Most of us have been strongly and positively marked by the speed and efficiency of remote work in a massive way, in mid-March, the beginning of the lockdown. Of course, sometimes, the setting up of the system required a few days of adaptation, especially for remote computer access. But overall, this massive switch to telework mode is a success.
Nevertheless, the situation we are experiencing – between the new way of working and the economic crisis – has brought to light some concerns among our clients, which are more or less hidden, not known or not a priority.
Indeed, the first question we are often asked is whether “well-processed” companies have been more successful in the transition to remote work. And there is the rub… Operational performance seems to be closely linked to the quality of processes. A preconceived idea was to think that companies with Business Continuity Plans (BCP) were better equipped for lockdown. In fact, we have found that it is more likely that companies that have processed their activities AND that have been able to adapt their processes to the new modus operandi. These companies were able to adapt their processes very quickly. We can sometimes regret the lack of adaptation (a sales meeting with 18 people in video is not very effective, as well as the conservation of payment by check…). But some companies have noticed the lack of performance of their activity flow. This is very true for invoicing, where the absence of a clear process was lacking. It is also true in the management of suppliers and calls for tenders. As a result, Electronic Document Management (EDM) projects have emerged based on the experience of this period of lockdown.
Closer to financial performance, the absence or unreliability of cash flow forecasts (which are as much a matter of numbers as of process) has sometimes been particularly noticeable. The need for performance consulting in the area of cash flow forecasting is clearly apparent in this context.
The list of performance improvement projects that have emerged during the lockdown is far from being exhaustive! On a more positive note, another observation is newly shared by most of our clients on their projects. It is the ability to carry out studies or project management remotely where we thought face-to-face work was inevitable. This is as true for projects related to banking compliance as it is for the monitoring of a software package implementation.
We need to learn too from this lockdown to improve our own operational performance to better serve our customers.