happy teams still working strong together even while practising social distance.
But let’s be honest, was it such a big achievement? Didn’t feel a bit too easy?
In the maritime industry we have learnt long time ago to work with colleagues spread around different geographical areas, catching up with superintendents working from hotels or airports while attending ships has always been the normality… at the end aren’t the crews by definition remote workers to the office?
The real challenge therefore doesn’t appear to be the fact of making sure our staff keeps on working even if not in the office, the real headache is at a more fundamental level: is our company structured in a way that will allow us to go through this period, even if nobody can tell how long this will be?
“I’ve done a couple of webinars with groups of companies. As of about a week and a half ago they weren’t doing anything, there wasn’t anything different […] So far, we’ve seen more companies carrying employees for longer than expected if this had been a financial downturn versus a health-related one”
Peter Cappelli, professor of management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, on ABC News.
So what kind of strategic changes a shipping company could think to undertake at this moment? Well as always there is more than one possible route, several in fact, but we would like to suggest couple of point of interest you may be thinking of and maybe give it a positive twist.
The pros of outsourcing are well known to everyone, more and more organisations every day choose to entrust specialists from other companies with part of their operations.
Efficiency, ease of employment and high ROI are all good motivations but in our opinion, in the current scenario two more reasons may make the difference:
• Flexible sizing
Nobody knows how our Customers will really cope with the crisis, will they push through? will they slow down waiting to know more? will they put on hold or worse close the operation for good?
With these premises what best of a structure that would allow to immediately resize based on the fast changing needs of an adapting market?
• Peace of mind
In a time of crisis often we need to prioritise what challenge to tackle first, every respectable shipping company will always put at first place the safety of the seafarers and other employees, so the last thing you want is to spend hours maintaining your IT solution when you and your team would be better to focus on core activities.
Choosing the right business partner will show all its value in a period like this.
A Fresh Start
“The truth is that every crisis, while deeply unsettling, also contains the seeds of opportunity” is a passage of a very interesting article from the Wharton School (here). Well, how to disagree? many successful businesses often start or go through a period of deep despair that, thanks to visionary leaders, ends up in propelling such companies toward a bright future.
Why don’t take advantage and, apart for working on our personal growth, also start looking at all those processes that you always found obsolete but never had time to review? Maybe is also time to think if your software is still up to date, maybe the market now presents new options, more modern, more flexible that will better fit a once very traditional industry, but that is slowly finally catching up thanks to forward-thinking individuals and companies.
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