It’s no secret that coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the business world. With production grinding to a halt and essential workforce personnel grounded worldwide, businesses have been left gasping for air. Everyone — employees and executives alike — can only watch it all unfold from behind their living room windows.
This has many wondering: what will the landscape look like when this is all over?
Regrettably, the coronavirus will have a disastrous impact on business revenues and is likely to claim many casualties. Around 100 major US retailers closed their physical stores as of March 23, global stock markets are plunging into an abyss of uncertain depth, and millions are losing their jobs. The toll will be immense.
As with all cataclysmic moments throughout history, though, we will emerge on the other side into a new, smarter world. We know this because it’s already happening.
For the past decade or more, industry conferences have practically boiled over with talk of digital transformation. Everyone was aware of the importance of digitizing their supply chains and of all the opportunities this would generate. The problem, however, is that there was no pressing need to do so — until now.
Those companies that proactively digitized and learned to harness the power of technology gained on their competition. They leveraged remote factory self-inspections, an open network of data collection, and machine learning. Their costs dropped. Any data they needed was available immediately, sorted and analyzed for them by AI. Decision-making capabilities increased exponentially. More resources were available for higher-value activities. Their supply chain operations became suddenly agile and limber, problems more quickly spottable and solvable.
And then the coronavirus hit. One of the largest challenges, according to Inspectorio CEO and Co-Founder, Carlos Moncayo, has been an inability to perform quality inspections. “For the next 12 to 18 months, travel and mobility will be so limited that nearly everything will need to be done remotely,” he wrote in a recent article for Inspectorio. This unfortunately includes all quality, sustainability, and social inspections — a process which, when skipped, can quickly put companies in the red.
Yet those companies that digitized, including those currently making the switch, are now able to continue production even as others struggle. One of the primary reasons for this is that a digital inspections platform like Inspectorio empowers vendors and factories to perform their own self-inspections without sacrificing oversight or quality. Traditional companies, which rely on third parties to ensure product quality, are finding their inspectors turned away at the factory door due to coronavirus restrictions. Those using the Inspectorio platform are not only performing inspections uninterrupted, but they are doing so more effectively, more easily, and at lower cost.
This illustrates how the business world will look fundamentally different at the end of this. Companies that were proactive in adopting digital platforms are faring much better, and as a result, are more fit to weather the storm. Much like natural selection, a digitized supply chain appears to be a selected trait for survival — and those that resist this change are slowly being thinned out by the sheer scale of this pandemic.
This is in line with the overall trend toward remote work, which this virus has pushed firmly into the forefront. According to an article by Politico, remote work will be the norm in the post-coronavirus world: “Once companies sort out their remote work dance steps, it will be harder—and more expensive—to deny employees those options.” Inspections are key to the success of retailers, and considering that most inspectors do their work overseas, it is surprising that more companies haven’t seized the opportunity to make them remote.
It isn’t too late, but now is the time to act. Moncayo writes, “we have seen companies fully migrate to self-inspection models in a matter of days, leveraging the standardization, connectivity and visibility that [the Inspectorio] platform offers.” With a proven ability to quickly integrate with even the largest retailers in the world, Inspectorio is truly the missing puzzle piece for those who intend to get through this battle.