Working in the newly ‘sanitized’ era.
Our firm chose to remote segments of our operations globally with key team members choosing to relocate to our traditional business centers. Our firm tends to be described as “the team that answer ‘the questions’ others can’t or won’t.” We typically conduct our business face-to-face with our clients while conducting our analysis using a myriad of methods, which would seem foreign to most companies. Due to this, we are often presented with tasks and opportunities to engage in far reaching and overly broad subjects. There is little doubt the global pandemic has significantly changed the “face of business” and how business is conducted. Every firm has been forced to adjust to the realities of operating as world leaders deemed it fit to prohibit the behaviors, procedures, and standards used to conduct business in the modern age. Global business travel has ground to a halt, offices go unstaffed and telecommuting is the “new norm.”
For years, international companies operating in the “first world” shifted their customer service operations to countries in the emerging world. At the time, this shift seemed logical based upon the costs of operation. Now, this lack of rational investment or as we call it, “years of profit raiding” is beginning to take a toll on the bottom lines of companies globally. There is no quick fix to the issue of bad management. In a recent project reviewing the viability of commercial real estate investment, we discovered the dramatic shift in demand for end-user services in the communications networking industry exposes a new ‘issue’ for managers to consider. What communications infrastructure that uses to work for personal amusement is now required to work for personal income creation and in most regions of the world, that system is failing. Professionally speaking, popping into a coffeeshop for some “free Wi-Fi” isn’t an option any longer and most workers either never upgraded to “commercially viable” Internet connectivity or providers never invested in the infrastructure necessary to meet today’s immediate demand. These factors will soon be recognized by Wall Street investors as the Achilles tendon of major corporate operations globally and the repercussions within the global financial markets could cause another downward turn.
“Working from home” doesn’t work.
In India, a major center for “off continent” customer services centers; most workers lack the infrastructure “at home” to conduct their employers’ operations. As a result, the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded rapidly as workers circumvented guidelines put in place to protect them. The same occurred in other major off continent centers such as the Philippines, Spain and Poland. As the United States, Canada and the UK shut down centers and shifted the bulk of their call loads to overseas centers, the disease flared in those countries. Now, as the major countries adopt “work from home” systems for their on continent centers, these off continent centers are collapsing. The result is substandard service and support complaints from customers. With virus data tracking becoming prevalent and studies showing the spread of airborne viruses through air conditioning systems and open spaces, the mass site centers of the past are indeed moving into the past. We foresee major issues in customer support / customer service systems for years to come. Factually, with more people “at home,” last mile data and communications systems are straining under this new burden. More last mile solutions are required and they are required in areas most investors traditionally have strayed from.
More data is emerging and what it indicates is troubling.
Tracking business operations, cost operations and the effects of efforts designed to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus has exposed the true socioeconomic nature of the virus itself. This exposure reveals decades long periods of poor management decisions have led to the expansion of illnesses tied to the virus. Second wave data from China is emerging. We will continue to track the ramifications of the pandemic and attempt to offer adequate predictions for our clients, globally.