March/April 2020 Edition

COVID-19 Issues Force Rapid Adoption Of Distributed Work And Digital Transformation

Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve cut its bench market interest rate to 0% on March 3, 2020 in response to the market volatility caused by the financial market panic on COVID-19.

Big Data and Visualization: JHU Virus Heat Map.  Staying up to date with the spread of the virus and its other impacts can be visualized by leveraging big data and automation. As the infection spread continues, critical decisions rely on organizing the data associating and understanding its implications to make better decisions to prevent the spread. Johns Hopkins University created COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering, a solution that visualizes all the COVID-19 incidents and death cases worldwide. In this visualized platform, the user has a heat map that identifies each case that occurs by country, province, state, down to the city. With visual display, leaders have an overall view of the virus. With a clear view, leaders can make data-informed decisions to help cities and communities take action to prevent the spread of the virus. The ability to track and visualize large amounts of data has become a benchmark for leaders in all industries. Bringing this data to the front end has become essential for communities to take action. 

Managing Uncertainty. This is both a public health crisis and an economic crisis.  The genesis of every economic crisis is a lack of confidence. More cities and states are going on lockdown, and businesses are faced with high levels of economic uncertainty. Companies are quickly adapting to the actions the communities are taking to prevent the spread of the virus. Businesses are cutting costs and developing new methods to continue to operate.

Restaurants. Food chains are shifting their operating model with one goal in mind— get the food to customers and reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19. Chain restaurants are providing their service as pick up only for a limited time. Customers order, receive the estimated time to pick up the order, go to the restaurant parking lot, wait in their car until they get a phone call to pick up their order, and then one restaurant employee walks out and hands the request to the customer.  Of course, the employee has gloves to hand off the order.

Universities. Adaption is happening everywhere, even in the most traditional sectors.  We are seeing universities going fully digital. Universities are adapting to the crisis and continuing the curriculum of their students by utilizing cloud-based digital conferencing platforms to keep the courses moving forward.

 Stock Trading.  The New York Stock Exchange is also making changes in response to New York declaring a major disaster, and the exchange goes fully digital. For the first time in 228 years, the exchange opens without its trading floor. In many industries, going fully digital has been a challenge or a slow movement away from using paper. For instance, the London Stock Exchange hasn’t used its trading floor since 1986.  

Digital Adaptation.  For many, changing the current model can be difficult. Businesses in all industries must innovate to continue to operate; the companies ahead of the curve are the companies that were working on going fully digital before the crisis hit. However, the timeline is now being compressed.  Going fully digital is the next step to increase competitive advantage; businesses that aren’t adopting will have trouble expanding in the rapidly evolving market. It’s time now to take your business digital. 

Lender Challenge: Giving Customers What they Want Now.  Lenders have high levels of loan volume, and the challenging part comes from the method of managing loan volume and maintaining high service levels when businesses must have their employees work remotely. Lenders are finding workarounds that are helping them move to the fully digital world. Customers expect financial services to improve their end-to-end digital offerings.  Amazon is the prime example of giving customers what they want, and when they need it, at a competitive price. In this time of a global health crisis, Amazon and other online providers are depended on the most, and these online providers can leverage their platforms to get the products to the customers quickly.

Mortgage Industry.  Similarly, in the mortgage industry, borrowers expect a lender to process loans and provide the home buyer with a complete loan quickly, regardless of the challenged imposed by COVID-19. Companies turn to technology to monitor and auto-populate tasks in every step of the loan process. Lenders providing their employees with their set of tasks per loan improved levels of productivity and decreased the time to close a loan. We’ve interviewed mortgage executives and questions that highlighted our conversations are: With an increase in Loan Volume, how can I maintain service levels? Am I doing the right process in the correct order?  How do I manage around the severe disruption in the industry?

Communication.  In today’s times, businesses depend on high levels of interaction. Leadership leverages technology platforms to help overall transparency of the company and instant communication throughout the company. Businesses that rely on physical meetings are utilizing cloud-based video conferencing platforms to continue operating, although some transactions still require in-person signing. Now more than ever, companies depend on technology to have transparency through automated technology where a business can set service levels and automatically manage large volumes of loan applications. Keeping productivity level high is critical in today’s lending environment, as more companies allow their employees to work from home.  This shift from a physical office to a home office raises the question, “How can managers and the leadership team best manage loans in the pipeline?” That works in the back end and stays on top of service levels, by using automation aligned with the lender’s workflow and service levels, this solution would automatically organize the employee’s tasks for each loan and eliminate errors in a loan before it progresses down the pipeline.

The fully Digital Experience. The global economic and health crisis are forcing businesses to turn to technology solutions to help leverage people’s time and keep up with productivity and customer satisfaction levels. Companies face the challenge of three dimensions: staying competitive, staying compliant with state restrictions, and providing a unique customer experience. Consider how industry experts can partner with businesses to transform their process into a fully digital experience. These industry experts help companies leverage their system and automate the steps to deliver a product or service to the client and to identify workarounds to the issues imposed by the COVID-19 crisis.