Scenario Planning: How to Respond and Recover

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We are currently living in an exceptional time with trade conflicts, Brexit, climate change, and COVID-19 cases continuing to rise. The financial impacts that 2020 has brought with it are severe and no one knows how long it will take to regain control. No organization has been immune to the current pandemic’s impact. It is likely that the choices organizations face will only get tougher and more complex as we anticipate the post-pandemic environment.

As uncertainty rises, and financial impacts become more visible, organizations must be proactive in assessing their ability to navigate the uncertainty of the current disruptions. Organizations now, more than ever, need to be agile and respond quickly to changing situations, understanding when to stay the course, and when to adapt and be able to restart swiftly once the situation improves.

However, the speed at which the COVID-19 pandemic is still lingering may require organizations to adopt new tools and capabilities, such as real-time decision-making solutions and scenario-based forecasting. This enables organizations to model the changes they are currently experiencing quickly and devise a recovery plan. The need for scenario planning and collection of all available data, both internal and external, has never been more important. It is critical for organizations to be able to identify priorities while preparing for many different scenarios. Being able to simulate and assess the impact of various scenarios rapidly is crucial.

Scenario Planning to Enhance Decision-Making

The biggest enemies for good decision-making in turbulent times is neither uncertainty nor ambiguity, they are overconfidence, procrastination, and incomplete data. Scenario planning, when executed properly, can mitigate the risk of falling into the trap of over-confidence when anticipating the future. These issues should be approached with three timeframes in mind:

  • Respond: This is when organizations should look at the new event and adapt with agile planning enabled by real-time data. Observations should be made for internal and external trends in real-time, assessing options, and looking at impacts and interventions that can help in the short term.
  • Recover: The recovery phase is where organizations should think about the best- and worst-case scenarios. The objective of these scenarios is to understand the impact of new consumer preferences. The opportunity is to chart the new landscape, reassess options, re-evaluate what is being done, and look at different business models.
  • Reinvent: this phase is more for the long-term and focuses on defining the new normal. Organizations should look at new, dynamic, connected, and predictive planning modules across the organization and link them with strategy and collaboration in mind.

Response and Recovery in Real Life

The way an organization responds now will dictate how they recover in the future. Organizations need to reimagine what they do and how they do it. Agile planning combined with scenario-based capabilities leveraging real-time data will help organizations with the flexibility they need to drive better decision-making in these uncertain times. Vanguard’s Mesh Network is designed for maximum speed, fail-safe performance, and improved customer experience, enabling business users worldwide to collaborate in real-time. These capabilities allow organizations to take bold actions to effectively navigate through current and future disruptions. To discuss our technology with one of our supply chain experts, please contact us here.