CEO Viewpoint: Take Steps Now to Weather Today’s Economic Uncertainty

Posted by


todays economic uncertainty


I meet monthly with a few dozen CEOs from diverse industries to discuss pressing business issues and opportunities and share lessons and best practices. The hot topic at the last meeting: How to prepare and execute under different economic possibilities, especially a downturn that may be on the way.

This potential business slowdown should be top-of-mind for all of us. There are steps we can take now that will better position our operations and businesses to navigate economic curves. The good news here is that building resiliency and flexibility also sets up organizations to thrive during better times.

Make plans for different contingencies. No one likes to think about business setbacks. Nonetheless, it’s important to do just that. You should make plans based on different economic scenarios and the likely impact on your business unit or enterprise. To ensure ongoing profitability and viability, develop tiered responses detailing specific cost-cutting, operational efficiencies and revenue generation actions that address increasingly difficult business conditions.

Don’t wait to automate. Even as they focus on cost control, many companies are rightly moving full speed ahead on automation and digital transformation. Eliminating manual steps from any critical business process saves money by improving speed, accuracy and efficiency. It also frees up employees to focus on higher-value work, reduces recruiting costs during a national workforce shortage and enables business operations to continue even if there are layoffs.

Look beyond your four walls. If your vendors or critical suppliers start cutting, will they have the resources, skills and flexibility to continue delivering products and services to you and your customers? How cost-efficient, agile and automated are their operations? It’s important to line up alternatives, backups and other business continuity plans. And when making future vendor/supplier selections, their financial stability and longevity are obvious considerations.

We at Nordis have been steadily automating workflows, including presorting and checking zip codes via the U.S. Postal Service’s Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) and addresses in the USPS National Change of Address (NCOA) database. Also, we’ve designed Expresso™ and our suite of cloud applications to enable self-service and control by our customers. But as a full-service provider, we’ve also invested in expanding our client success team because some clients want to work directly with our experts.

Enhance customer experience. Consumer billing and payments play a critical business role at all times, but no more so than when every dollar in counts. Reducing late or missed payments must be a priority.

That’s hard to do if customers have to choose which bills to pay each month. Fortunately, with Expresso and Nordis, you can remove barriers to payment and improve engagement by catering to consumer preferences for receiving digital or print statements and payment reminders. It’s also easy and effective to encourage prompt payments by including links in texts and emails, QR codes on paper bills and in all cases prominently displaying payment options on communications. In short, make it easy and convenient for your customers to pay you.

Get ahead of payment problems. To get in front of customer financial problems, use billing statements and other communications to promote payment plans, partial payments or other options. This approach will support continued revenue while strengthening customer relationships. Most people want to pay their bills and this middle ground would mean fewer customers would ignore your bills because you give them a path to get current.

To make it more cost-efficient and give consumers options other than expensive call centers, enable self-service for setting up these payment alternatives on your company’s mobile app, website or payment portal.

Plan the work, then work the plan. You’ve probably often heard the saying that you can’t control what happens to you, you can only control how you react. Rather than wait for the moment of truth, however, you can figure out in advance how to cope under different adverse business conditions.

The best outcome is to have contingency plans and never have to execute them. You can hope for the best, but should always assume the worse and prepare accordingly.


Ronnie Selinger - Nordis Technologies President-CEO

See what Nordis can do for you.