COVID-19 has caused major disruptions globally. This crisis is intensifying and evolving every now and then. At the current state, public healthcare systems of many countries are taking actions to curb foreigners from entering their boundaries.
Undoubtedly, the focus should be on controlling and mitigating the outbreak. However, the economies have been significantly affected. Global financial markets have created fears in many investors about the pandemic. The negative impacts at this juncture have led to many companies facing great challenges. How can enterprises prepare for such crisis and turn it into an opportunity?
It is our privilege to have Yadia Colindres, co-founder of FOX-TECH to share their journey during this difficult period. FOX-TECH enables farming, logistics, cold chain, and manufacturing owners to monitor, track, and improve their operation by our data analytics IoT Platform. FOX- TECH combines secure, low power consumption, efficient data structure, and high sensor accuracy devices with its cutting-edge platform to simplify IoT for everyone. FOX-TECH is empowering business owners to have the required temperature and humidity changes alerts when it’s needed, while also providing a global coverage for monitoring.
1. Pertaining to COVID-19, what are the impacts on your company?
FOX-TECH is enabling the perishable goods value chain by increasing risk management and policy compliance through proactive monitoring using data analytics.
Due to the movement restrictions across Singapore and Japan, we have seen a decline in business for the food retailers, such as restaurants and food caterers. In the hypermarket space, we noticed the supply shock affecting their logistics chain thus lengthening the decision-making process. As the demand on perishable goods has decreased significantly in Singapore, people are looking for goods that can last them longer (canned goods, rice, dried nuts, etc.) thanks in part to the movement restrictions.
For the warehouse space, as mentioned by the World Economic Forum, over 50 countries are restricting exports. Thus, it has constrained the supply chain. Not only are there less frequent cargo trip, but now it may take longer to receive goods from certain countries. This type of customers requires, now more than ever, remote solutions to help them guarantee the safety and quality of the goods stored in both cold and dry warehouses.
FOX-TECH has shifted our priority to serving customers with time-sensitive perishable goods with a strong base in the warehouse space. Additionally, we have also started to serve customers in the medical space across Southeast Asia.
2. What will be your suggestions for the other businesses to tide through this challenging period? What are the measures adopted by your company to mitigate the impacts caused by the pandemic?
Our suggestion for other businesses through this challenging period is to prepare a BCP for the next 18 months. BCP will ensure minimal disruptions to operations, especially when your customers and their stakeholders have interest in the activities happening across different geographies. As we have observed, the pandemic has affected the demands in US and Europe more than in the Asia region. Connect with other founders and build a network of entrepreneurs. You are not the only company that is going through this difficult time.
Measures adopted by FOX-TECH:
- Our operations and R&D team are always ready to perform remote work and digitally.
- Virtual first approach to meeting with customers and partners.
- Utilise grants and sponsorship opportunities available from the local governments.
- Increase promotion through ecosystem for our essential industries customers. We have seen an increased demand in the medical sector for our solution.
- Spend time doing data research on the macro-environment of the customer demand side.
- Do scenario planning: At least have the basic 3 – base case, best case and worst case.
- Building a strong ecosystem with trusted networks of partners that allow us to continue business per usual n foreign markers.
Our suggestion for other founders and companies is not to be afraid of pivoting. This is a good time to show you what is essential and the type of business models that can flourish under such circumstance.
FOX-TECH is helping SMEs by being the digital transformation tool for those with perishable goods. If you are a business that is looking for cost reductions and a remote solution to proactively monitor your operations, we would love to connect with you.
3. How long will it take to resume as normal?
We forecasted based on the 2008-2009 recession that it may take around 18 months for things to go back to normal. However, in the next 6 months we will see a new version of what normal will look like first, impacting the customer behaviour patterns and then followed by how society behaves in large open spaces. Many small businesses will be heavily affected and up to 50% of them may not even open their doors again.
For FOX-TECH, our focus will be in servicing the essential businesses. We will position ourselves as the digital transformation tool that is much needed in this time for the perishable goods value chain.
4. There will be opportunities in a crisis. What and how are the opportunities to be identified in this case?
In time like this can see show what are nice to have and must have services for businesses. A good founder should be quick to react and have an open mind to what is working and what is not. Companies that are now pivoting their services or offerings will be the likely ones to survive through this pandemic.
At FOX-TECH we deem it as an opportunity to work closer with our ecosystem worldwide. We have identified different key industries in several countries that are part of our target value chain. Our value proposition not only will allow them to handle risk management and policy compliance, but also be able to continue operations with reduced manpower.
About BlackStorm Consulting
BlackStorm Consulting (http://blackstormco.asia/) is a Singapore-based boutique growth consultancy firm that specialises in corporate strategy, profit management and investment management. We scale businesses in Southeast Asia.
Our clients and connections are internationally present and range from small and medium sized businesses, MNCs, to government agencies.