5 action areas that CEOs should address for rapid recovery

Jul 16, 2020

When the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, CEOs will need to take swift action to refocus their energy moving forward. The decisions made will help to drive recovery, position their organization for rapid recovery and allow them to thrive in the future. Now is the time for CEOs to take action and build business agility in these five key areas.

1. Customers

All organizations should know their customers and how to meet their evolving needs. CEOs need to lead the charge in modernizing and optimizing customer relationship management (CRM) systems and making sure that they have clear data that provides detailed customer insight. You need to be relentless in understanding the customer journey and digitizing and personalizing marketing to meet the needs of your customers and prospects.

2. People

CEOs should understand how to transform their workplaces to prioritize the safety of their people. Making sure your team feels safe and secure in the workplace should be a priority. In organizations that plan to continue to encourage remote work, you should provide ongoing training to your people on how to work remotely and find innovative ways to maintain employee connectivity and the company’s culture.

3. Costs

Most organizations are feeling the burn of decreased cash flow from the COVID-19 crisis, and many have been forced to reduce headcount to manage costs. You should consider the potential of automation to augment your staff and evaluate potential cost savings from outsourcing and managed services of noncore functions such as IT, finance, payroll, internal audit and tax.

4. Risk

CEOs should retrospectively evaluate what worked well and what did not work well during the COVID-19 crisis. Every company’s risk profile has changed given the crisis, so refreshing your risk assessment—especially around technology—may be wise. Business continuity and disaster recovery plans should be enhanced and strengthened, and cybersecurity policies and procedures should be updated to adjust for workforces that may continue to work remotely.

5. Supply chain

Given disruptions to supply chains, CEOs should consider reevaluating their supply chain and consider diversification strategies to reduce future risk. Inventory models should be adjusted for ongoing changes in supply and demand. You should remove the middleman wherever possible to decrease overall risk and get products into the hands of the customer as efficiently as possible.

Timing will be of the essence, as many states are loosening restrictions and moving forward with reopening measures. A trusted advisor can provide an unbiased analysis of each of these key areas, and help to outline a plan for post-pandemic success.

RSM contributors