Navigating the New Normal
Wowsers! COVID-19 – this is something I never thought we’d see in a lifetime. But here we are now scrambling to find the new normal. My dad has often said (mostly in relation to climate change) “necessity brings innovation” and for me, despite any conspiracy theories out there, this feels like mother nature forcing the hand for change.
For those of us in IT, working from home is not new. But this situation is new, and we need to pull together as a community to ride the storm. I’m no expert, but in the spirit of sharing, I thought it’d be timely to share some ideas about managing business remotely, the isolating home and community spirit I’ve seen so far.
By the way, have you seen Zoom’s (NASDAQ: ZM) share price? They’ve gone from 52-week low of US$59.94 to a 52-week high of US$123.77. That’s 206.48% in 12 months! Clearly, the product of choice for remote meetings, although I have to say I’ve experienced a bit of congestion these last few days – I hope they sort that out soon.
Anyway, businesses that are already operating on the cloud (with NetSuite) can thank their lucky stars they can get full visibility of business operations from the comfort of your home-office. Last week I was in Napier, New Zealand and a CFO said, after the Christchurch earthquake hit, the one thing that stuck in his mind was a photo of a person recovering his server from the rubble. Cloud suddenly made sense.
In the last two weeks, I’ve been surprised by a surge in NetSuite users wanting field ops solutions to support remote scheduling. I was expecting things to slow down with all the uncertainty; I guess it makes sense as everybody is shifting to remote work suddenly. Necessity brings innovation! Remote deployments, remote training and remote support, full visibility of operations, where people are etc. Critical things to support new working environments.
We have been glad to help, using scheduler as a work from rostering system and mobile to confirm location and activity. When customers keep the requirements basic, we can be up and going in a few days, no matter the size of workforce. If you need help in this area, contact us.
Business owners with field operations and limited systems may be grappling with:
- How to manage paper-based field teams bringing job sheets back for invoicing? Scanning at home? Accounts people keying data in their active wear?
- Inbound requests for service transitioning from phone to online job submissions.
- Technicians dropping into the warehouse to grab urgent parts, but no one is there to know what they took? Managing productivity of field staff and job completion.
As we isolate in our homes, there will be an increased reliance on people still working in the field, who need to continue responding to the needs of other businesses to keep industries propped up.
On a personal level, I’ve reflected in the last week how we can adapt. It’s shocking to see the state of grocery stores and people’s appetite to hoard. We have completely shifted to online delivery with Ceres Fair Food to support local farmers. One fruit+veg box, plus glass bottles of Schultz milk which we can return next week and get a rebate on. Pre-COVID-19 they offered a more in-home delivery service but now supporting a ‘knock and leave’ delivery which suits me fine!
Aside from food, there’s a genuine adjustment to home life. This week my children’s piano teacher moved to conducting lessons via FaceTime and I swapped gym for a 30-day yoga program on YouTube.
A friend of mine who sells Thermomix (which by the way is a lifesaver right now) is moving to Zoom-based Thermomix demonstrations because she can’t visit people. I’m actually looking forward to trying out a virtual drinks’ night with friends this weekend as well!
While parents consider their choices on the education front, we’ve started using Education.com to occupy bored primary school kids (yes I am voluntarily keeping them home Scomo ????)
I’ve also seen some great community spirit amidst the anxiety – one family putting a box of toilet paper out for elderly people in need. I’d completely recommend starting a WhatsApp group for social positivity – there’s some cracker Coronavirus videos and playlists out there already! Community bulk buys are also in full swing to support farmers directly via social media channels.
For me, the silver lining in this is getting back to basics and slowing down from our hectic lives. Those things I learned from my grandma, who lived through the Great Depression, now have an impression on me. There is no doubt this pandemic is going to leave its mark, and the value we place on technology will invariably make its mark as well.
That’s all from me for now. Good luck out there!
With over ten years selling, solutioning and working within the NetSuite Solution Provider community, Tania brings a rare perspective to the art of helping customers select NetSuite as their business platform.
“CEOs get business, they think in terms of leverage and return on investment. Helping decision-makers focus on ROI rather than needs, creates an outcome-based customer engagement that sets you up for a win” ~ Tania Large, Next Technik Global Partner Manager