Exit? what Exit?: Weekly Roundup – May 30 2020:

Conversations this week have continued to centre around exit planning.

Although volumes of customers in arrears continue to be down, largely thanks to the government payment holidays, with over 1.5m payment holidays on cards and loan, and nearly 11m people on furlough there is plenty of concern that we are simply in the eye of the storm. The clock is ticking, interest still accruing and all this will all need to be unwound once the payment holiday schemes end. It could be ugly.

However we have been given the gift of notice and time for this. So exit planning, and using this ‘quieter’ time to plan for the known future is in many places underway – it is the smart thing to do. [At work we have been also refreshing our exit playbook, so happy to chat to anyone on this if interested]

But with all this talk of an ‘exit’ plan, in this post I wanted to pick issue with the work exit.

Exit implies a return, a return to normal, and the way things were, and I am not sure this is where we are headed.

Research (and maths) is pointing to a much more prolonged cycle, likely a second wave and some experts are starting to discuss the likely reality that coronavirus will never go away.

So it is any likely exit plan, in reality, need to be more of a transformation plan to invest now and set up the infrastructure for the future. So to help provoke discussion I have added some thoughts and questions below

  • Remote infrastructure – working from home, schooling from home will continue. Set up connectivity, think about your place of work and the working environment at home, and for homeschooling too
  • Remote working – Can this all be done remotely? How? Do employees only come in the office once a month… or at all? How do you keep teamwork and motivation high? (schools need to think about this too). What about new hires and training?
  • Office infrastructure – do you need as much office space? In a central location? What will the offices need to look like? More fun, collaboration, social – if people are infrequently in the function of the office will likely change
  • Digital journeys – how can 100% digital journeys be created? How can the number of clicks been reduced – it is all about removing customer friction
  • Fraud – Fraudster activity has seen a significant jump through this crisis. Digital is an opportunity for them, as with lower costs they can make more attempts. Make sure you and your company processes are protected (some discussion on whether this will hit FinTechs hard this week). How are you looking at this?
  • Supply chain shortages – another lockdown or spike in cases could result in another supply chain crisis. Are you prepared?
  • Business model – will this change? Some of the things we did before may no longer happen, how do you stay ahead of this curve?

For this new reality, the lucky money has the infrastructure already, the smart money, however [in my view] is using this time to invest and prepare now.

This may not be optimistic, but getting ready now, whilst we have this short window of opportunity will likely pay dividends in the future. We will be prepared and be on the front foot this time.

Have a good weekend everyone …. @chris_w_tweet

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