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Innovating & Adapting to Covid-19

In many sectors, life has essentially paused for the last two months. The COVID-19 crisis has presented unprecedented challenges, with businesses having been forced to shut or quickly scramble for new ways to do things.

But as is often the case, the crisis has been a major catalyst for change and has sparked real innovation. The response to this emergency has been inspiring. Businesses from across the spectrum have really stepped up, and the speed at which some have completely transformed has been impressive.

At the beginning, China, who had to face an immense challenge quickly and without warning, began to use some high-tech methods for the delivery of essential goods – with robots delivering medicines in hospitals, and also temporarily standing in for more standard residential courier services.

But this type of sci-fi innovation hasn’t been limited to the Far East. Irish business Manna Aero – which was originally focused on food-delivery – quickly pivoted to deliver medicine and essential goods to the elderly and isolated.

Across Ireland and the UK, we’ve seen programmers and developers coming together to find open source technology for more ventilators. Companies like GoCar offered free use of their car-share fleet for those on the frontline. There’s been a palpable sense of community and togetherness in the air.

It looks like we’ll be living in a “socially distant” world for quite some time, and so many businesses have acted fast to both assist the collective effort against the virus while also trying to avoid a complete halt to their own operations.

Many hardware stores and builders providers have implemented payment solutions like Prommt and, as a result, not only found that they were able to continue trading, but in many ways exceeded how they might have performed otherwise. Many doctors and medical centres have also built Prommt into their processes at this crucial time, enabling them to minimise unnecessary human contact. 

Restaurants have uniformly had to move to contactless takeaway and delivery scenarios, while also, in some instances, providing food to help out the essential workers who’ve been working tirelessly throughout the crisis. Education has now almost moved entirely online, and this will continue to be the norm wherever possible with apps like SeeSaw and ClassDojo stepping in to provide virtual classrooms.

And while many people’s economic future may be uncertain, there will undoubtedly be some positive ramifications for businesses who reacted or innovated quickly. Finding new ways to trade is nothing new, and those that will continue to thrive are the ones that will continue to adapt.  

With an ease of restrictions already afoot, it’s clear that not everything will be back to normal overnight. Many new methods recently adopted by those in various sectors will be here to stay. But the silver lining to this is that many businesses have now been forced to forge a more connected and responsive relationship with their customers. And that’s good for everyone.