Adam Gersting, Dallas Office Lead for West Monroe, shares how the consulting firm is helping its clients reshape their businesses in response to the COVID-19 crisis and prepare for a productive and safe return to the workplace.
Q: West Monroe works with a variety of businesses across a range of topics, from technology to operations excellence, employee and customer engagement, and mergers and acquisitions. In the wake of COVID-19, how is West Monroe helping its clients adapt to the “new normal”?
A: While we have all been staying safe and working remotely, West Monroe continues to retain all our people, work with existing clients, engage new and prospective clients on improved productivity using digital capabilities, and help companies get back to work as the state opens.
To achieve operational excellence and improve productivity, West Monroe is helping clients transform their operating model by creating new revenue mechanisms, streamlining expenses, and improving their cash flow.
Digital capabilities are more critical than ever in a remote world. We are working with clients to rapidly assess culture, remote work environments, and collaboration, and then help implement secure digital solutions based on their needs.
According to a recent West Monroe survey, 29% of C-level executives across multiple industries believe the biggest challenge to reopening is managing business through social distancing measures, including flexible scheduling and work locations. We are helping clients get back to work through solutions backed by a newly released product from Salesforce – Work.com – which puts workforce health and safety at the forefront of operations. It empowers us to help our clients rapidly enable a safe place to work, mitigate near-term health risks, and make data-driven decisions. Key features include employee wellness surveys, contact tracing, shift and capacity management, incident management, and compliance.
Q: How is West Monroe helping clients rethink workplaces and working environments?
A: We are helping organizations plan and create adaptive and digital workspaces to excel as they return to their offices.
From a digital perspective, a refined culture of work and communication with a secure remote environment is necessary to facilitate effective employee collaboration and support. We help our clients rapidly assess needs and gaps in the following six areas and assist with implementation related to people, process, and technology.
- Digital Culture
- Remote Work Environment
- Employee Collaboration
- Business Continuity / Resilience
We are also leveraging Salesforce’s Work.com and our advisory services to re-design and manage new workspace requirements. Our clients face many workplace requirements given social distancing, government regulations, and – most importantly – employees feeling safe to come back to work. Our clients need to consider new workspace layouts, necessary PPE such as partitions or face masks, elevator and floor occupancy, staggered schedules, assignment of workspaces, sanitization procedures, and other challenges we’ve never had to face.
We help our clients assess where they are across these requirements, and then make specific, prioritized recommendations to protect their business with defensive strategies while also caring for employees and customers and capturing a stronger market position.
Q: How has the economic fallout caused by COVID-19 impacted West Monroe’s approach to streamlining productivity? What are the main challenges facing your clients?
A: The recent pandemic is forcing companies to transform their operating model, streamline operations, and drive greater productivity for all types of work.
- Revenue Enhancement: As businesses of all sizes are seeing a slowing of sales and revenue, we are working with our clients to transform their business model and develop alternate revenue channels. In certain cases, we have been able to open a new revenue channel in a matter of weeks and minimize the impact of the revenue downfall. We are also helping clients perform customer segmentation to focus on their most profitable customers.
- Cost Takeout and Productivity Improvement: To have minimal impact on the bottom line, we take a holistic look at client cost structure. We have been able to improve employee productivity and take out non-essential costs from the business to match revenue shortfall, enabling our clients to still stay profitable despite falling revenues.
- Sustained Cash Flow: With a combination of the above strategies, West Monroe has been able to help clients preserve adequate cash on hand to meet day to day needs such as payroll. We have also helped clients identify strategic opportunities such as acquisition to gain market share or geographic expansion.
From improving processes for our utilities and retail clients, to solutions enabling loans and forgiveness in banking, to using data to create action for health care organizations, we are bringing undeniable productivity improvements. Our focus on nimble approaches to creating and delivering short-term and immediate value while keeping eye on longer-term results is what sets West Monroe apart.