June 2020
3 minutes

How the Medium-Sized Companies Withstand the Crisis and Prepare Themselves for the Future

Results of a Survey of Medium-Sized Companies on the Impact of the Corona Crisis

Nevertheless, companies leave no doubt about their business models. (Image: alphaspirit/istockphoto.com)

What about the resilience of the medium-sized companies? What measures do they take to prepare for the post-Corona period?

We discussed these and other questions with selected companies in April 2020. Internationally operating medium-sized companies with 500 to 15,000 employees were surveyed. The participants examined crisis management from the perspectives of different industries, roles and organizational structures, which, despite all the differences in their business, reveal common patterns.

As a result, SMEs expect the Corona crisis will have massive impacts on their business. Naturally, the focus at the beginning of the crisis was on securing financial factors such as sales, costs and liquidity.

The good medium-sized companies are robust enough to withstand crises of this kind, but the unique situation and the distributed management required a lot from all involved. Not least because there are no good systems apart from XLS, PPT and e-mail for crisis management.

Nevertheless, companies leave no doubt about their business models and are confident about their ability to adapt and change quickly.

Although the consequences of the crisis are still uncertain and information for decisions is sometimes missing, sleeves are rolled up and the crisis is also used for change. The majority of companies already initiate activities during the shutdown that go beyond pure crisis management. The focus here is on portfolio optimization, digitization initiatives and customer relations.

Less than half of the participants use future scenarios systematically and compare them with business planning. The process is not an easy one, especially since SAP and Excel are mainly used as tools that reach their limits in supporting strategic planning.

In summary, the good SME sector in the crisis builds on its deep-seated roots and special strengths: stand close together, tackle the problem pragmatically and look ahead. Even if the energy required to do so costs a lot of energy, it is necessary to reach the state of a new stability. In order to master this transformation successfully, appropriate conditions need to be created.

Based on the results of the survey, research and our own experience, we have compiled 6 recommendations for action that can create a robust basis for successful transformation.

The detailed results of the survey and our 6 recommendations for action can be found in our white paper.

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