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Where to Focus in an Uncertain Economy

December 9, 2022

Managing and pivoting during uncertain times is no stranger to business leaders. Leaders have been challenged with navigating through an unprecedented pandemic for more than two years now, but the year ahead looks a little bit different. Headlines are focused on global unrest, projected recessions, soaring inflation, volatile fuel costs, supply chain issues, and more. Where should business leaders focus their efforts for 2023 with all of these issues looming?

It’s important to recognize that instability can lead to immense opportunity for businesses. History has shown this happens time and time again. So, how can businesses prepare to come out of 2023 on top? It’s all about focusing on the right places. According to Forbes, the three main areas companies should invest in include those that maximize revenue growth, profitability, and resilience. But, what does that look like in practice?

Let’s take a look at these key considerations to best plan for 2023.

Make The Right Investments

To maximize revenue growth, profitability, and resilience, companies that selectively reduce costs and invest in future growth significantly outperform those that ubiquitously cut costs.

Professor Pankaj Ghemawat, in his 2009 MIT Sloan Management Review article, “The risk of not investing in a Recession”, cautions that those firms who do not invest during a recession might incur far-reaching disadvantages that might eventually prove insurmountable.

Investment in digital transformation is the key to cost reduction during downturns. Selecting the right technology with the right technology partner can help usher in more visibility, agility, and efficiency. Companies that leverage analytics to get a better understanding of business operations will be best positioned to further examine areas for improvement and uncover long-lasting competitive advantages. 

During the 2007-2009 Recession, companies that prioritized early cost restructuring, starting with implementing emerging digital technologies, accelerated profitability during and after the recession. Bain published an article in 2019, encouraging companies to anticipate future downturns by adopting digital technologies. Its authors stated, “For companies anticipating the next recession, digital technologies will provide new ways to move faster and simplify their businesses with both step-change and continuous improvements.” 

Transform Operations from Manual to Automated 

Past recessions have put a positive spotlight on the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data powered by cloud technology that helps drive adoption of automation which ultimately sets up more efficient operations. Real-time IoT data provides the ability to assess situations faster and eliminate manual and oftentimes labor intensive practices. 

For example, a common scenario for Powerfleet customers is the need for visibility into the location and status of their mobile assets. They may conduct physical asset checks by employees that are time-consuming and prone to human error in the record keeping. Those valuable labor hours could have been better utilized elsewhere. By investing in a real-time visibility solution, day-to-day processes and tracking capabilities improved.

Technology with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are leading areas that can also help reduce costs, optimize expenses and give your company agility and adaptability to a changing economic environment. AI can remove manual operations to reduce human error and increase efficiency.

Without advanced modular solutions, data science, and AI-driven insights, companies will be forced to make decisions blind, which could have drastic negative operational and financial impacts. Those poorly informed decisions, in times of uncertainty, could be what makes or breaks those in 2023. 

Looking Ahead – 2023 and Beyond 

Investment in IoT can transform your business and provide near-term payback and longer-term return on investment to help your company succeed even in down-turn markets. It is crucial that the implementation and rollout of IoT technology solutions is successful to reap the benefits and promise of IoT. That’s why working with a partner with the experience and teams in place to act as an advisor to help with the implementation process should be part of the section process.

For companies that have already invested in IoT technology for digital transformation of their operations, workforce safety and management, and compliance, they should look to their providers for additional advancements that may be available. Areas where companies can examine to get more out of existing systems are in sensor data, third-party data integrations, microservices, and trend analytic or data science reporting. 

Powerfleet is a global leader of IoT software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that optimize the performance of mobile assets and resources to unify business operations. We help drive digital transformation through our customers’ and partners’ ecosystems to help save lives, time, and money. We recently launched our new fleet intelligence platform, Powerfleet Unity, that unites people, assets, and data together to transform the way you do business. Powerfleet Unity’s extensive integration library of data sensory device types coupled with Powerfleet’s modular, business performance improvement solutions allow customers to receive rapid speed to value and deliver dramatic positive change to their business. Powerfleet Unity will also offer customers data extensibility by exposing the platform using extensible microservices and open APIs to make integrating to external systems and leveraging their own data quick and easy.

The Bottom Line

Economic downturns are the most challenging phases for any organization. It’s during these times that it is vital for companies to invest in technologies that will help data informed decisions. Companies must leverage the uncertainty of the market to push forward with changes. They must invest in proven technologies to accommodate for the copious changes on the way and create space for long-lasting growth. IoT and telematics solutions can help increase efficiency through better fuel economy and asset utilization as well as improve safety and security. By enhancing your safety, productivity, cutting costs, and improving customer service, implementing IoT technology will better position your company to not only survive a downturn but thrive.

Contact us today to discuss your business objectives so we can help your organization thrive in the year ahead. Our tenured and talented team can help you and those at the heart of your organization focus on what matters most as you prepare for 2023. 

 

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