C-Suite Intelligence 7th July 2020

Winmark's C-Suite Intelligence service provides news, content and research to help leaders across all C-Suite functions address the exceptional challenges they are facing.

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Building supply chain resilience through digital transformation
Significant supply chain disruption was caused by COVID-19, requiring leaders to embrace digital capabilities that protect against future disruptions. Companies from all industries are doubling down on investments in advanced technologies - from blockchain to artificial intelligence (AI), to machine learning and intelligent automation.

These six steps will help steer your transformation efforts towards improved performance and enhanced customer experience. 
  1. Start with a clear business strategy. With strategic priorities in mind, you can assess the need to augment or reconfigure your business model.
  2. Understand the cost of complexity versus the value of variety. While there is value in meeting growing customer demand for choice, offering too wide a range of the wrong products and services is often not profitable.
  3. Leverage data to improve core competencies. It is likely that your business intelligence is served by dozens of different data streams, but are you able to leverage the data in a meaningful way to improve existing capabilities?
  4. Lead with performance, not technology. Forget the hype surrounding the latest technological trends and focus on their present capabilities and the needs of the customers they serve.
  5. Upskill your workforce. Whatever the technological maturity of your business, the success of your future supply chain strategy depends on your people.
  6. Embrace new partnerships. In the future, no single organisation is likely to have the full suite of digital capabilities under one roof. 

Prepare for the US and China to decouple
Harvard Business Review
The future of China – US relations is expected to be tense and increasingly confrontational. This article considers strategic responses to a potential uncoupling of links between the two countries; and evaluates whether organisations should:
  1. Reduce their presence in Hong Kong.
  2. Relocate supply chains to politically safer countries.
  3. Re-evaluate relationships with Chinese companies and universities.
Why some retailers are thriving amid disruption
MIT Sloan Management Review
This article explores, using case studies, five strategies that retailers have employed to successfully adapt to the current crisis. These strategies have relevance to all businesses seeking to make a successful digital pivot.
  1. Accelerate operations through multichannel marketing.
  2. Retrain for revamps.
  3. Empower teams.
  4. Fuel offline traffic.
  5. Virtualise the back-end supply chain.
COVID-19 and the employee experience: How leaders can seize the moment
McKinsey & Company
McKinsey share insights to help leaders support employees through the next phase of the crisis:
  1. As a leader, you’ve had to make sweeping changes in recent months to address your employees’ most pressing needs, and your workforce thinks your instincts were probably right. Build on the trust and affiliation you’ve earned by continuing to be present, action oriented, empathetic, and fully transparent.
  2. In addition to basic needs (safety and security), three other experience themes (trusting relationships, social cohesion, and individual purpose) are having a disproportionate impact on employee well-being and work effectiveness. Enable improvements in those areas by prioritising actions that will address a broad set of needs for the majority of your workforce.
  3. Changes are hitting your people in widely diverging (and sometimes unexpected) ways. Some are struggling, and some are thriving. Use a combination of science, technology, data, and analytics to segment your employees like you would your customers and tailor interventions to support them in personalised and meaningful ways.  

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