Survive, Stabilise & Strive
One thing that the year 2020 has taught most of us is the element of ‘effective planning’, both in business and personal situations. Effective planning in this context means planning for sustainability, often looking at the shorter to medium terms rather than long-term, understanding the risks involved and having practical, reasonable options to resolve potential challenges.
The economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic represents the largest economic shock the world has experienced in decades. The June 2020 edition of Global Economic Prospects describes the immediate and near-term outlook for the impact of the pandemic and the long-term damage it has dealt to prospects for growth, citing a 5.2% contraction in global GDP in 2020, thus making it the deepest global recession in decades, despite the extraordinary efforts by world governments to counter the downturn.
However, the recent global survey on economic sentiment performed by McKinsey suggests that executives’ views have largely held steady from September, to which the outlooks on economy and company prospects have remained more positive than negative, although the optimism on global economy has softened. The graph below (Figure 1) explains the different levels of expectations (Better, Same or Worse) by the number of respondents to the survey conducted. The figure shows that the number of respondents expecting global economic conditions to improve has decreased to 51%, whilst the numbers predicting conditions will stay the same has increased since September. The numbers expecting worsening conditions have remained at its lowest since the declaration of the pandemic in March.
All in all, it is a bit of a mixed bag against a backdrop of a global recession, whichever way you view it. In reality, there are businesses that are doing well throughout this year and are predicting strong growth in 2021 and beyond. There are businesses that are ‘steadying their ship’ in 2020, doing what is necessary to maintain their existing revenue streams and streamlining their internal operations and processes. On the same thread, there are also companies who are fighting to stay afloat, ensuring that they are viable as a business in the coming 12 months.
Being an agile software technology partner, Ctrl Hub realigned its business strategy to meet the requirements of its customers and market sectors, which changed as a result of the pandemic. We realised that our customers were facing different challenges which could be associated with the different categories described previously. We realised that we needed to plan and execute a strategy that focused on helping our customers with their recovery in structured phases. Hence, Ctrl Hub’s 3S Initiative – Survive, Stabilise, Strive, was put into action in April.
Our Survive phase is generally for businesses & customers who do not have a technology solution/platform within their business and hence require some level of technology consultancy and services to help them with improving their efficiency. These customers are very cost-conscious, and as part of Ctrl Hub’s service, we help identify some quick-wins and highlight some instant savings. We also help the customer with prioritisation, in order to generate progress and create positive momentum. An example would be the creation of MACC19, which is a free platform that helped our customers, mainly in the construction sector, to manage their workforce (personnel, sub-contractors) and equipment on multiple sites during the first nationwide lockdown. This freeware enabled customers to ditch their paper-based processes and replace them with a simple to use paperless, digital solution. As a result, clients who had projects that were compliant with the lockdown regulations were able to continue their work on specific sites. At the end of the lockdown period, some of these companies decided to move forward with our complete SaaS platform as there was clear value generated in their business. Explore our website to find out more about the various services and modules we offer as part of the Ctrl Hub SaaS platform, or simply get in touch with us directly.
We focus our Stabilise phase on customers who are trying to maintain consistency in their operations. Efficiency and productivity factors are still key elements for the business, but they are looking to enable quicker business improvements based on clearer processes, audit trails, etc. This results in some form of change management, which would result in better management of the workforce, assets and sites. Cost is still a factor, but the business is ready to invest if the ROI is achieved/delivered. Ctrl Hub always offers a pragmatic approach in all situations, and this is no different. We are known to offer a very high quality of service to all our customers, and we do this by targeting small, defined packages and building client confidence with the platform. Ctrl Hub recently became the technology partner for a well-known utility business providing power to millions of homes in the UK. We were initially contacted by the customer to discuss their requirement for a scheduling tool. They had been working with a third-party vendor over the previous 12 months, but that process had not delivered an outcome that was satisfactory to them. Following an initial meeting and workshop, Ctrl Hub put forward a proposal to develop a bespoke scheduling tool in a three-month time period. The bespoke scheduling tool would deliver enhanced visibility across the customer’s operations and would also highlight areas where operative time and resource was not being utilised effectively. With the results delivered, we were then requested to expand our services with the customer, moving on to develop a people/competency management solution across their entire supply chain. Management of competency and authorisation through Ctrl Hub will automatically feed into scheduling. This will allow schedulers to see whether an operative will be competent/authorised/compliant at the point in time when they are scheduled to deliver a task. Speak to one of our experienced team members and explore the benefits of having your operations managed in a clear, streamlined way.
Finally, our Strive phase is specifically for our customers who are very clear in their strategic plans, i.e. there is a clear investment for growth and the aspiration to be leaders and/or experts in their space/sector. Digitalisation and data are intrinsic to their business strategy and these are the driving forces behind their sales and customer acquisitions over the next few years. They see the need in managing various elements in an integrated, efficient, open and transparent manner. Regulatory requirements (business policies, QMS, HSE, etc.) will feed into the execution of the strategy. This rings true for another major customer of Ctrl Hub, a prominent UK utility organisation that engaged with Ctrl Hub to develop a field data capture and scheduling tool to be implemented across all their networks. As a result of the quality of work delivered to the customer, Ctrl Hub was then requested to assist in providing a document management capability that would enable our customer’s investment planning functions to comply with the relevant contractual obligations to make work stacks available to their respective CMOs. As part of this major undertaking, Ctrl Hub is working closely with the customer on the wider project delivery and the required integration with SAP and other software systems, in delivering a truly game-changing Operations Management Enterprise Solution.