Based on ANOR TECH TRADING AG (ATT) ongoing analysis and support for our clients/customers, we are reflecting on our cumulative learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for the next possible crisis. Preparation and preemption now is likely to be much more effective than an ad hoc, reactive response when the crisis actually hits.
ANOR TECH TRADING AG (ATT) is updating intelligence on a daily basis and creating new strategies for mitigation, updating data and reframing our overall perspective. There are a lot of hype cycles/news cycles that focus on what’s new rather than the big picture. Therefore, we have to distinguish between hard facts, soft facts and speculation in order to take a more calibrated view. We think critically about the source of the news before acting on it. Information does not necessarily create informedness therefore we do not rely on external commentary. It is invaluable that we create and share widely regularly updated summary of facts and implications so time is not wasted debating what the facts are or making assumptions.
ANOR TECH TRADING AG (ATT) is also using experts and forecasts carefully. Opinions can differ on critical issues, therefore, it is imperative to consult multiple sources. We are employing an iterative, empirical approach to understanding what’s going on and what works, albeit one guided by expert opinion. We are constantly reframing our understanding of what’s happening.
It is essential to learn and adapt in a rapidly changing situation. ANOR TECH TRADING AG (ATT) is aware that bureaucracy leads to an overly generalized or conservative perspective and a slow, cumbersome process. Therefore, we will assemble a small trusted trading team and give them enough leeway to make rapid and prompt tactical decisions. We will use the clock speed of external events as a guideline for pacing the internal process. A living digital document will also be used to enhance speed and give us a fuller and more nuanced picture.
ANOR TECH TRADING AG (ATT) will make sure its response is balanced across these seven dimensions:
-Communications. Employees will likely be exposed to conflicting information and feel anxious or confused about the best course of action. We will be sure to communicate policies promptly, clearly, and in a balanced manner.
-Employee needs. Restrictions on travel and congregation have triggered employee needs for access to education, health care, daily provisions and the like. We are anticipating and developing solutions to these and creating an information hub where employees can find all the information they need. Many of these needs will be locally specific, requiring a multi-tiered approach to policy making.
-Travel. We have made sure that travel policies are clear in terms of where employees can travel to, for what reasons, what authorizations are required and when the policy will be reviewed. Since our staff is based in several different countries, our travel regulations will be reflected by their specific local government.
-Remote work: Due to COVID-19, over 50% of our trading staff is home based. We have made our policies clear— where they apply, how they will work, and when they will be reviewed.
-Supply-chain stabilization by using safety stocks, alternative sources, and working with suppliers to solve bottlenecks. Where rapid solutions are not possible, we will co-develop plans, put in place interim solutions, and communicate plans to all relevant trading stakeholders.
-Business tracking and forecasting of unpredictable fluctuations. We are putting in place rapid-reporting cycles so that we can understand how our trading business is being affected, where mitigation is required, and how quickly operations are recovering.
-Being part of the broader solution. As a corporate citizen we will support others in our supply chain, industry, community, and local government.
ANOR TECH TRADING AG (ATT) is as well using resilience principles in developing policies. Key goal in managing dynamic and unpredictable challenges is resilience. Our research on resilient systems shows that they generally have six common characteristics which should be reflected in crisis responses:
– Redundancy. Access to additional manufacturing capacity can help smooth supply-chain fluctuations. In the short term, we are looking beyond normal sources for solutions, but in the longer term, redundancy will be designed in.
– Diversity. Being more flexible and treating the crisis in a multi-dimensional manner.
– Modularity. We will combine factories, organizational units and supply sources in different ways to offer greater resiliency.
– Evolvability. It is possible to iterate and learn towards more effective trading solutions.
– Prudence. There is very high uncertainty. Therefore, it would be prudent for us to take a fresh look at worst-case scenarios and develop contingency strategies against each by predicting and testing.
– Embeddedness: Companies are stakeholders in wider industrial, economic, and social systems which are also under great stress. Those who fail to look at their supply chains or ecosystems holistically will have limited impact. Solutions that solve for an individual company at the expense of or neglecting the interests of others will create mistrust and damage the business in the longer term. Conversely, we are offering support to customers, partners, health care, and social systems in a time of adversity to potentially create lasting goodwill and trust. A key element of dealing with economic stress is to live one’s values precisely when we are most likely to forget them.
ANOR TECH TRADING AG (ATT) has also realized that intellectual preparation is not enough. Scenarios will therefore ideally be backed up by war gaming to simulate learn from behaviors under stress. A war room set-up, with a small dedicated trading team empowered to decide and execute, can cut through organizational complexity.
ANOR TECH TRADING AG (ATT) is preparing for a changed world. We will change how our company configures supply chains and we will reinforce the trend away from dependence on few mega-factories.