The effects of the corona crisis on industry in Germany are manifold: On the one hand, there is a small circle of crisis winners. These include, for example, manufacturers of hygiene products and food producers whose products are currently in disproportionately high demand. Thus, in addition to much-discussed product groups such as pasta and flour, companies that have recently received less attention, such as canners, are experiencing a renaissance.
But even in the food sector it is important to take a closer look. Many of the producers have a second central distribution channel in addition to trade: The food service. This has come to an almost complete standstill due to the closure of restaurants and pubs. Many have therefore already announced short-time work. A similar picture emerges when one looks at other industries. For example, mechanical engineering: Many manufacturers recently presented their latest products at the Hanover Fair. But Corona has put a spoke in their wheel. The industry is suffering from a sharp drop in demand or a collapse in supply chains.
What is the future for the industry? What insight is the crisis bringing?
Two issues have moved to the top of the agenda in recent weeks:
1) Digitisation & New Work: Those who are not well positioned in the field of digitisation have felt this painfully with the outbreak of the Corona crisis. This begins with the appropriate technological equipment for employees. New Work and agile working are becoming more and more important. Especially in the field of digitalisation, the virus acts as an evolutionary accelerator. Video conferences will become the norm in the future and make some business trips superfluous. But certainly not all of them: Because personal contact will continue to be important and even increase in esteem!
2) Risk management: Many companies are currently feeling the effects of this: if the flow of goods is throttled or even individual components are not delivered at all, production will come to a standstill or even come to a complete standstill. Unilateral dependencies, for example on producers in Asia, are being discussed. Against this background, companies are once again becoming increasingly aware of the issue of risk management. To position oneself professionally for the future or to optimize already implemented structures has been identified as a core task, as we are repeatedly confirmed in discussions.
What does this mean for personnel planning in the companies? What is your recommendation?
Very important is: Both of the above-mentioned topics – above all digitalisation – must be located at the top level of the company. Only if there is an awareness of this successful implementation will be possible. In some fields, such as the FMCG industry, digitisation will help to exploit new sales opportunities. For example, D2C (direct to consumer) activities will gain in importance as online demand increases. And when it comes to risk management, the current crisis has shown how important it is to have the right set-up and strategy in this field.
We are currently in close contact with companies in both fields and help customers to find the right candidates for the management of the future.