How COVID-19 made our business stronger

Times of crisis provide unique opportunities for radical change. This is often by necessity, but a crisis also offers many valuable lessons. The global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is no different. This article outlines some of the main challenges Triswick faced, as well as the lessons learnt for both us and our clients.

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How we turned massive challenges into meaningful opportunities 

 

In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, we all had to come to grips with the sudden consequences of people working from home and some businesses shutting off. With some of our clients being in the alcohol and tobacco industry, we were faced with new challenges and had to adapt to add value by helping them navigate the disruption within their industries. 

 

We quickly realised that digital channels and tools would form the heart of an effective response to these society-wide shifts. For our alcohol and tobacco clients, the main challenges we faced included a shift from marketing to a focus on internal comms. Suddenly our clients found themselves faced with new challenges due to the ban on promoting and selling their products (SA lockdown regulations) as well as communicating effectively with colleagues while work from home became the new norm. 

 

Our reaction was to shift our resources within the company by becoming heavily entrenched within the HR department. We quickly saw the skills gap in digital and we became the go-to for effectively communicating and reaching employees, we found new ways for employers to engage with their employees in uncertain times. 

 

The shift of resources made us rethink our product offerings and we were able to launch platforms geared at creating online workspaces. An example being the Distell Corona Portal, a kind of hub where employees could access important information at the click of a button. These hubs were designed to be easily accessible on any device and are easy to update with quick turnaround times. This was a huge win for our clients as the importance of strong leadership and regular communication became an essential need during the pandemic. 

 

We also learnt the need for data free options as employees would use the excuse that they didn’t have data when asked to consume important company information. We used this as an opportunity to offer data free links, best explained as a reverse billing system whereby the client pays for the data used instead of the end user. 

 

Data free links solved other issues which native apps couldn’t. The pandemic made it increasingly important for all employees to stay up to date with company information, this included lower LSM employees whose devices often lacked the required functionality and storage requirements associated with native apps. Challenges overcome included no need for app download (previously a huge barrier) as well as language barriers. These links are much easier for employers to reach their employees in real time at a fraction of the cost associated with native apps. 

 

We also added tracking to our hubs/links, an important aspect that became even more important due to the work from home scenario. Now our clients could track who was accessing information and who wasn’t. They were able to communicate with their employees as well as hold them accountable. 

 

The past year has taught us so much, and it continues to throw curve balls and keep us on our toes. As a result, we prioritise communication and ensure daily conversations with our clients. We offer industry-specific advice on what leaders should consider doing now and next, and we help them digitise their business. 

 

The corporate world is moving from a physical environment to a digital environment incredibly fast and Triswick is able to assist with this transition. Our main takeaway has been that companies that survive and thrive during this time are the ones that continuously adapt to new and uncertain market conditions. Consumer behaviour is changing and the way we work has shifted and is predicted to have a lasting impact on work culture going forward. Should you want assistance in dealing with this shift, contact us today and we’ll gladly take you through our portfolio of software offerings and best practice recommendations.