The Evolution of Business in Europe
How first-movers and fast thinkers can pave the way for a V-shaped recovery
For millions of people living around the globe, and especially in Europe, COVID-19 has and will be a life-changing event. Whether a person’s health was impacted by the virus or their jobs and educational circumstances were changed, virtually everyone was affected. For the first time in history, global industrial and social shutdowns took place during a time of peace.
For European business small and large, the main objective is to keep employees and customers safe. However, this comes at a steep price. Many companies face unprecedented supply, operational, and cashflow issues. For these companies to survive and thrive once again, special attention must be given to making changes to suit the needs of consumers once we are finally past the virus. The companies that make planning ahead across all segments a priority will likely be the first to experience a V-shaped recovery in business.
Whether in-person meetings have become Zoom meetings for you, or you have had to completely change how you work or operate your business, the COVID-19 crisis has led to monumental changes in consumer behavior and opinions. Some of the most prominent changes include:
- Downloadable material – During the week of March 15-21, 2020, ZOOM Cloud Meetings was downloaded 20x more in the UK, 22x more in France, 27x more in Spain, 17x more in Germany, and 55x more in Italy when compared to the same time period in 2019.1
- Working from home – In 2018, around 5% of all EU 27 and UK workers worked from home typically.2After COVID-19 emerged, it is estimated that around 20% of employees are working remotely.
- Virtual conferences – 2020 saw a record-breaking number of conference cancellations. The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that typically attracts 100,000 visitors was cancelled due to COVID-19. In May and June of 2020, many conferences adapted and went virtual, including Apple WWDC, Forrester CX, and Dell World.3
Along with these changes, European consumers are tightening their belts, and spending in virtually every product category is expected to decline. Europeans also have started to purchase groceries and entertainment online, and plan to continue to do so. This trend is seen even more in countries which have strong e-commerce usage, such as in Britain. According to the United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics, online sales rose from 20% of all sales in February 2020, to about 27.5% in the last week of March 2020.
Given these extraordinary changes, European companies’ business models will have to adjust accordingly. These adjustments include:
- Uptake of product and service innovations
- Use of manufacturing technologies
- New business models
- HR management
- Work environments
The future of business in Europe for companies will depend on their ability to innovate and transform digitally. Digital transformation can be done through various new technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT), and high-power computing. By effectively implementing such technologies, businesses in Europe are much more likely to deliver a breakthrough in productivity. According to McKinsey, digital opportunities can lead to more than one percentage point of productivity growth.4
To date, innovative thinking and execution have served as essential components in providing a sustainable and inclusive recovery. Research and innovation have made production sectors resilient during this pandemic, and digital transformations are ensuring a company’s preparedness for the near future.
How NMS Can Help
While turnaround and transformation can come in many different forms, we view such consulting as a cross-functional effort to change the current trajectory of a company, whether it is operational, strategic, or purely digital in nature. If you feel your company is not performing at its peak due to COVID-19 or other disruptions, we are here to guide you with a team effort which will culminate in improved and sustained performance. Whether your company needs a complete overhaul, or simply additional guidance on some needed changes, we will be at your side until the goal is reached. A successful implementation of strategic consulting relies on a unified vision and commitment to positive change. We have provided strategic consulting solutions to organizations large and small and focus on identifying what will most help you make integrated strategic choices that result in exceptional outcomes. We work closely with you to collaboratively implement solutions that fulfill your strategic vision. Our mission is to deliver in-depth market analyses to help clients solve complex issues.
Mr. Mansourian has a 12-year track record as both a management consultant and investment banker, advising clients on valuation, capital markets, structured financing, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures and general corporate strategy. Mr. Mansourian served as Vice President while at NMS Capital Advisors, when the company achieved cumulative sales growth of over 5,100% with annual compounded sales growth in excess of 120% from 2012 to 2017.