COVID-19 Trends that Businesses Would Do Well to Hold on To

by | Published on Jun 30, 2021 | Business Process Outsourcing

What the COVID-19 pandemic has done is present the new reality, a new way of doing things, new business processes. In these challenging situations, the importance of outsourced services such as document scanning solutions comes to light. Any help goes a long way for businesses.

While the new normal was conceived to deal with the extraordinary circumstances that the pandemic brought about, it also managed to show how things can be done better and in a more efficient manner with these improvised processes. Why can’t they be adopted for the future as well, since they have already proven to help companies function like clockwork?

Digital Transformation

There could be new waves of the pandemic in future, but with the new way of working and learning those disruptions wouldn’t affect functioning too much. If anything, the pandemic crisis has sparked innovation. Cloud computing, remote working, encrypted data and video conferencing have all led to businesses adapting to the inability of meeting physically.

As a result, the latest digital innovations have been adapted even by companies that were hesitant to think outside the box. Digital transformation is happening on a larger scale than ever before, and it’s only going to help these businesses in the future against stiff competition and changing consumer demand. That’s true for organizations in the healthcare, retail, education, hospitality and other sectors.

Supply Chain Diversification

The pandemic also put existing supply chains to the test. Businesses have had to make changes to their supply chain so that they don’t compromise business functioning. Now these changes could be here to stay so that businesses don’t undergo disruptions in future.

Diversification is the key so that businesses don’t rely on any particular raw material supplier in a particular country. China was the major supplier for most businesses, but the country had to shut down as the pandemic started spreading in early 2020. As a result, new partnerships and suppliers in different countries needed to be identified. Even in the future, businesses would do well not to rely on a particular country or a single supplier.

The Virtual Revolution in Healthcare

The other major area where the COVID-19 pandemic has left a lasting impression is in healthcare, particularly in the manner in which doctor consultations and chronic condition monitoring are carried out. With the pandemic, the entire healthcare machinery of various nations was focused fully on combating the spread. People with other health conditions had to make way for critical COVID-19 care, and non-COVID patients were advised not to visit hospitals physically. This made way for online consultations and virtual physician meetings using smartphones.

There is also equipment such as blood pressure monitoring devices, pulse measuring devices and other remote tools used for monitoring chronic health conditions and alerting if any alarming development was noticed that warranted physical admission to the hospital. This could continue into the future and become the new norm, by which patients, particularly the elderly, wouldn’t have to leave the comfort of their home for consultations.

Drug delivery services could obviously ensure patients get their medication delivered on time. Technologies and outsourced medical billing and coding services have already helped improve EHR maintenance and recording. While virtual consultations can help free up hospital infrastructure including beds, they can never totally replace physical meetings. Having said that, digitization and virtual technologies are important now for hospitals to function efficiently.

Re-skilling Staff to Work with Digital Automation

The pandemic has increased the reliance on artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced technologies. This has raised focus on advanced training. Businesses need to be able to perform just as efficiently remotely as before. For that, employees need to be really familiar with digital automation. This new trend is felt across all major sectors, from customer care, retail and hospitality to telecommunications and banking:

  • Auto companies are requiring dealerships to facilitate online sales of vehicles with customers checking out models through online interactive platforms,
  • Restaurants and hotels are doing away with dining in the facility,
  • Retailers are automating checkouts,
  • Meetings and conferences are being held solely online, and
  • Remote employee appraisal and performance measurement methods are being put in place

As a result, there is some investing required in employee training despite the fact they would already be familiar with some of the remote practices.

Hesitancy Removed in Re-training Employees

Training current employees is still more cost-effective than hiring new tech-savvy ones, if that’s what organizations are planning. This helps build employee loyalty as well, a priceless asset to foster better performance.

In fact, according to the World Economic Forum, over half the employees would have to be reskilled by 2022. This estimate was made back in 2018. Back in a May 2019 survey by McKinsey, nearly 90% of the surveyed managers revealed there were skill gaps faced by their companies or had the possibility of facing the issue in the coming five years. But very few were willing to do something about it. COVID-19 has changed that, though, and removed the hesitancy to re-train staff.

Getting employees up to speed is the way forward along with the increasing use of digital solutions featuring automation, remote working and artificial intelligence. Data conversion companies can also prove to be quite helpful for businesses in carrying out their day-to-day tasks.

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