6 ways finance can align planning and strategy for post-pandemic success

23 August 2021 By Robert Churchyard, Global Oracle Leader


Financial leaders should focus on these six areas of planning and strategy

IBM’s research uncovered six areas that businesses should focus on when it comes to planning and strategy.

1.Employee engagement: Many employees will keep working from home, but the lessons learned during the pandemic go beyond the realization that remote work is a viable approach. To keep remote workers productive and motivated, employers need to provide the right technology, improve crisis communications, identify essential and non-essential roles, and keep employees secure and healthy.

2.Risk management: Due to ongoing volatility, businesses are rethinking their risk management practices. Continuous monitoring (made possible by built-in machine learning) can alert you to potential problems; you can act immediately to investigate and remediate, helping you prevent and mitigate risk. Leaders are also looking at physical protection for storage facilities, plants, and other critical physical assets.

3.Resiliency: Cybersecurity is not a new concern, but there is growing attention on the role it plays in business resiliency—no doubt because of increased cybercrime during the pandemic. According to IBV research, 76 percent of surveyed executives around the world said they are prioritizing cybersecurity in the wake of COVID-19.

4.Controlling operating costs: Cash was king during the pandemic and was the subject of continual short-term planning. Companies that experienced a drastic drop in demand needed cash to sustain operations, while companies that saw spikes in demand or changes in customer behavior needed cash to fund more (or new) resources. This experience has led business leaders to more strategically control operating costs. Doing so not only helps to preserve cash but also allows companies to be more agile.

5.Supply chain efficiency: The pandemic caused shortages of workers, materials, parts and components, and finished goods within global supply chains. Some of these shortages have yet to be resolved. Business leaders need better visibility into local resources and supplier networks, along with the ability to model potential alternatives. If your company must quickly change suppliers, you need to compare different scenarios to understand how these changes might impact the cost and efficiency of your supply chain.

6.Customer engagement: Human behavior changed during the pandemic. Buyers became more dependent on websites, and other digital tools to research, buy, and request customer care. This put more pressure on call centers for both human and technical resources; issues such as long wait times and unreliable software became real and frustrating issues for customers.

Will customer behavior ever go back to pre-pandemic patterns? No one knows for sure, but with scenario modeling, business leaders can consider multiple alternatives, weigh the benefits and risks of related factors, and make decisions that balance business needs with customer demands.

Make effective planning a priority

Although there are still many unknowns about how the world will recover from the pandemic, indications are that the global economy will more than bounce back. For finance leaders, it could be a rare occasion to plan for new opportunities with minimized risk. Having the right applications and tools will provide a big advantage.

Source: Oracle Blogs