Covid-19 came as a rude shock to many companies with large in-house teams. Their businesses disappeared overnight, while they were left with huge payrolls with little to pay them with!
Covid-19 is only a sign of things to come. Future customers will be even more spoilt for choice than they are today. They could appear and disappear overnight. Markets will be even more volatile. Your products and services could suddenly be so much in demand that you cannot cope, or their demand could disappear overnight! It makes no sense, therefore, for today’s companies to hold huge workforces that can become redundant overnight. This is equally dangerous for employees, who can get laid off overnight.
Some companies are recognizing this change and adapting fast to it. They are restructuring to become leaner, more specialized, and more flexible. They are focusing on their core businesses while outsourcing other operations to those who are good at them. Such specialization makes both outsourcing companies and those to whom work is outsourced more adaptable and viable. Since they only focus on what they do best, both can re-align to the changed market faster, and with better results. The market ecosystem as a whole can re-adjust and settle down much faster, with the least possible disruption.
Brisk Olive Business Solutions Pvt Ltd, with India’s largest field force of 23,000 plus ex-soldiers, should have been the most affected by Covid-19, but it was not! It was the above premise that helped our clients, as well as our company and our field force members, sail through Covid-19 easily.
When Covid-19 hit, we had many field force projects at hand, and our field force was engaged in projects as diverse as large-scale surveys, Market Research, Audits, Project management, Marketing, Training, Verifications and Business Consultancy Services. Many of these projects were put on hold overnight! However, due to our unique model neither our Clients, nor we, nor our field force were affected anywhere as drastically as it would have happened otherwise.
To explain this, let me describe the model:
Field Force Provider
Highly Trained Contractual Field Force
Managed through a tech Field Force Plus Project Management Platform, and through on-ground managers.
In this model, Clients outsource services to the Field Force Provider (Brisk Olive). The Field Force Provider uses a sophisticated methodology to operate a huge field force of thousands of hand-picked service providers (ex-soldiers) who are highly specialized in what they do.
When Covid-19 hit:
- Many Clients halted projects mid-way. This was because they were forced to cut expenses. Since they had outsourced these projects, they did not have in-house teams, whom they had to support. So they escaped relatively unhurt.
- The Outsourced Business Partner (Brisk Olive) lost work on these projects. But since its field force was largely contractual, even though highly specialized, they too escaped with relatively lesser impact.
- The highly specialized Field Force members lost work on projects where work was stopped. However, the beauty of the model ensured that they were able to shift to other work almost overnight. The Field Force Provider (Brisk Olive) quickly picked up projects relevant to the changed conditions. These included manufacturing masks, conducting online training, audits and different turn-key projects necessitated to counter the impact of Covid. It further outsourced these projects to the same field force, who now had different, but the same amount of work – in some cases, even more! Certainly, some members would have lost work, but then they too would have been forced to adapt themselves to other things. It is so easy for individuals to change and reorient as compared to a dinosaur of an organization!
- This led to Win-Win-Win for all parties involved!
I believe that it is time for similar models to be tried and tested elsewhere too. The new gig work-force which has emerged in response to the globalized economy is a reflection of the need for flexibility by both companies and individuals. The new economy demands both companies and work-forces to be agile. Both must adapt or face the risk of becoming dinosaurs.
Some changes which organizations and individuals could make are as follows:
- Companies must focus on what they are best at and outsource everything else.
- Outsourced service providers too must focus on what they are good at. They must also be more carefully focused. They could in-turn, look at outsourcing services to contractual service providers. The biggest challenge they would face is in maintaining quality. At Brisk Olive, our unique win-win model of training hand-picked, highly reliable ex-soldiers on our processes, and outsourcing services to them ensures that there is never a drop in quality. Technology tools provide a further excellent way of monitoring and ensuring SLAs (Service Level Agreements) and quality. I believe the possibility of similar models exists, which outsourced companies could experiment and adapt. WiFy – We Install It For You (https://www.wify.co.in) is an example of such a company, which offers large furniture vendors like Amazon and PepperFry furniture delivery and fitting-on-site services across India, through a distributed workforce of carpenters.
- Individual gig-workers too must choose an expertise area or areas which span multiple industries. When a particular industry faces a hit, they can then easily switch their expertise to providing services in sectors that are booming. Besides, expertise for gig workers is a must. In the end, there are substitutes for quality and reliability.
I believe that restructuring in the above manner is not an option but an imperative, to meet the demands of our new world economy in the post-Covid era.
The author is the MD and CEO of Brisk Olive Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd, India’s largest and most reliable Field Force of Ex-defense personnel.
Brisk Olive helps companies expand across India through India’s largest field force of 23,000+ trained ex-soldiers, positioned across all 741 districts of India. They offer a range of services such as Market Research, Surveys, Audits, Trainings, Project execution, Maintenance, Data Logging, Verifications, and Rectifications.
To read more, visit BriskOlive – Magnify Your Reach