Coronavirus: More Than a Wake-Up Call?
February 26, 2020

Business leaders understand that as opportunities grow, so do vulnerabilities. For global manufacturers, it is shaping up to be an especially challenging year. Just two months in and already, the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) is presenting automotive, medical, life science, electronics, shipping, and a host of other sectors with material operational threats and costly disruptions.

Teams in the throes of developing or revising strategic plans are paying close attention to this disruption as they weigh opportunities for growth along with ways to mitigate risks. After all, such disruption can come not just from an existential threat like coronavirus, but uncertainties caused by more concrete realities like continued tariffs, evolving trade deals, and constant pressures around demands for digital transformation and adaptation of Industry 4.0.

Still, the coronavirus outbreak originating in Wuhan, China, has been an especially vivid disruption, striking fear into the hearts of many business leaders. Choked supply chains, restricted travel, and the reduction of global shipping container volumes are causing product disruptions for all companies, with smaller companies most vulnerable.

In the absence of having built a hedging strategy into the supply chain from the outset, there will likely be many companies unable to recover quickly, if at all, from COVID-19 disruption. But for businesses heavily invested in the global supply chain that contemplated operational hedges into their model, and ensured they were ready if needed, the ability to withstand disruption improves considerably.

The Wall Street Journal, World Economic Forum, World Health Organizations (WHO), amongst many other authoritative sources, has provided insightful articles, webinars, and videos on the potential short and long-term impacts of this terrible situation. Their commentaries appropriately range from varying degrees of government action and inaction to victim statistics and speculative business and sector implications. No one yet knows the severity of human and economic damage this catastrophe will yield. All that is known is that it will be significant.

Here at Audere Partners, we are looking to respond to this event from a different perspective. Like everyone else, we see the painfully illustrative human tragedy and suffering, business exposure, and global supply chain challenges it depicts. However, we also see a circumstance from which there are a critical business and operational learnings and opportunities.

DECISIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES

In an age of growing complexity, political tumult, tariffs, trade deals, digital transformation, Industry 4.0, and more, manufacturers are immersed in strategic decisions daily. Their primary challenge is to find ways to measure and manage the critical business and operational outcomes objectively and verifiably measure results. Data and analytics are increasingly helpful in framing challenges and providing decision support inputs. Translating the data to precise needs and driving optimal solutions through implementation is where many organizations are most challenged.

We work with and see first-hand how great leaders and strong teams perform, making rapid and timely decisions intended to deliver desired business and operational outcomes. They have robust Management Systems and streamlined decision support processes.
They resolutely pursue optimal outcomes and consistently strive to help their organizations stay ahead. However, a surprising number of these focused leaders and businesses are still falling short of delivering key business objectives.

There is a multitude of reasons why even the best-run businesses falter. Often studying challenged initiatives in hindsight might make the misses or problems clearer, most organizations still struggle to “operationalize” those valuable learnings. Especially in today’s complex operating environments and global supply chains, there is little latitude for error or sub-optimal performance.

We see in challenges such as COVID-19 that ultimately the leaders of successful global organizations have a few critical absolutes with which they must reconcile their business model: shareholders have entrusted definition and delivery of optimal outcomes to them, and they are expected to resolve issues/opportunities within the shortest time possible.

After an exhaustive study, we have identified fractures within even the best performing organizational management execution systems. From these learnings, we have created an operating framework that shores up all of these elements. The result is a turnkey approach, applicable to every organization, which predictably and sustainably enables them to perform at a level to deliver optimal outcomes for every strategic initiative. We refer to this as the “Maximum Effect.”

The “Maximum Effect” operating model enables businesses to understand and prioritize issues/opportunities more rapidly. Its related management execution system ensures the organization’s ability to implement timely, robust solutions iteratively. It enables objective determination of optimal decision and execution efficiency and guides implementation to a 100% predictable outcome and timeline.

“Maximum Effect” is universally relevant. The model simultaneously optimizes outcomes and minimizes windows of vulnerability, especially critical in today’s complex global manufacturing environment with all of its vulnerabilities.

Successful Chief Executives are generally focused and impatient people. A Maximum Effect management execution system focuses and empowers their organizations to operate with maximum speed and agility in seizing upon opportunities and mitigating risks, producing the most favorable impact for their stakeholders. Our approach empowers those that need to be empowered to deliver desired business outcomes and results.

Comments (2)

  1. Idalia Pawelczyk

    Apr 04, 2020

    Thank you for the article, a great read.

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