Building resilience in the face of rising inflation

| Video

I think across countries in Asia, inflation has been a cause of concern for quite some time now. One interesting thing our research has shown is during the last financial crisis in 2008, companies that managed to stay resilient through that time actually outperformed their peers for the next decade.

So it's not just about surviving this current phase of uncertainty that's under way, but it's about making sure that what you're setting up now helps you thrive over the next many years. There is, unfortunately, there's no silver bullet.

While the market, category, and competitor context varies, we have identified five levers that have worked across organizations.

I think number one is radical product and assortment simplification. This does not mean stripping the product down to its bare bones. We have seen companies manage both democratization and premiumization of products as they do product simplification. The question is what we call design to value. What is the consumer going to value across the price tier, across the price pyramid, across the product portfolio and assortment?

The second lever is supply chain transparency, especially with what's happening in terms of how globalized supply chains have become. Something that happens in one part of the world very quickly affects the other part of the world immediately.

There is a domino effect. We've seen companies, and we've helped them set up what we call as the control tower. So, almost think about it as this elevated air traffic controller of your supply chain because supply chains are as complicated. Do you really have that bird's eye view that tells you at any point in time which of your supply chain points are at stress and, you know, which needs to have a proactive solve, or which needs to have a reactive solve?

I think the third lever that I'd like to talk about is Ops 4.0. It's been talked about for quite some time. And it is moments like this which give you the impetus to understand which parts of your operations, in most situations the manufacturing side of the operations, what can really be automated and what can be simplified going forward?

The fourth lever is what we call next generation revenue growth management. It is about commercial levers all across pricing. What can you do with your trade? But also, what about your marketing velocity, how agile you are when it comes to looking at where is the demand generation happening? Is it online? Is it offline? Is it omni-channel? How are they talking to each other?

And the last one I'd like to talk about, which I think is the most important, is reskilling at scale. The way employees want to work today is changing, both in terms of how they want to engage on a day to day basis, but also how they look at their career trajectory.

As you think about, let's say, your EBITDA tree over the next five years as an organization, are you able to link it to which parts of the organization will help you get there? So instead of looking at your organization as CXO and CXO minus one, are you looking at it as talent to value? So where are the pockets of talent? Where do they have to be in your organization for that EBITDA tree to become a reality?

These are the five levers that we've seen companies that have stayed resilient, these are the five levers that we've seen them perform well on.