Innovating in times of crisis: a challenge and a necessity
These are turbulent times globally. After a historic pandemic came a war that dislocated the markets, mainly for raw materials. Analysts believe that the crisis will eventually lead to a recession.
That means less investment and less dealmaking. However, there is a segment that makes a virtue out of necessity. History shows that it is in times of recession that people bet much more on innovation.
From the Harvard Business Review website, Scott Anthony suggests three reasons:
Firstly because new products or services are produced that change businesses. As happened with Airbnb in 2008 when it attracted thrifty millennials looking for an economical way to travel, or with the creation of Square (Block), the financial services startup, at the height of the financial system’s disrepute in 2009.
The second reason is that these are times when simpler and cheaper solutions are proposed, as in the case of McDonalds in the post-war period.
Finally, he points out that recessions can be good times for companies to make drastic changes. Like Adobe’s radical transformation in 2008.
Anthony proposes that in these complex times, innovation resources should be concentrated in places where they can have the greatest impact, that resources should be focused on the customer and that strategic experimental innovations should be implemented as this is the best time to do them.
The best opportunities to innovate during crisis
Here some options that resonate across industries and business segments globally.
Account reconciliation: In times of crisis it is key to reduce risks. Proper accounting is fundamental to manage accounts in an optimal way.
Account reconciliation ensures that the data is correct and that invoices, receipts and payments match the actual cash flow and the data provided by the banks.
In this context, companies that do not want to lose ground to the competition can appeal to account reconciliation and go a step further in optimization through the use of so-called Robotic Process Automation (RPA) that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning capabilities.
These technologies are capable of analyzing and evaluating a large volume of data. They can perform repetitive tasks with zero margin of error: quickly, accurately and effectively.
The system quickly verifies the congruence of data and can detect any mismatches. After investigating reconciliation items, specialized teams can focus their time on analysis and error correction.
This results in:
- More robustness and accuracy
- Greater consistency of records
- Savings in time, costs and resources.
Process automation: The Covid-19 pandemic caused companies to quickly adjust their operations and begin to make strategic changes in processes and technology.
A Deloitte report lists some of the advantages of doing so.
First of all, it allows a quick response to customers. In times when volumes go from stable to dizzying and customized models move to unpredictable fluctuations, intelligent automation can provide solutions to offload excess demand and create new options.
Secondly, it frees up the capabilities of employees and consultants by using available technology to respond quickly to customer needs.
Process automation can function as a retention and sales engine. Thanks to the proactive support provided to agents and analysts, they can evaluate customer risks, generate customer profiles, generate automatic campaigns, validate products, and warn of delinquency or the risk of delinquency.
The implementation of this technology makes it possible not only to transform operations, beyond immediate response, but also to anticipate commercial needs in crisis situations.
Incorporate data management tools: One of the keys to the success of an organization’s response to a crisis is the ability to manage and make its data productive to deal with these types of complex cycles. Having the right tools in place to productively manage data helps organizations coordinate a wide-ranging, integrated and well-timed strategy.
It is important to establish a way to collect and store data, as well as ensure that everyone from data specialists to policy makers perform analysis and make decisions based on high-quality, validated data.
validated, high-quality data.
According to a report by The Valley, taken by Aggity, data is a must-have asset that will help solve the economic downturn in five ways.
- Obtain real results on the impact of the actions carried out.
- Identify opportunities for innovation. Data analysis applied to measuring the impact of an action makes it possible to identify opportunities based on data, automate processes and optimize strategies.
- Use data as a business asset. For example, through the development of artificial intelligence models that help solve problems and/or convert them into products and services that generate a real impact on people, companies and society.
- Making decisions based on analysis: On data from different sources, such as own web platforms, CRM, sales portals, e-commerce, etc. A work methodology that integrates technologies allows taking advantage of the value offered by data and helps companies to optimize their business strategies, automate processes and achieve better results.
- Having multifunctional profiles in the team. With the incorporation of tools, these teams can be part of the automation and focus their time on analysis and improvement tasks.
Conciliac EDM is a data management platform that allows automating all the processes mentioned above to optimize reconciliation, control, validation, file uploading and transformation, among others. With the incorporation of these tools, you will experience an immediate reduction and optimization of time and an improvement in productivity of up to 1000% or more.
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