The ramifications of the pandemic to global economies continue to be a developing situation. It’s affected big and small businesses alike and has trickled down to the individual levels of society. Several companies were forced to close their doors as traditional businesses were designed for active human participation and face-to-face interaction.
With the lockdown orders keeping most people indoors, schools and offices have been forced to adapt virtual or remote setups. However, amid the pandemic, there have also been businesses that have adapted and successfully transitioned into the new normal. They implemented stop gaps and innovative measures to survive.
One of the prevailing factors to their success has been integrating digital and online measures to continue doing business. Digital initiatives and online applications have helped them minimize face-to-face interaction and adhere to health and safety protocols. The pursuit of eCommerce has also helped companies generate sales and revenues as more and more people start making their purchases online.
Outside of technological developments, creative business solutions that make the best of the current machinery and equipment available in new ways also help keep companies afloat. Different business sectors have had varying methods of adapting to the new normal we find ourselves in. Let’s take a look at some of the industries most affected by the pandemic.
The airline industry was one of the most severely affected industries as human travels came to a complete halt at the pandemic’s peak. At the same time, freight services or the transport of goods were also curtailed and limited to essential goods. Most airlines needed to streamline their workforce and find new avenues for potential revenue. Due to the unprecedented drop in passengers, airlines transformed their passenger aircraft to carry essential cargo instead.
Though reduced in comparison to previous years, the demand was still very much present for both domestic and international needs. In preparation for the return of regular passengers, airlines have also utilized new technologies to help travelers accomplish necessary travel documents online and provide them with real-time contact tracing measures in and out of the airport.
The food service industry initially had a tough time adjusting to the pandemic. Losing the natural foot traffic of a busy location had restaurants struggling to survive the prolonged lockdowns. However, soon enough, restaurants slowly started to implement changes to their supply chain, overhead costs, and e-commerce avenues to reach and serve their patrons better.
Sourcing their raw ingredients from local farmers or closer suppliers allowed them to reduce the risk of delayed shipments and maintain their daily production needs. Other restaurants also went ahead and ditched any overhead and rent costs associated with their lease by going mobile or doing things completely from an industrial kitchen. Ditching rent costs and utilizing food trucks, for example, allowed restaurants to change locations depending on their market’s demands.
In contrast, supermarkets became an essential part of the pandemic experience. The need for essential goods brought by your local grocery store had these companies, both big and small, developing new ways to protect their employees and customers. Fast-moving consumer goods continued to demand even as the health and safety protocols were at their peak. This demand partnered with the demand for fresh produce and cleaning supplies put groceries at risk for crowding and possibly poor social distancing protocols.
As we move into the new normal, we’ve seen supermarkets develop personal shopping services, mobile applications, and call-in ordering systems, which have all made them a safer place for consumers. The development of eCommerce platforms for groceries was something in the works even before the pandemic, with specialty stores allowing their customers to pre-order and shop for their favorite products online. Launching the platforms on such a vast scale, however, in such a short amount of time, showed how innovation fueled by essential need delivers some pretty incredible results.
The medical industry, which perhaps went through tremendous pressure to adapt to the pandemic properly, has shown great strides in adapting to the new normal. Hospitals all over the nation were plunged into unchartered waters when the pandemic first hit citizens. Doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals risked their lives to help those in need. Hospitals’ health and safety protocols were brought to another level by adding technology into the mix.
Many hospital personnel was handed physical trackers or mobile applications to serve contact tracing needs. Telemedicine or Telehealth provided patients at home an avenue to talk to their doctor without the risk of getting sick. Disinfection services, hospital equipment, food delivery cart, and scrubs manufacturers all stepped up to the plate to meet the increase in hospital demands.
Understanding how the pandemic has positively and adversely affected various industries unveils the tips and tricks businesses need to adapt to new market needs. Proper utilization of the tools at hand in your industry helps to pivot even the most traditional business models.