19th of Dec, 2019 is going to be engraved on the pages of history clearly with letters – bold, italic, underlined, if not less. The date, when the outbreak started in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.
Covid-19 which is caused by the Corona virus, is still spreading with a scary rate after weeks it has been recognized as a pandemic on 11th of March, 2020 by WHO. The impact is monumental for many countries, and killed hundred thousands of people and left millions infected till today. Humankind had not experienced a massive quarantine of this size during the last century, needless to say, caught unprepared. All new technologies, discoveries, Industry 4.0’s, IoTs, ARs, VRs did not help predict what is coming and what implications would it have. There are no remedies or vaccines addressed so far, despite the news from all around the world on studies with promising results. Yet, another year we shall wait until the vaccine is available for use, researchers say.
The impact of Covid is devastating
The impact of pandemic is enormous so far, but we should expect more to come. Governments are trying to stabilize the situation through interventions such as new policies and investments, economical packages and measures, both to protect lives, and livelihood of citizens. Economists say, this is going to be worse than the great depression happened back in 1929. World is slipping towards a negative number in terms of growth, an outlier in the last century.
The biggest question in every single mind is, how many months from now we would finally go back to normal. The real question however is -will we ever have what we used to?-. Experts state that the global economy would need another year to recover. As a matter of fact, it would only arrive in the post-pandemic next normal. There have been other pandemics in the history, but the impact was not comparable with what Covid-19 provoked. Because the world has never been this much connected; physically, economically and technologically.
Nothing would be the same, this is obvious. Many say that the humanitarian values would require a solid shift too. This is something psychologists and social scientists should study and let the others understand the consequences. Without understanding this shift and its implications, it is going to be very difficult to predict what the future of businesses will look like. There is one certain fact however, we all need to consider as manufacturers and producers. The future could only be understood by a holistic lens. We are all connected and can not think of an isolated solution which will work only for us.
Crucial questions need to be answered
There are equally important questions that Covid-19 has raised and we all need to get them answered for a better future:
- How are we going to manage our work force , manufacturing and distribution set-up differently, knowing that there will be other crisis in the future?
- Do we have the scenarios and action plans for Sustainable Manufacturing and Business Continuity?
- Have we made an assessment on our supply base and our logistics?
- Where are we in our journey of digital transformation?
- Are we using enough of technology and new type of intelligence i.e. IoTs, AIs, ARs, VRs, drones, block chain, nano-genetics?
- What are the plans for us to manage the big data and get the most valuable information helping us to grow?
We can not predict the future, but we can certainly shape it. Are you ready for the next normal?