Nearly half of all Asian factories cited a variety of issues, including a shortage of raw materials and declining sales. Nevertheless, despite this bleak perspective, many made positive life changes.
What enabled some of those producers to weather the storm?
Manufacturers that are weathering a storm need to be resilient, creative, and open to seeing challenges as possibilities. Businesses that depended on pre-existing technologies, such as IoT-connected gadgets, were able to quickly adapt. And those pivots prevented them from having to think about filing for bankruptcy or closing.
In many respects, manufacturing is still struggling today. But it's not exactly been vanquished. The same is true for seven other sectors, which used the worst of the epidemic to generate some of their finest concepts and solutions.
1. Institutional Lending
Shutdowns drove financial organisations of all sizes, including banks and mortgage brokers, outside of their comfort zones.
Customers still want quick access to cash, but in a method that didn't endanger their health. In order to push for swift improvements, MeridianLink, which went public in July 2021 at a $2 billion value, took the lead.
MeridianLink contributed to levelling the playing field for all lending institutions by offering technological enhancements to its smaller clients, which included credit unions and community banks. Consumers liked using digital channels to apply to institutions and get their applications approved.
Today, financial institutions continue to streamline lending to get it as close to a nearly real-time approval and transfer of funds as possible.
2. Occupational Upskilling, Training, and Reskilling
Since 2020, many people have discovered that their work obligations are no longer relevant. The necessity for quick, broad occupational upskilling has resulted from this.
However, employees who desire to reskill quickly find that previous answers to corporate-level education demands fall short. To obtain a conventional certification or degree, they cannot wait two or four years.
This problem has been addressed by creative educational institutions by reconsidering how working adults might exchange knowledge. For instance, to create targeted 30-day degree programmes, healthcare education provider Carrus collaborated with Walgreens, 3M, and CVS. The courses are designed to help people enter the medical industry right immediately.
Carrus' strategy is similar to that of Google, the digital giant that provides a popular certification programme designed to replace traditional education.
3. Changes in Healthcare
Wellness and good health are now widely accepted. Customers are eager for knowledge as infections and vaccinations are being discussed more widely. Additionally, people are talking more about how to have more fulfilling lives.
It should come as no surprise that a lot of people and families desire to have greater say in the healthcare decisions that are made. The patient-doctor-insurance connection has changed, ushering in a new era of caregiving and openness.
Consider telemedicine. Telehealth usage increased 78 times between February and April 2020. It has now entered the mainstream and appears to be heading towards a $250 billion global valuation. This is encouraging for healthcare providers and the communities they serve because it demonstrates a commitment to lower obstacles and increase access to care.
4. Food Services
Restaurants, bars, and coffee shops in the food industry had some of the worst financial effects during the epidemic. So how did some people manage to survive?
Those who were watching saw that folks still want a break from preparing food. They simply didn't want to go anywhere to acquire fresh food. The answer was to create novel delivery options, which included collaborating with companies like GrubHub and UberEats.
DoorDash's growth of 220% quarter-over-quarter in the first year of Covid may be used to illustrate how profitable the industry can be for suppliers of delivery services. Similar to its rivals, DoorDash expanded its delivery and pickup alternatives to maintain its growth. As a result, more people are comfortable ordering lunch and supper online, which has encouraged eateries to make their menus more accessible.
5. Business-Focused Software Development
It would probably be difficult to go down any neighbourhood street without encountering a remote worker.
In certain instances, businesses haven't internalised its personnel after over two years, a practise known as The Great Wait. However, it has fallen on business software system developers and partners to maintain high levels of productivity, efficiency, and communication in the meantime.
For instance, Zoom had a huge increase in usage and exposure after March 2020. In response, Zoom modified its services to remove obstacles. Despite Microsoft Teams' best efforts to replace Zoom, the term "videoconferencing" is still associated with the Zoom brand. Cloud-based project management and CRM technologies are two other leaders that have promoted cooperation among virtual teams.
6. Change in Automotive Sales
Who would have guessed that consumers would be prepared to buy cars without first giving them a test drive? No, not the majority of auto dealers. However, the epidemic showed that incredible inventions may really be sparked by necessity.
Dealerships and independent sellers shortened the purchasing procedure and increased their attention to internet sales to prevent losing money on vehicles languishing in their lots. Digital used vehicle dealers like Carvana were certainly not a novel concept. 2020 was a great year for Carvana, which sold over 200,000 cars.
However, auto dealers weren't about to let their digital-only rivals continue to dominate. Therefore, vendors reduced the pressure, communicated a lot, and made the purchasing procedure nearly too simple. They discovered that the general public valued a more considerate, customer-focused service.
7. Recruitment Changes
Milliards of individuals have left their jobs and lousy employers as a result of The Great Resignation. Others are ready to establish roots in new businesses, while some have chosen to pursue their entrepreneurial goals.
However, do not anticipate them to reply to job postings and benefits that were successful in 2019. Candidates nowadays have changed their expectations and are prepared to wait for the ideal fit. Recruiters have started to update their sourcing, analysing, and interviewing methods since they are all too aware of this.
First, they advise companies to prioritise employment flexibility wherever feasible. Second, to assist eliminate or lessen prejudice, they are deploying AI software. Finally, recruiting managers are using the most recent tools to eliminate any hiring bottlenecks.
True, it can be hard to see a bright side to any global catastrophe. The 21 months from March 2020 to December 2021, however, saw major changes for numerous industries. And that ultimately serves both the interests of the businesses and the customers they serve.