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The COVID-19 Effect on Manufacturing: Accelerating the Move to Digital

COVID-19’s Impact on the Manufacturing Industry

With COVID-19 and the oil-price volatility, manufacturers have been among the most affected.

The truth is, this crisis brought detrimental impact to an industry that was already in a ‘mild recession.’

Now, every manufacturer is facing the startling fact that their business plans for 2020 and beyond are now worse than outdated; they are irrelevant. Choosing to follow the current plan could be detrimental to the success, or even the survival of the business. The truth is, the way manufacturers buy, sell, and engage with customers, distributors, and dealers has suddenly changed. Planning for the impact of that change is consuming manufacturers — especially when the situation and even the data changes hourly.

In fact, The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reported that 53.1% of manufacturers anticipate a change in their operations in the coming months, 35.5% say that they are already facing supply chain disruptions, and more than 78% say that uncertainty around the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to have a (negative) financial impact on their businesses.

What is the Right Answer?

In the short term, the best strategy manufacturers can employ is to start with responsibly protecting prices and margins through agile, dynamic management and to do so based on an understanding of the market signals: shifting customer needs, volatile supply chains and commodity costs, and strong pricing discipline throughout the business.

In the mid-term, realignment phase, sales teams must be equipped with insight and tools to respond immediately and accurately to customer requests. Only through this will manufacturers remain relevant in the industry.

In the long-term optimization phase, the mantra is simple: optimize online or lose business to those that do. For more information, we invite you to read this eBook.

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