Press release

APQC Survey Finds That Despite Unprecedented Disruption More Than 80 Percent Believe Their Organizations Are Ready for the “New Normal”

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While there are many uncertainties around COVID-19, ranging from its economic impact to the potential for a second wave, an APQC survey found that businesses are already largely pivoting to building resiliency and planning for their post-pandemic futures. Specifically, 82 percent of respondents indicate they are confident (45%) or very confident (37%) in their organization’s ability to pivot to the “new normal.” The biggest challenge according to respondents, now and for the next 90 days, is not how to safely return to work but budget cuts and constraints.

“Our survey found that people have a pretty positive view about how their organizations have already responded to the unprecedented disruption and how they are planning for what is certain to be a changed environment going forward,” said Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland, principal research lead for APQC’s Process and Performance Management practice. “And while we expected concerns on health, safety, and budgets would be the biggest challenge going forward, organizations are also a bit shell-shocked and worried they are overlooking non-pandemic, related risks. In addition, flexibility, in delivery channels, employee skills and technology, seems to be the operative word going forward.”

APQC found that though most organizations have shifted their sourcing models and products or services in response to the pandemic, the biggest change is in how they deliver products and services to their customers. Fully 61 percent have changed their delivery channels. Just 41 percent have changed their means of production.

In the next 90 days, participants indicate they will accelerate a number of long-term initiatives to future proof their businesses. Reskilling employees (31%) is at the top of the list, followed by organizational transformation (26%), shortening the supply chain (25%), and automation and implementing digital products or services (23% each).

The top three skills needed in our new environment according to respondents are flexibility (52%), innovation (40%) and change management (37%).

Additional analysis and reports from the survey can be found in APQC’s newly released collection, The Next 90 Days: From Reactive to Proactive in a Pandemic.