Covid affected almost every industry. Take industrial manufacturing, for example. Nearly half of Asian factories reported everything from a lack of raw materials to falling sales. Yet despite this bleak outlook, many have turned around and changed for the better.
What helped some of those manufacturers weather the storm?
Resilience and resourcefulness, as well as the willingness to see problems as opportunities. Companies that relied on systems that were already in place, such as IoT-connected devices, were able to make quick changes. And those pivots saved them from having to consider bankruptcy or closure.
Today, manufacturing is still limping in many ways. But he has hardly been defeated. The same goes for seven other industries that have harnessed the worst of the pandemic to produce some of their best ideas and solutions.
1. Institutional loans
From banks to mortgage brokers, financial institutions of all sizes have been forced out of their comfort zones by the closures.
Consumers still wanted quick access to money, but in a way that didn’t put their health at risk. MeridianLink, which went public in July 2021 At a $2 billion valuation, he led the charge in making quick changes.
By providing technology upgrades to its smaller clientele, including credit unions and community banks, MeridianLink helped level the playing field for all lending institutions. At the same time, consumers appreciated applying for and receiving approval from institutions digitally.
Today, financial institutions continue to simplify lending to bring it as close as possible to near real-time approval and transfer of funds.
2. Training, training and occupational retraining
Since 2020, many people have become obsolete when it comes to their job responsibilities. This has stimulated the need for rapid and widespread professional improvement.
However, historical responses to education needs at the corporate level are not enough for workers who want to quickly retrain. They can’t wait two or four years to get a traditional certification or degree.
Innovative education providers have responded to this problem by rethinking knowledge sharing for working adults. For example, health education provider Carrus has worked with Walgreens, 3M and CVS to develop focused 30-day degree programs. The programs aim to get people into the healthcare field right away.
Carrus’s approach mirrors that of Google, the tech giant that offers a certification model on demand designed to bypass traditional schooling.
3. Changes in medical care
Health and wellness have gone mainstream. With everyone talking more about viruses and vaccines, consumers are eager for information. Also, they are having bigger discussions about what to do to live a fuller life.
Not surprisingly, many individuals and families also want more control over their health care decisions. This change in the doctor-patient-insurance relationship has ushered in a new era of care and transparency.
Take telemedicine. Between February and April 2020, the use of telehealth pink 78 times. At this point, it has gone mainstream and appears to be on a collective valuation trajectory of around $250 billion. This is good news for medical professionals and the communities they serve, as it shows a desire to remove barriers and improve access to care.
4. Food services
During the pandemic, businesses in the food industry, such as restaurants, pubs, and cafes, have suffered some of the hardest financial hits. So how did some get out the other side?
Those who were paying attention noticed that people still wanted to take a break from making food. They just didn’t want to travel to get fresh food. The solution was to develop unique delivery options, including partnering with delivery services like GrubHub and UberEats.
To get an idea of how lucrative the market can be for delivery service providers, DoorDash grew 220% quarter over quarter the first year of covid. DoorDash added other delivery and pickup options to maintain growth, just like competitors. The result is that more people are familiar with clicking their way to lunch and dinner, which has led restaurants to be more public with their menus.
5. Business-focused software development
It would probably be difficult to walk down any block in the neighborhood and no find someone who has worked remotely during the pandemic.
In some cases, companies have still not brought their people on board after nearly two years in a move called the big wait. However, maintaining high levels of efficiency, productivity, and communication in the meantime has fallen on the shoulders of enterprise software system developers and partners.
For example, Zoom enjoyed massive advertising and usage after March 2020. In response, Zoom modified its offerings to reduce friction points. Although Microsoft Teams did its best to unseat Zoom, video conferencing is still synonymous with the Zoom name. Other superstars that have helped foster collaboration in virtual teams include cloud-based project management and CRM platforms.
6. Change in car sales
Who would have thought that car buyers would be willing to buy vehicles without taking a test drive? Certainly not most car dealers. However, the pandemic has revealed that necessity really can be the mother of incredible invention.
To avoid losing money on cars sitting on their lots, dealers and independent sellers have streamlined the buying process and focused more on online sales. To be sure, digital used car sellers like Carvana weren’t new. Carvana itself had a banner year in 2020, selling over 200,000 vehicles.
However, car dealers weren’t about to be beaten by digital-only competitors. So the salespeople took the pressure off, became super communicative and made the buying process almost too easy. What they found was that the public appreciated a more compassionate and customer-focused experience.
7. Recruitment changes
The Great Resignation has led millions of people to quit smoking jobs and bad bosses. Although some have decided to follow entrepreneurial dreams, others are eager to put down roots in new businesses.
But don’t expect them to respond to the job and benefits ads that worked in 2019. These days, candidates have revised their expectations and are willing to wait for the perfect fit. Recruiters know this very well, which is why they have started to update their search, analysis and interview techniques.
First, they advise companies to focus on the flexibility of a job whenever possible. Second, they are using artificial intelligence software to help eliminate or reduce bias. And finally, hiring managers are taking advantage of the latest software to reduce bottlenecks in the hiring pipeline.
It can be hard to think of a global crisis that has a silver lining; it’s true. Still, the 21 months between March 2020 and December 2021 were transformative for many industries. And that ultimately pays off for businesses and the populations they serve.
Image credit: Provided by the author; pexels; Thanks!