Page 1 of 5      Next page>
(Deutsche Version)


Since a few months already Covid-19 is keeping us on edge. Especially the retail and CPG industry currently experience two extremes between essential retailers and producers on the one hand, focused on grocery and FMCG, and unfortunately all “other” retailers and producers on the other hand. The former who (until now) profit from the situation and the latter who are currently heavily burdened.
In these times it is a challenge to think ahead and get a grip on the masses of information. For this reason, I would like to share some pragmatic approaches and solutions for retail and CPG with you in the following.



Covid-19 Phases

There are many different models highlighting different time horizons on the Covid-19 crisis. In addition to that there are many different approaches on how international governments envision to contain Covid-19 and what the subsequent measures could be.
From my point of view, looking at three phases is reasonable and straightforward, because depending on segment or category there will be different respective specificities:

  1. Navigate the now:
    The lockdown mode requires from essential retailers, producers and logistics companies a „Year End“ operating mode, meaning increased production, pressure on supply chains, increased demand and relating consequences, such as a freeze of the IT-landscape. In addition to that there are increased hygiene and separation requirements to be met in stores, to minimize direct contact and virtual or remote work is on the rise. For all other retailers and brands the lockdown means the standstill of the majority of operative processes and massive cost reductions as well as the need for governmental subsidies.
  2. Plan the comeback:
    During the easing of lockdown measures operative processes will be returning to normal or will be picking up. Furthermore, the extreme amplitudes in demand will balance themselves out – in both directions. Based on the experiences in phase 1 plans to supplement existing business processes as well as sales and communication channels alongside with necessary tools will be made and tackled. E.g. online shops, mobile and social channels will be introduced as well as hybrid sales channels, such as Click & Collect, will be enabled.
  3. Shape the new normal:
    With increasing return to normal for the worldwide economy more extensive business process optimizations will be approached. Especially complex processes with many involved parties and dependencies like the supply chain. Here, not only digital tools will come into operation, but also new partnerships and alliances will be forged. Moreover, new impulses for the “digital togetherness” and “digital shopping experiences” will be invented and tested.

Industry-specific Microsoft & Partner Solutions during Covid-19

In my blogpost in March I reflected on how Microsoft Teams can support employees in stores, warehouses as well as production facilities and that during the Covid-19 crisis Microsoft Teams is available for free for 6 months (Please contact your Microsoft representative for specifics).
In the meantime, further solutions within the Microsoft Portfolio and our partner portfolio have surfaced, which are relevant for retailers and consumer goods producers and are offered with special Covid-19 conditions.
The solutions comprise four major focus areas which are apparent during the Covid-19 phases:

  1. Support of essential retail processes in stores
  2. Support of employee collaboration and communication
  3. Support of mobile, omnichannel and e-commerce processes
  4. Support of supply chain processes and transparency

Please note: this compilation is being continuously extended and kept current. Please contact us in case of questions or suggestions!