Hi everyone, let me share some experience from my current job.
HP Tronic operates a large B&M retail chain Datart (consumer electronics) with strong e-commerce support.
Of course, the closure of our stores had a devastating impact on our numbers.
We immediately put in place crisis management and initiated the following steps inspired by Chinas learning: https://hbr.org/2020/03/how-chinese-companies-have-responded-to-coronavirus (read it carefully)
- ensuring maximum safety for employees, including through self-help ( the state failed to help in this respect)
- employment of colleagues by activities that were previously unnecessary (cleaning, inventory, shop adjustments) as they are paid and in place
- reworking the entire sales network into pickup-places for online orders
- Huge focus on improving online business processes + immediate redirection of the SW development into needed fixes - setup of payments in advance for click&reserve (new functionality)
- provision of telephone support in the selection of goods directly in stores, including video chat, which is solved by our salesmen and intended for customers 55+
- preparation of an action plan in case of closure of stores (pickup-places)
- preparation of an action plan in case of closure of the central warehouses (for instance - shifting high amount of merchandize from central WH into stores - distributed risk) - investment into new goods as many of suppliers closed their production - building the stock
- deployment of LiveSale platform, which allows live chat on the web, effective co-browsing assistance, advanced chat-bot to reduce recurring customer center queries (today generates dozens of orders a day and boosts NPS) - Strengthening the Customer Care Center (from 1k to 5k calls/day)
- addition of alternative transport from stores with own company cars and using own sale-staff in case of loss / deterioration of standard carriers - setting up a new type of distribution channel (Zasilkovna) for better coverage of places where Datart has no stores nearby and the operator operates pick-up places (the plan is to use it in the future for expansion plans)
- many colleagues have been involved in sewing masks (for employees and other people) - resulting in excellent PR activity
- starting the activity "100 washers and dryers for selected retirement homes and hospitals" - resulting in excellent PR activity
- a large number of HQ employees stayed at home at home-office; After initial doubts it works, we deliver and at least my subordinates can do more, deliver more. We track our work in JIRA for individual projects, we use shared calendars, documents and MS TEAMS as a communication tool.
According to the results, we can handle the unfavorable situation, the decline in sales compared to the plan was the largest in the first week, now we meet and overcome the plan.
After a hectic period we try to get back to normal structured work.
By the way, over the past 3 weeks we have launched as many adjustments and projects as in previous half a year:-)
Maybe someone will find this experience useful. I wish you all manage the situation and stay well!