As a result of government’s lockdown measures to control the covid19 pandemic, businesses of all sizes braced for the hard times ahead. They tried to balance out the inevitable drop in revenues with cost cutting measures of equal proportions. But where the cuts had to be strategic and effective, entire industries acted haphazardly and looked to cut costs across the board.
One area that was specially targeted was investments into acquiring and adopting new technologies. With the drop of businesses’ investment into tech, the innovation itself that otherwise would have continued, stagnated. Of all the cost-cutting measures taken, the divestment from technology set industry standards and growth back by several years. In certain cases, the industry standards in terms of leveraging new technology actually fell as businesses turned to the old brick and mortar practices.
A good case study for how to not just survive a pandemic but actually increase their revenues by a whopping 22.5% a year later is a foodservice company called JJ Foodservice Ltd. Even as the hospitality sector closed down and consumers were forced to stay home, foodservice and catering businesses in general were projected to be hit pretty bad. But defying the expectations and fears of many, JJ Foodservice emerged stronger than ever.
One of the things that sets JJ Foodservice apart from other businesses in their niche is their use of technology. The same day that the UK government announced the first lockdown in March of 2020, JJ Foodservice launched a business-to-consumer (B2C) service that saw their weekly orders rise by more than 40%. Not only that, they also added a dozen smaller vehicles to their operations to navigate through narrow residential streets.
Rather than holding onto their cash and not invest in their business operations, JJ Foodservice remained positive and worked around the problems posed by the lockdown. They knew the demand was there, it was only about getting their food delivered to their consumers.
Another benefit of it was that had they continued serving only the business-to-business (B2B) channel, any issues that their partner businesses faced would have inevitably affected their own operations and the bottom line. By creating a direct channel to the consumers, they ensured supply to their customers without relying on other businesses’ circumstances, therefore, eliminating the uncertainty that would otherwise have clouded their business decisions.
Businesses that invest in technology to make their operations more effective consistently edge out businesses that don’t. The covid19 pandemic was a challenging time for any business but businesses that found ways to use technology more effectively such as JJ Foodservice fared far better than those who mistakenly thought it wise to ‘save money’ by refusing to invest in tech.
JJ Foodservice and their success provides a blueprint for any business that takes technology seriously. The level of emphasis that JJ Foodservice puts on technology can be summed up by a quote from their COO Mushtaque Ahmed: “We are a tech company selling food, a problem-solving company,”.