What an extraordinary year! Overnight, our client companies scrambled to reassemble their workforces, change distribution strategies and alter production schedules to deal with an unprecedented global pandemic.
The year did bring innovations and changes that have wrought positive changes in the companies we work with:
- More employee satisfaction and balance
- New market opportunities
- Innovation in e-commerce and digital
So here are our top five trends of this year we hope continue into 2021 and beyond .
Consumer Product Companies Shift to Serving Work-From-Home Consumers
The Wall Street Journal has reported on how consumer products companies are adapting to the pandemic, by changing their production lines to accommodate higher demand from work-from-home consumers:
- Kimberly Clark is converting one of their plants to make toilet paper for homes instead of offices
- Beards are in and so P&G is investing in beard-care products
- Kraft is enhancing production of mac and cheese, cream cheese and cold cuts for the snacky home consumer
- J.M. Smucker has changed machines in its production line to accommodate home-sized containers of popular coffee brands like Dunkin and Folgers
The Digitalization of Retail (and Amazon’s Role)
This is the year that older, legacy industries, including luxury retail, finally had to grapple with more sophisticated approaches to online sales. Better user experience, apps, and even secondary markets became central to reaching a younger group of consumers.
At the same time, Amazon continues to dominate the e-commerce landscape, almost doubling it’s workforce during the post-pandemic period. Understanding the whole scope of what those companies do is part of understanding why Amazon is such a powerful force in e-commerce today.
Leveling Up Your Remote Workforce
WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg oversees a distributed workforce of 1,200 and wants to change the way you think about working from home. In an interview that we re-capped, he describes how companies can aspire to providing more autonomy for their employees by embracing asynchronous work and autonomous decision making.
If you are thinking of beefing up your approach to remote work, we have a four-part series looking at each of the steps, from hiring to designing policies.
Location Independent Hiring
In the past we’ve looked at the value and costs of hiring for the same position in several different key locations like New York and Miami. As more and more workers report from home, employers are considering the upside in hiring in new markets, expanding their territories, or even permanently relocating main offices to worker friendly locales like Miami, as Goldman Sachs and other companies are contemplating.
Innovation in Delivery
The pandemic has shifted a number of retail operation into curbside and same day delivery. A company called Technavio has estimated that the same-day delivery market in US and it is poised to grow by almost 10 billion during 2020-2024. With this explosive growth will come a whole ecosystem of shipping and fulfillment infrastructure. We’re also curious to see the continued growth of businesses new to this sector, like wine & spirits and cannabis.
How has the pandemic changed your business? And what trends do you think will stick around for good?