With more than half a year gone by since the onset of the COVID-19, “Business is not the same anymore”. The significance of this phrase can be found amongst every part, starting from the disruption of supply chains and updating new company policies to postponing crucial business events and deals.
Needless to say, businesses across all domains are facing major challenges today, and this is expected to continue until the impact of the COVID-19 subsides. But on closer analysis, it shows that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been the worst for certain industries from both the Business to Business and Business to Consumer sectors.
When it comes to the B2C sector, following are some of the impacts and challenges –
- The travel sector went into immediate shutdown and has been on a complete standstill due to restrictions. And the timeline by when travel will regain normalcy still remains uncertain.
- In the banking sector, the market volatility has gone up which has led to a drop in the investment activities. Liquidity issues have risen causing exhaustion of savings which is resulting in bankruptcy.
- The retail industry is witnessing a heavy fall in revenue as brick and mortar stores have to suffer the brunt of social distancing. Although e-commerce sales have been increasing it is insufficient to make up for the huge revenue shortage.
- The healthcare sector is overwhelmed with the huge demand but is unable to operate its supply chains and manufacturing units efficiently due to lockdown measures.
- Increased cancellation of events and gatherings has turned out to be crucial for the sports industry.
Some of the expected challenges faced by the B2B industry include –
- The freight transportation time is getting delayed due to a shortage of manpower and also because of the inaccessibility due to lockdown in numerous areas.
- In the manufacturing sector, most US-based businesses are facing supply and capacity shortages due to the intervention in the supply chains and also because of a huge number of stores shutting down.
- Although refinery and oil fields are operating, at a lower capacity due to a drop in demand and a shortage in laborers. This decreased demand might cause oversupply ultimately leading to a fall in prices of crude oil.
- Consumer behavior towards products is undergoing a major evolution due to lower customer sentiment and loyalty.
- Due to border shutdowns, supply chains have been the worse hit of all leading to a drop in product availability and accessibility.
- The wholesale distribution is also struggling to cope up in this highly volatile environment.
Digital offerings from SAP alleviating the impact of COVID-19
Whether it is deriving maximum leverage from available marketing channels to countering the dampening effects on sales and customer confidence and gearing up the remote workforce with the new rules of remote working… SAP provides its customers with myriad offerings (products) to mitigate the impact on their business ecosystem.
There are SAP resources that businesses can access immediately for free of cost; this offers them prompt digital response in difficult times like today so that the negative impact can be mitigated to some extent. For example, with the help of digital solutions like SAP Ariba, businesses relying on logistics can contact alternative suppliers if they find their existing supply chain to be compromised.
SAP Ariba Discovery
SAP Ariba Discovery is the ideal platform to fulfill immediate sourcing needs, where buyers can promptly contact sellers and vice versa. With SAP Ariba Discovery, problems related to capacity, then shipment delays and disruptions and more can be handled smoothly to fulfill customer demands. Currently, there are more than 4 million providers on the Ariba Network, spread across 190 countries, which clearly indicates the prowess of this platform to unite businesses on a global scale.
There are many more SAP products that businesses can adopt to sustain themselves in times of crisis and uncertainty.
SAP Marketing Cloud
SAP Marketing Cloud offers the perfect cloud-based marketing platform that can be integrated with existing SAP frameworks to allow businesses to create distinct marketing capabilities in real-time. The SAP Marketing Cloud is designed to focus and enhance the following drivers –
- Transparency – Businesses would be able to know in detail about their suppliers, current logistics situation, etc.
- Planning – After deriving insights from the above-mentioned driver, businesses can conduct effective planning by taking into consideration the current supply and demand trends.
- Risk reduction – To maximize the mitigation of risks, businesses should engage diversified suppliers.
- Collaboration – Communicate with all the partners either directly or digitally to averse the current situation.
To minimize the tremendous impact that COVID-19 has had on them, many businesses are trying to boost themselves using digital platforms like SAP S/4HANA.
SAP S/4HANA is the newest generation of their ERP framework that comprises of the principal product set of SAP and a database built into the memory. Migrating to SAP S/4HANA can ease a lot of pain points for businesses in streamlining their off-site delivery model and boost –
- Resilience – Companies can eliminate the need for human resources to support and maintain their existing ERP framework, once it is upgraded to SAP S/4HANA. This will take care of problems like disruption or unavailability in case of pandemics or natural disasters.
- Digital capabilities – SAP S/4HANA will allow better integration of the latest technologies like machine learning, data analytics, artificial intelligence, automation, predictive analytics, and more.
- Optimize expenses – Cloud-based SAP S/4HANA can reduce operational costs but also help organizations monetize data
Litmos is a cloud-based LMS from SAP that quickly incorporates the existing learning framework of any organization and facilitates “training in the now” across all domains of the business. SAP Litmos offers quick and ready access to corporate learning online for professionals and allows companies to maintain legal compliance of their distributed workforce in times when working from any geographic location has become the new normal. Today SAP Litmos records more than 22 million corporate users all over the world and a billion courses completed.
SAP’s products are designed to help retain the integrity of customers across the world in times of uncertainty and increasing difficulties in doing business. These are perhaps the most practical solutions to minimize business disruptions and propel ahead.