TSP • @myTSPnet
If there was a magic word that could sum up the current business landscape throughout 2020, it would be “pivot.” Creativity and flexibility are hallmarks of successful businesses, but these qualities have been tested like never before with the current health crisis. Regardless of the industry, there are numerous examples of companies shifting to join the fight against the virus while continuing to provide services to customers.
Just take a look at how Dyson made headlines for providing thousands of ventilators, manufacturers have been churning out reusable masks, and even theaters have been skipping traditional releases to instead charge a premium for movie streaming. For almost every single business, there was no choice but to pivot in order to survive and rethink what future success looks like.
As we continue to adjust to the new normal and potentially brace for another wave of the coronavirus, here are three major trends we are seeing on how companies are continuing to pivot during 2021 and beyond.
BRINGING IN-PERSON SERVICES ONLINE
Before COVID-19, many industries, like retail, were already doubling down on online presence and digital strategies. However, for other services, such as physical therapy, it was challenging to move from in-person to entirely online. Due to the in-person nature of the work, the need for social distancing seemingly brought physical therapy services to a complete halt.
Fortunately, telehealth has been a saving grace for physical therapy offices with many utilizing online platforms to connect with patients directly. Telehealth physical therapy services begin with a one-to-one personalized physical therapy treatment session guided by a licensed therapist. After the first 60-minute session, the therapist will discuss your expected treatment plan and duration. From there, patients receive an individualized home exercise program to complete on their own time to make recovery progress.
In March 2020, there was a reported 154% increase in telehealth visits compared to the year prior and that number has only continued to grow throughout the pandemic. While telehealth has been around for many years, it seems 2021 might be the year it officially becomes mainstream.
CONVERTING PRODUCTION LINES
In addition to fears of an inadequate number of hospital beds and toilet paper, the global mask shortage created another layer of danger. Countries across the globe were facing unprecedented shortages of healthcare supplies needed to combat the pandemic. Nurses without gowns started wearing garbage bags and healthcare workers who were running out of masks were told to use scarves or bandanas instead.
As fear and anxiety have spread, so have good deeds. Companies around the globe are finding ways to give back to their communities, lending support to those who need it the most. When the COVID-19 outbreak began, one of the first items to disappear from grocery and pharmacy shelves was hand sanitizer, and manufacturers weren’t able to keep up with the frenzied demand.
Enter Anheuser-Busch, a company that began brewing more than just beer during the pandemic. The company stepped up to help and is now producing hand sanitizer out of several of its flagship and partner breweries across the U.S. to support the American Red Cross and critical relief efforts. The initial production runs from their New York brewery totaled nearly 127,000 eight-ounce bottles of hand sanitizers that were sent across the country.
EXPANDING OPERATIONS TO MEET NEW DEMANDS
Many of the companies that Americans depend on the most have needed to hire in mass and expand operations. Stores like Amazon and CVS Health are now hiring thousands of employees. Similarly, telecommunication companies like Zoom hired hundreds to support the massive surge in online demand as companies have shifted to remote work.
Business models have always been shaped by supply and demand shifts, but this year has been the epitome of this concept. Many manufacturing companies, for example, will be profoundly affected by the structural and likely permanent shocks to globalization brought on by the pandemic. With major markets such as the U.S. raising trade barriers, for example, many companies are reshaping critical components in their supply chains — from R&D down to assembly.
Although there may be light at the end of the tunnel, one thing is certain — this new normal will not resemble the world we’ve worked in before. In times of crisis, it is easy for organizations to default to old habits, but new approaches can be invaluable. As companies look to 2021 and beyond, they must rethink their practices to adapt to the times, which ultimately prove the resilience and adaptability of America’s entrepreneurs.