articles | 13 May 2020 | EY Cyprus

EY Cyprus: COVID-19 urges organisations to accelerate Business Transformation

EY Cyprus held a webcast on Tuesday, May 12th, titled Beyond COVID-19: Business Transformation Accelerated, which was attended by executives from over 100 businesses based in Cyprus. The webcast addressed the need for organisations to accelerate Business Transformation, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to get aligned with the altered customer behaviour, the need for cost optimisation and the reformed workplace experience. The webcast was presented by professionals of EY Cyprus with expertise in the business transformation process.

  • 62% of participants answered that the most challenging stage in the Supply Chain cycle is Planning and Forecasting
  • 52% of participants chose “Training/up-skilling people” as the single biggest people challenge for their organization within the next decade
In his introduction, Charalambos Constantinou, Head of Advisory Services of EY Cyprus, emphasized the necessity of Business Transformation for building business resilience and reframing for the future, and outlined the business transformation core areas, i.e. redefining customer experience, creating efficient and agile supply chain processes, reengineering enterprise’s back office operations, and finally, enhancing people competencies and redesigning the organization.

In the first section, Charalambos Moyseos, Head of Technology Advisory Services, presented insights on how organisations could redefine customer experience, highlighting the key benefits which relate to, among other things, the development of personalised and seamless customer experience.

At the end of the first section, participants were asked to choose, through a poll question, which they believed is the prevailing mindset in organisations in Cyprus nowadays, in terms of their customers. Opinions were quite divided, with 34% of the participants responding “I know my customers very well”, 20% saying “My customers are loyal to me”, 32% answering “I can easily adapt to the customer’s changing needs”, and finally 14% believing that “Customer Experience is just another fancy term with no real essence for my business”.

Then, Sakis Moyseos, Head of Management Consulting, provided a detailed analysis of how organisations can create and implement efficient and agile supply chain processes, stating that organisations need to resolve not only process driven challenges but also culture related issues. He also mentioned how technological solutions could contribute towards this end in all stages of the Supply Chain Cycle, i.e. from planning and forecasting, to delivering goods or services to customers.

In this section, participants were asked which of the following supply chain cycle stages they considered as the most challenging for their organization: Planning and Forecasting, Warehouse Management, or Delivery. As it was expected, most of the participants (62%) feel that “Planning and Forecasting” is their biggest challenge, while 27% said “Delivery”.

In the third section of the webcast, Kyriacos Kyriacou, Head of SAP Services at EY Cyprus, elaborated on the reengineering of the enterprise’s back office operations. He emphasised that in order for the reengineering to be successful, organisations will need to adopt the use of technological solutions like robotic process automation, which will lead to significant benefits such as cost savings, accuracy, speed and consistency on time-consuming, data-intensive tasks. This will also have a positive impact on productivity, since human resources will be freed up for performing higher value-added tasks.

In this section, participants were asked which process they believed will have the most positive impact to their organization if they automated using the technologies presented, with 74% choosing all three options provided, namely “Supplier invoice processing”, “Accounting reconciliation”, and “Employee on-boarding”.

In the fourth and final part, Panayiotis Thrasyvoulou, Head of People Advisory Services, talked about enhancing personnel competencies and redesigning the organization. He explained how the future of work is driven by the three forces: globalization, technology and demographics. New, agile organizational formats and designs will become imperative and upskilling in the areas of essential human skills, such as empathy, creative problem-solving, leadership of highly diverse teams and complex cross-functional collaboration, will be coupled with the need for digital up-skilling to facilitate those designs.

The final poll question asked participants to choose the single biggest people challenge for their organization within the next decade. Just over half of the participants (52%) considered “Training/up-skilling people” as the biggest challenge, while 32% chose “Designing my organization to be simple and agile” as their answer.

The webcast ended with a Q&A session, where EY executives responded to some of the questions posed by the participants during the webcast, giving a more in-depth analysis of the main issues concerning them.

Commenting on the webcast, Charalambos Constantinou, Head of Advisory Services of EY Cyprus, said: “The situation that we are currently experiencing with the pandemic accelerates the need for business transformation. COVID-19 has altered consumer and employee needs, which inevitably will lead to the transformation of the current operating model. Organisations are required to redefine customer experience, create efficient and agile supply chain processes, reengineer their back-office operations and upskill personnel through ongoing learning and development activities. We believe that the winners of this crisis will be the organisations that will start thinking and planning their business transformation from now, starting with the key areas as presented during the webcast”.

EY Cyprus will continue to organise webcasts on a regular basis, focusing on different areas of business and economic activity, with the aim to inform and discuss the effects and challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

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