In two recent posts on this website, we covered some of the positive developments in the manufacturing and service sectors that were taking place in spite of the Covid-19 emergency.
As we face a further period of lockdown in various forms across the UK, it is understandable that many people are becoming increasingly despondent because there seems to be no end in sight. However, a number of businesses have been able to adapt to the adverse circumstances created by the pandemic with incredible initiative and foresight.
We believe it is worthwhile taking a look at some examples to evaluate whether they could point the way to new business opportunities as we emerge from the current crisis. It is only natural that we should be longing to see light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. However, we should also be aware that there are points of light within the tunnel itself that may well increase in intensity as we move forward.
Adaptability and innovation
The Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated how resilient and adaptable businesses and professions in the UK can be. For instance, in our recent article about positive developments in manufacturing, we quoted a tweet from @Jefferson_MFG that read: "By the end of this year, 70% of the expected demand for PPE will be met by British manufacturers, reducing the reliance on overseas suppliers. Prior to the pandemic, just 1% of PPE was produced in the UK."
The ability of UK manufacturers to change production at short notice to meet a new market demand has been very impressive. Moreover, we believe it is likely that there will be a re-evaluation of the extent of globalisation, with greater emphasis on encouraging domestic production and shortening supply lines.
This is predictable because of the need to ensure security of supply and also due to existing concerns about the impact of global trade on the environment. These are challenging times, but a number of businesses may well find that they can launch the new products and services required in post-pandemic markets.
Resilience and collaboration
News about the UK construction industry has tended to be fairly bleak in recent months, but there are encouraging developments here too. An article in a recent issue of Construction Manager describes the results of the Autumn 2020 market report by Gleeds consultants, which found that: "Nearly two thirds of contractors (65%) plan to incorporate a greater percentage of modern methods of construction (MMC) into their projects as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic."
Noting among other encouraging developments that 72% of contractors surveyed maintained that their site productivity was back to between 80% to 100% of normal expectations, the Gleeds report concludes: “The construction industry has demonstrated great resilience over the past quarter, with a notable increase in levels of collaboration to keep developments of the UK’s urban centres moving forwards.
“As we head towards the end of 2020, flexibility, adaptability, collaboration and innovation will continue to be key watchwords to help the construction industry navigate choppy waters.”
Technology and communication
Back in May 2020 Daniel Newman, writing for Forbes, claimed that: "If the value of the massive investments in technology and innovation that we saw over the last ten to twenty years wasn’t already abundantly clear before this crisis, it should be now, particularly in several areas that have played a critical role in helping us adapt to the radical changes that were thrust upon us so suddenly: Network connectivity, the digital devices that we interface with, and the software that powers them."
The advances Newman describes in communications such as with video conferencing channels and innovations he alludes to in robotics, AI and drone deliveries would likely have happened in due course. However, it can be argued that Covid-19 acted as a spur to their increased implementation. This in turn could lead to new areas of economic growth and employment opportunities in the future.
The Covid-19 pandemic is both a national and global crisis and as yet there is no clear indication of when it will be over. However, as we have noted with our clients and in our research across industry sectors, businesses have risen to the challenges posed by the crisis in an admirable way. They have introduced new products and services, adapted and streamlined procedures, continued to offer high levels of customer care and formed new collaborative links.
At BBI Brandboost, we offer a wide range of web-based and marketing services that can support businesses during times of change. Our experienced team of expert technicians and marketing professionals can enhance the online presence of our clients and build awareness of their achievements within their target audiences. Please contact us at any time if you believe we could help your business "to navigate the choppy waters" of these challenging times.