According to Tariq Chauhan, CEO of EFS Facilities Services Group, the growing pressure from clients to cut costs is not bad news, it is an opportunity to transform.
The recent crisis and its ensuing economic hardships have taught us many lessons in the art of resilience. One such lesson for service providers across industries is that cost-cutting demands from clients are not always bad news, nor do they necessarily have a detrimental impact on quality. In fact, they can lead to positive change for clients and providers alike.
While concerns over quality are not always misplaced, the relationship between service quality and cost-cutting needs to be studied in more detail. Of course, when it comes to searching for ways to save money, key expenses such as sufficient wages and necessary materials should not be compromised. However, through collaboration, innovation, and sound strategizing, it is possible to cut costs and transform organizations in the process.
To set off on the right path, clients and service providers must work as a partnership, with shared goals and shared agreement on how to reach them. Both parties need to cement a relationship with complete transparency and a shared vision. They should also carry out impact analyses on any proposed cost-cutting measures and conduct in-depth research into the scale of any crisis, going the extra mile to help where possible.
Confidence is key too. Here, it is important that service providers engage with their clients and walk them through relevant data, providing sensitivity analysis on the associated risks and rewards of any potential cost-cutting exercise.
As the crisis of COVID-19 was unfolding, EFS faced a situation that demanded rapid action and close collaboration with our partners. As a service provider, we realized that we were in deep water, but rather than stop and panic, we acted swiftly and worked closely with our clients to find joint solutions to the unprecedented challenges we faced. As a result of our approach, we delivered considerable benefits in savings whilst providing the same end-user satisfaction.
In times of crisis, quick thinking and fundamental change are often required, accompanied by the necessary risk analysis. With this in mind, service providers need to move beyond their fixation with status quos and pursue new avenues of innovation and change management. Innovation is particularly important in workforce-centric contract engagements, but change management will lead companies to achieve the most outstanding results.
Most management principles touch upon how to rise above negativity and navigate through crises or adverse conditions. But much of this is theory. The litmus test lies in how to successfully manage real-life situations. Here, there is no better lesson than experience. While the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc worldwide, it has also equipped organizations with a whole new arsenal of skills and experience, leaving them stronger and more resilient as they look ahead to brighter days.
Source: Forbes Middle East