What are we currently learning about managing uncertainty within our businesses?

One thing that is clear just now while the external global economic environment is so unpredictable, is that the businesses that are surviving (and, if they are in the right field, even thriving) are those that have been able to reduce the levels of internal uncertainty.

 

This is effectively reducing ‘guesswork’, and that comes down to visibility, accuracy of information, control and meaningful scenario planning.

 

Our partners at Oracle NetSuite recently published a white paper that illustrates the importance of this principle of reducing uncertainty, and it focuses our attention on:

  • Visibility
  • Process
  • Performance
  • People
  • Agility

 

Visibility is about taking stock and the accuracy and accessibility of your information. It’s about determining your assets, liabilities and short-term cash requirements. This then allows you to run meaningful scenarios – best, average and worst case; short, medium and long term – to determine their effect on your KPIs.

 

Process is about shifting the focus from long-term to short-term priorities, establishing and communicating what these are so that everyone understands what needs to happen. It’s about identifying sources of cash and about making changes that can improve your short-term position.

 

Performance is about tracking your KPIs and, now more than ever, it’s important to be able to do this in real-time. As the Peter Drucker quote goes, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” It’s also about reducing cycle time for key activities even if your resources are stretched, including month-end.

 

People is about quality and frequency of communication with your people and doing what you can to retain your team to come out of the crisis strongly, including looking at government assistance with this side of things.

 

Agility is about switching some things up and somethings down, and continually reviewing things. It’s about quick, informed decision making for the short-term, but it’s also about looking at whether there are opportunities to build strength and skills in your team that will put you in a good position at the other end of this.

 

Much of the above comes down to your systems. We’ve had customers tell us that they have no idea how they would have coped without their NetSuite system, that they couldn’t have manoeuvred their way through this crisis if they’d not been on the fully cloud-based solution, accessible from anywhere and providing them with real-time visibility across not only their financials but other key functions, and making their scenario planning not only more meaningful but much quicker.

 

As well as those customers that are managing their way through a downturn, there are those that have had the opposite issue, and their systems will be supporting them to do this and adapt to new priorities and levels of transactions. Customers including:

  • Deliver Net – supporting the care home sector with crucial supplies,
  • Skanwear – their PPE being more in demand than ever,
  • BioClad – supplying hygienic wall cladding to Nightingale hospitals across the UK,
  • Loganair – supporting the air ambulance service and providing essential air transport for key workers, and
  • WiFi SPARK – delivering a solution to help hospital patients virtually visit loved ones during lockdown.

 

When business becomes challenging, we’ve got to find ways to adapt. We recommend reading the full white paper from NetSuite, where a three-step solution – 1. Get visibility, 2. Gain control, 3. Adapt and Win – is outlined and there are useful checklists to guide you through the key steps.

 

View or download the white paper here – https://eurekasolutions.co.uk/managing-business-uncertainty/ and feel free to get in touch with our team if now seems like a good time to be thinking about your systems, or you want to be better prepared for the gradual upturn as it unfolds.