Companies in pandemic, one year from the start

After almost a year of pandemic, where many actions have happened. From the way we communicate, the confinement, the digital transformation, the economic crisis, the closure of many companies, the accelerated growth of others. In short, the light of the path that shows us the end is not yet seen. On the contrary, we are learning to survive under a new environment, we are adapting to a new reality and redesigning a great part of our business models and our lives.

Reviewing the changes in the last eight months of companies, mainly companies older than five years, the results of a survey applied at the beginning of the pandemic and one last month to 93 companies attached to the National Chamber of the Transformation Industry (CANACINTRA) are described and compared.

Half have their own premises. The main problems are still: the decrease in demand and the lengthening of the sales cycle, as well as accounts receivable and cash flow.

Also coinciding in the uncertain environment in the short and medium term. A problem that became a priority is the supply of inputs and products in terms of time and quantity. Another no less important problem is the difficulties in maintaining payroll and payment obligations. The operation of the companies changed from sixty percent of employees in home office at the beginning of the pandemic, to sixty percent in facilities and twenty percent in home office now.

The ways they are dealing with the contingency are; teleworking, digital sales, home delivery service, cost reduction, search for new clients, restructuring, loans, networks, training, sanitary measures, etc. To face the liquidity problem, eight months ago it was done with savings, as the first solution. Now it is the bank loan or from another institution.

Also in terms of how entrepreneurs feel, seventy percent of them remain anxious and insecure. And on the subject of digital transformation, in the last eight months companies grew more than twenty percent towards digitization.

Of the workforce, a little over ten percent of workers has been cut to date. Something that was expected is the increase in infections in the companies or families of the workers, which increased from eleven percent six months ago to sixty-five percent this month. In other words, three out of every four workers or family members have been infected by covid19.

Another notable change in recent months is that most people thought that the company would be operating normally in three or six months. By this time, a third party believes that it will take six months to a year to recover to normal operating levels, or as they were before the crisis.

Finally, entrepreneurs believe that for recovery they need: digital platforms, diversification, systematization, improving production processes, financial leverage, strategic planning, adaptation and faster decision-making. Entrepreneurs have suffered heavily from the crisis, bad government decisions, lack of support, and the decline in demand, but above all they are facing the greatest uncertainty we have ever experienced. Given this, we have to work on building the future and taking advantage of the opportunities that arise or that we seek.