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The aftermath of the coronavirus crisis on the Dutch economy is becoming increasingly visible. Big names like VanMoof and Mollie have already run into financial difficulties. Retail companies are also feeling the pain, with significant cutbacks and even bankruptcies as a result. But is there a silver lining behind the recession? After all, as is often the case with adversity, it offers opportunity for technological innovation and optimisation.

The economic downturn is causing companies, large and small, to falter. Bankruptcies are no longer rare and even established companies are losing their financial strength. In addition, start-ups are currently securing diminishing amounts of venture capital. The recession makes it clear that we need to approach things differently. But is cutting costs enough? We need to do more than just treat symptoms. We need to implement sustainable changes and look further ahead. What transformations must your company undergo now to truly prepare for the future?

A new perspective on business strategy
Uncertainty about the future is forcing companies to take a critical look at the way they operate. Are we still delivering the right product? Which processes can be made more efficient? And how can we more effectively and swiftly respond to trends? Businesses that regularly reassess their strategy are better equipped to tailor their services to meet market needs and prepare themselves for future challenges. A good example is Mediamarkt, which recently announced the opening of a marketplace to compete with bol, formerly known as

Invest in AI and automation
It’s a painful fact: The recession has also exposed the shortcomings of overly ambitious workforce strategies. More and more companies are parting ways with employees, as the economy shrinks, as cost cutting becomes a top priority. This is where technology offers a solution. If you want to achieve the same productivity with fewer staff, you need to invest in automation. By automating repetitive tasks with AI, employees become more productive and can focus on innovation and growth.

More creative communication
Due to shrinking budgets, it’s crucial for companies to rethink their communication strategies. Marketing is expensive, and reaching your target audiences is becoming more difficult, as you stand out less and less in the communications barrage. Nonetheless, you need to keep investing in your brand. Instead of betting big on expensive campaigns, you can achieve a lot with “earned media” and more creative communication. Furthermore, it’s important to build your own community. You need to choose communication channels wisely, tell the right story for your target audiences, and integrate your PR and marketing activities for maximum impact.

Adapt or lag behind
The coronavirus crisis forced many companies into a rapid digital transformation. Employers initially had to adapt to remote work, but quickly invested in all kinds of technology to support this and hired (perhaps too many) staff to support their growing online business. But now, with a recession in the Netherlands, every established way of doing things is being re-evaluated.

Just like before, it’s important that companies don’t fear this crisis. Instead, use this moment as an opportunity for further growth and innovation! After all, lagging behind in digital transformation has a greater impact than recession. Companies that are the quickest to adjust will ultimately survive and prosper. So, the ball is in the court of visionary managers. Is your organisation ready for the future?