Alexandra VARLET, Associate Director at Morgan Philips Interim Management, specialist in interim management, wanted to interview Caroline, an HRD and Transformation consultant with experiences on large scale change management projects and business transformation. Caroline is a committed woman who adapts quickly to problematic situations. She is one of a kind “couteau Suisse” as she is multi-skilled and has a large background on project management for different clients. She is capable, trustworthy and open minded. She loves leading teams to success to achieve strategic objectives and develop new group organizations.
So, let’s find out according to Caroline, how international businesses should respond during a global crisis.
Alexandra: What are the pandemic-related disruptions for French subsidiaries?
Caroline: Coronavirus is significantly impacting the whole world economy with sever disruption of local companies’ global supply chains and demand, creating significant loss of revenue and severe cascading impacts. As the duration of this world crisis is still unknown, there are serious consequences for companies which must adapt and create new solutions, as it can still last up to several months to several years.
Alexandra: What could be a viable crisis management framework and an adequate protocol to provide an effective response to these events?
Caroline: Businesses need to adapt on a monthly basis their crisis management solutions and to develop alternative plans, in order to take measure to reduce financial losses and operational exposure. In this difficulty, companies had to identify the potential impact on the chain of activities, on functions and on their interdependencies. Now, it is important to build the most effective team, to solve all of the matters asap, build and adapt action plans and have an effective communication to maintain trust and confidence. The COMEX needs to have a global overview on the situation and stay positive, taking the leads on a viable and successful plan.
In any case, companies should identify organization as Morgan Philips, where there may be opportunities to assist with critical activities or urgent matters.
Alexandra: Should companies pay closer attention to their infrastructures and facilities?
Caroline: Definitely. Remote working can lead to some potential facilities shutdowns. Companies need to adapt and are forced to think of major changes such as: Real Estates, facilities, surface organization and Human Resources needs at national level.
Alexandra: At which viable cost saving solutions can you think of, for sectors where remote working is not an option?
Caroline: Real estates is a good one as it is the second cost for companies after wages.
The sanitary crisis creates needs in undertaking due diligence on real estates and HR needs (leases details, sub-tenant leases, departments surface area, remote working productivity, office management and buildings maintenance costs, …) so as to lay down the facilities strategy seeking optimization and rentability.
Alexandra: What are the consequences of a higher number of employees being forced working remotely?
Caroline: Telework on a large scale and in a long run may create productivity gain and save costs on Real Estate outgoings for companies. If we pay attention to workers well-being, it could also have a good impact on regional inequalities and also why not on gender equality. HR should find solution when teleworking remains not an option for some employees (family matters, space for working, fast and reliable broadband …) and work as well on the diffusion of managerial best practices, ICT skills and self-management.
Alexandra: Do you think that this global crisis may result in a shortage of workforce with specific skills?
Caroline: For very specific skills as always, and anyway this pandemic wave will probably require to have fast solutions for key position replacement and for also internal project management core of business transformation. Once again interim management or having temporally an expert in the company, could be the solution.
Alexandra: How would you advise our international clients to support their French locations?
Caroline: The best way to support them is to listen to their needs and find tailor-made solutions for the daily business. But they will need to adapt to their new constraints and usually a due diligence on specific matters is a good start to simplify process and organization, to analyze contracts and work on cost savings.
Alexandra: What are the pros, for decision-makers based abroad, in hiring an interim manager to restructure, transform… their French sites?
Caroline: Interim Managers are 'hands on' and will not only advise, but also take actions and execute. Impartial, an expert will do the best for the business with no hidden agenda and will create a tailored action plan for the client.
Alexandra: To sum up Caroline, what should be the next actions to make significant economy for leaders, to safeguard their French market?
Caroline: National facility’s needs (and maintenance) and surface planning organization, potential relocation or settlement of sub lease can be a start to cut unnecessary costs but there is also for example improving efficiency and department capabilities (redesigning services to cost less), outsourcing of non-core business function, contracts review and pushing suppliers for lower prices.
For more information on our interim services, you can visit our Interim Management page or contact Alexandra Varlet by telephone on +33 1 58 56 59 87 or +33 6 52 45 64 94.