Business Continuity Lessons during COVID-19

Jun 11, 2020 5:00:00 PM

business continuity lessons

During these distressing Corona times, I have been asked a few questions by our customers, that I would like to answer more elaborately now.

Our customers want to know whether we, at To-Increase, will continue to be available to help them when they need us and how we will respond to them when they come to us. I understand the line of these questions, and I know that these are tough times. We are all going through something most of us did not put in our business plans.

At To-Increase, we had prepared ourselves well in advance for this situation and are completely equipped to continue our services. We had evaluated many different scenarios and took some quick measures to ensure a healthy and sustainable business and to always be there for our clients.

I would say that we have emerged stronger, our employees are happier, and we are able to deliver our services even better now. Let me explain by answering the three most frequently asked questions from our customers.

How are you keeping your employees happy, and what does it mean to your customers?

To begin with, we adopted the employee-first approach as the first step in our COVID-19 preparation plan. We took care of our employees in every way possible and maintained transparency in the on-going situation. This does not mean that we were able to solve all issues for all employees, but while focusing on their well-being, we were also very transparent on what we could or could not do.

We wanted to make sure that we addressed the COVID-19 impact with our employees very early on.  We did this to make sure that, first and foremost, our employees were healthy and safe. Thereafter, we considered and took steps to assure that our employees were happy and enabled.

We allowed our employees to start working from home way before the government declared it necessary. We also arranged for our employees to check into their offices and take the equipment they needed to be able to work successfully. They had taken chairs, monitors, and whatever they needed to create their own office environment in their household, to serve our clients better.

Taking this employee-first approach assured us happy, enabled, and empowered employees. Likewise, our workforce had an excellent attitude when helping our customers.

I wouldn’t say that we haven’t made any mistakes. However, we did have an employee survey that demonstrated how a vast majority of our employees (over 98%) agrees that we have handled the COVID-19 situation well. We focused on making the right decisions for the business—we prepared our employees to work safely, followed by a plan to enable and empower them to serve our clients best. 

We communicated with our teams frequently. We had full transparency on what was going on, which also allowed us to take in real feedback. We did that by many means of communication, but one critical one was a weekly town hall meeting where we had a lot of employee engagement.  As a result, we are delivering services better than before with the help of happy employees who are serving our customers passionately.

How are you collaborating with your customers?

We understand what our customers want, and we know that we have their full cooperation in achieving greater business success together.

Once we made sure that our employees were happy and the business was secured, we then moved on to delivering what our customers needed by collaborating with them.

We are working very closely with our customers to maintain complete coordination and alignment, and deliver our projects on time. In some cases, we are even seeing our team deliver at higher rates of efficiency and speed to our clients during these tough times. We are continuously and openly communicating with our clients to ensure we are accurately aligned.

One of the critical components here is open and honest communication.  We have not been perfect and have sometimes received very constructive feedback, which we took action on to improve our offerings.

At times, we leverage the customer's help in bringing the best value possible to the table. Some cases need us to scale down while others need us to scale up. We’ve had to focus on areas that were closest to the value we could deliver in the shortest amount of time. Therefore, we allowed our customers to focus on what they were best at. We are creating and improving partnerships tremendously with our clients, delivering full go-lives remotely in a far more efficient way than we could think of earlier.

We know that our customers are completely aware of their industry and what their competitors and peers are up to. We leverage our in-depth industry knowledge and our clients’ deep insights to optimize our products and services. It is through such partnerships with our customers that we are able to personalize the delivery of our services.

How are you doing?

Through happy employees, transparent communication, and close customer alignment, we are delivering services tailored specifically to our customers’ needs, assuring overall success.

So, if you're asking how we are doing and if we are able to continue serving our customers today during these tough times, my answer would be that we are healthy, our employees are happy, and we're fully enabled to serve our customers better than ever before.

I know some countries are starting to open up and relax certain restrictions while others still haven’t reached their peak levels of the corona pandemic.  No matter which stage of the lifecycle the customers are on, we are ready to help.  What if we have a second or third wave?  I feel like all the learnings and processes we’ve put in place make us better capable now than ever before of helping our employees and customers handle a potential next wave.

Our goal at To-Increase is to solve complex matters for our customers to give them a better tomorrow. We help our customers across verticals to transform digitally by harnessing the in-depth knowledge of our passionate and technology-savvy employees.

Our personalized services reduce time to market or to yield returns on investments, giving our customers an edge over their competitors. We are growing and doing well!

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About Author
Luciano Cunha

Luciano Cunha

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) For Luciano, being responsible for To-Increase’s global sales and marketing means unleashing the company’s insight, innovation, and creativity to tell our story and help customers achieve their goals. On the road much of the time, he travels the world to meet with customers, understand their challenges and ambitions, and find the most effective ways to help them advance. Luciano develops and mentors our marketing and sales team, and creates strategies to help the To-Increase worldwide partner channel thrive and grow.
Making Customer Needs the Main Business Driver Luciano and his team have daily conversations with the To-Increase research and development organization to bring customers’ requirements and concerns into the road maps and design of our solutions. Luciano brings his insight to the marketing group to make sure the company’s communications resonate with customers and speak directly to their experience.
“I’m awed by customers’ innovative spirit in taking business management technology past its limits and by their generosity in letting us participate and empower them. I hope to transform our organization to become even more customer-centric than we are today. That means making more resources available to spend productive time with both our customers and partners, so we can ensure that we place into customer businesses effective solutions that fit the evolutionary stage of their operation and the way their people and processes work.”
Empowering a Global Channel
Because To-Increase only sells through partners, readying the channel to be successful in helping customers is a business-critical effort. Luciano aims to meet partners where their interests are. Partners who consider the relationship with To-Increase strategic can rely on our industry specialists to work with them as they plan their growth and serve customers. If partners prefer a less collaborative relationship, they still receive the rich To-Increase expertise and resources to ensure they win the business, perform a successful deployment, and retain a satisfied customer. In working with partners and their customers, Luciano brings to bear his experience of many years of creating successful, customer-focused business development and marketing strategies in many of the world’s countries and regions.
Enabling Customer Success in Challenging Business Environments
Looking into the near future, Luciano expects that customers will continue to expect To-Increase to help them make business sense of unfolding trends and technologies. For example, the internet of things (IoT) will thoroughly revolutionize manufacturing, engineering, and supply chains. Big data will be meaningful and valuable when decision-makers can use technology solutions to transform it into actionable business intelligence that supports key roles and business processes. Mobility will help companies become digital enterprises and move business processes forward from any location, at any time. Team To-Increase harnesses innovation to help customers translate the promise of these technologies into business results.
Before his current role, Luciano for several years was one of To-Increase’s global industry directors, responsible for our industry solutions. His experience also spans more than 17 years in IT and manufacturing management roles. These positions took him into various areas at IBM Brazil, serving as product manager for several software development companies, and included working in senior management at a manufacturing organization in the U.S.
Luciano is married with two young children. Away from work, he enjoys participating in a soccer class together with his son and daughter as well as taking relaxing walks in natural environments with his family.

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