We’re seeing a rise in natural and manufactured disasters causing crisis mode for many of us. Can technology help individuals and businesses?
Extreme natural catastrophes and pandemic risks have been shown to inflict significant economic harm. There are also other types of crises, such as the global recession of 2008 or the current pandemic, which have created major commercial disruptions.
How Can Technology Help Businesses in a Crisis?
The tsunami in Japan in 2011 had a direct influence on the profit margins of major American companies. In effect, it was the wave heard round the world. A calamity in one place might have far-reaching consequences in a worldwide economy.
For example, during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, governments issued measures prohibiting mass gatherings. As a result, fewer people reported to work.
When a company’s bottom line suffers, automation might be its best friend. But that usually means some investment capital. And how many small businesses save for a rainy day anymore? Not too many.
In reality, automation can help to alleviate a human resource shortage.
To compensate for a lack of staff, AI and machine intelligence can now take over daily jobs such as customer support. A basic self-help form on a company’s website, for example, can free up human personnel for more challenging work.
The self-help form can provide answers to essential inquiries concerning the company, such as service availability during a crisis. Listed below are some other ways that technology might help businesses during a crisis.
1. Communication is number one.
Businesses may now connect with their staff and consumers more quickly and efficiently, thanks to digital technologies.
Virtual meetings may be held using video conferencing software. Customers can receive critical information in real-time via social media networks. Collaboration with distant teams is feasible thanks to apps like Trello and Slack. This means firms can keep operating even in the face of a catastrophe.
The change to digital is even more crucial during a crisis. The website of a company should serve as a major center for communication, both with consumers and with staff.
2. Embrace advance preparation with technology.
During a crisis, there is a supply-demand imbalance. Utilize data to forecast future demand. This helps with resource and inventory management.
A worldwide epidemic, for example, may have a significant impact on people’s priorities. They can change in a heartbeat. People may be more likely to spend on needs if they have less disposable money. Because whether you’re rich or whether your poor — it’s nice to have money!
In the instance of the current pandemic, an eCommerce firm may utilize this knowledge to shift its focus to sourcing more health-related commodities, such as hand sanitizers, where we would expect demand to rise.
You can minimize losses, especially those related to inventory. When people’s morale is down, fashion businesses, for example, might employ flash deals to sell outdated stock. There’s really little difference between inspiration and desperation.
Companies can reduce the manufacturing of particular goods by using previous data. Predictive analytics help forecast when a crisis will end. Such data is valuable for a variety of purposes, including maintaining liquidity and determining HR practices.
3. Experiment with different revenue models.
Small firms are particularly heavily struck and more sensitive to the economic effects of any crisis. This is self-evident.
To stay relevant, many firms must change rapidly and adopt new monetization approaches. No one disagrees with that. For example, travel websites may charge a monthly fee for virtual tours of places. It couldn’t be otherwise.
Similarly, agencies that specialize in live performance events may go online and offer paid exclusive material to keep fans and artists involved.
At the end of the day, it’s about adjusting to a crisis and maybe using the crisis to solve creative problems. How else could it be?
Since the days of the Spanish flu, the global economy has come a long way. Longer than most think. In today’s world, technology may be used in previously inconceivable ways. Technology can help firms who are prepared to innovate outside the box, whether it’s real-time information distribution or new-age monetization strategies.
Sometimes, a crisis brings out the best in people. Sometimes the worst. It’s the same for a business. Many a small business has risen to the pandemic challenge. They’ve proven themselves to be good neighbors. How does your business stack up?