The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging on, threatening businesses as well as economies as it has brought unprecedented challenges that the world must grapple with, in the coming years. Further the pandemic brought with it the need for organisations to re-look at business models for business continuity, safeguard employees and ensure products and services are delivered to customers, says Shiraz Lye, Managing Director/ Vice President Sales, IFS South Asia,
Elaborating on the topic he says, “Our customers were able to see a snapshot view of operations right from their homes when lockdowns were imposed. Based on such information, customers were able to plan in the new normal without disruptions and subsequently realign and execute go-to-market strategies”.
“Agility is an essential catalyst for business transformation. It allows an enterprise to embrace market and operational changes—and realize new opportunities when faced with unforeseen challenges. Companies that have invested in agile enterprise software are in a much better position to manoeuvre challenging situations like this.”
Serving Customers against all odds
“When the lockdowns were imposed, customer-facing teams, predominantly sales and consulting, were called upon to pay special attention to customers in order to help them sustain their business. With that in mind, IFS continued its operations during the pandemic with a well-planned work from home (WFH) model. Certain customers wanted to slow down operations while others needed to accelerate their projects, so it was a matter of identifying the customer’s requirement and repositioning the projects accordingly. With a high-spirited WFH team, we were able to continue our go-live projects and sign new deals despite the challenging market conditions”.
IFS Runs IFS
“The company had already implemented its own ERP solution across the entire business, thereby connecting regional teams to a single version of the truth across its 50 plus offices worldwide. By unifying the business on a central platform, all front-line and back-office staff were able to continue operations, giving management full visibility of the entire business operations and enabling quick and well-informed decision making. This was one of the key enablers of the WFH model globally”.
Adapting to a new reality
“Companies also need to frame a near-term strategy that prepares businesses for recovery. The near-term moves are mostly tactical improvements that allow a company to operate better in the current landscape by tackling certain challenges head on. The imperatives include:
Digital Supply Chains—Companies need real-time visibility to better manage supply chains. This will allow them, for example, to incorporate weather patterns, port delays, and supplier issues into their decisions, and to take immediate action. Because of social distancing requirements, they also need to run operations and supply chains with fewer workers and reconfigure warehouses and warehouse management systems”.
Digital Finance, Procurement, and HR Functions
“Companies need advanced automation that enables employees to operate from home. For example, a supplier would be able to submit an invoice online which would go through the standard approval process and get paid for an item that had been procured, without the hassle of physically delivering invoices to the premises”.
Consumer and Go-to-Market Trends
“Companies need to cope with an explosion of consumer data as consumption patterns change. They need to be able to adapt to the changing volumes of orders, realign production lines and be able to produce goods in demand arising due to the crisis”.
Open, Collaborative Ecosystems
“Companies need to collaborate digitally with suppliers, for example, to forecast demand for future orders or even look at replacing offshore vendors that have been cut off from transportation”.
“Enterprise software can help address all these business challenges as it provides companies real-time transparency with respect to sales, operational costs, inventory, production, and financials. Powerful data-driven analytics enables more agile decisions, such as adjustments to the supply chain to improve resilience”.
“Companies need to frame a long-term strategy to win in the new environment that emerges after the pandemic. Businesses should cut out the complexity arising from traditional processes and embrace technology as an enabler for future growth. Enterprise software should be looked at as an investment in creating business that are future ready, enabling organization-wide collaboration, simplified business processes, and real-time visibility of business operations”, Shiraz says.
Elon Musk launches profane attack on X advertisers
In a profanity-laced outburst, Elon Musk has slammed advertisers that have left X, warning they will kill the social media platform.
At an event in New York, he accused companies that have joined an ad boycott of the site formerly known as Twitter of trying to blackmail him.Some firms have paused advertising on X amid concerns over antisemitism, including a post from Musk himself.
“Go [expletive] yourself,” the billionaire said in an interview.
The Tesla and SpaceX boss apologised on Wednesday for that post, saying it might be the “dumbest” thing he has ever shared online.
But it was his response to a question about an advertising boycott by companies including Disney, Apple and Comcast that caused a stir at the gathering of leaders from the worlds of business, politics and culture. “I don’t want them to advertise,” Musk said at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit. “If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising or money go [expletive] yourself.
Go. [Expletive]. Yourself. Is that clear? Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience, that’s how I feel.”
He was apparently referring to Disney chief executive Bob Iger, who spoke at the summit earlier in the day.
In the room with Musk was Linda Yaccarino, X’s chief executive, who has been charged with trying to bring back advertisers to the platform.Musk also said that advertisers could kill X. “What this advertising boycott is going to do is it’s going to kill the company,” he said. “The whole world will know those advertisers killed the company, and we will document it in great detail,” he added.
Ms Yaccarino has since reposted what she called his “candid interview”, adding her perspective on advertising that “X is standing at a unique and amazing intersection of Free Speech and Main Street — and the X community is powerful and is here to welcome you”.
Musk has been on a visit to Israel after he last month appeared to personally back an antisemitic conspiracy theory. “I’m sorry for that tweet… it might be literally the worst and dumbest post that I’ve ever done,” he said on Wednesday. The boycott isn’t just to do with that post, though.
Many advertisers had already decided to spend their dollars elsewhere.
ILO together with EFC launches pilot project to address employee grievances at the workplace
Five companies volunteer to participate in the project
By Sanath Nanayakkare
Grievance handling in Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to the process by which employee complaints, concerns, or disputes are formally addressed and resolved. The goal is to provide a structured channel for employees to express their concerns or report issues they are facing in the workplace for the benefit of the company, the management and the employees.
True to those values, the International Labour Organization (ILO) recently invited the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) to initiate a pilot project to launch Grievance Handling Guidelines that were formulated through several workshops conducted in 2019 in consultation with ILO constituents.
Giriulla Mills Ltd, HNB Assurance Ltd, HNB General Insurance Ltd, Cambio Software Engineering and Taj Bentota Resort and Spa, volunteered to participate in this project. They represented the manufacturing, finance, IT, and hospitality sectors respectively. The pilot project was formally launched on 20th September 2022.
EFC’s team of trainers visited these selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management to gain insights into their existing employee grievance handling systems.
They also gathered feedback from employees to assess their satisfaction with present grievance mechanisms. Based on the findings, EFC team developed customised grievance handling policies aligned with each organisation’s culture and specific requirements of each company to ensure practical implementation of the same.
All these grievance policies were designed in adherence to the Guidelines on Grievance Handling which were established for Sri Lanka in 2019 through workshops conducted by the ILO.
Following the development of these policies, four training sessions were conducted for the management teams of the participating companies. During these training sessions, the policies were presented in detail. The sessions also aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes employee grievances, the importance of addressing them promptly and the potential consequences if grievances are left unattended.
In addition to policy dissemination, the training sessions also focused on equipping managers with the necessary skills to effectively handle employee grievances. This included discussions on communication strategies, conflict resolution techniques, and the importance of empathy and active listening when addressing employee concerns.
Rage Coffee forays into Sri Lanka market
The brand has secured investment from Virat Kohli
Rage Coffee, an internationally acclaimed coffee brand, was launched in Sri Lanka recently.
Originating in 2018 from the visionary mind of Bharat Sethi, Rage Coffee emerged to address the dearth of high-quality artisanal coffee in the Indian market. It fills the void with a unique plant-based, vitamin-enriched coffee selection.
A notable milestone for Rage Coffee was securing investment from Virat Kohli during its initial seed round. Kohli, known for his discerning brand choices, not only invested but also became the official brand ambassador, accentuating the brand’s quality.
Sourcing beans from Ethiopia and India, Rage crystallizes them, preserving a distinct nutty and earthy flavor profile. The brand’s proprietary blend, boasting 100% plant-based ingredients, eliminates harmful waste elements found in other leading coffees, prioritizing nutritional value. Each serving packs an impressive 120mg of caffeine, offering a superior boost to kickstart one’s day compared to standard brands.
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