BDO USA’s Murphy, Collins Discuss Business Recovery Post COVID-19

There’s certainly a recovery period ahead for businesses in a post-pandemic world, and finally, it’s in sight. In the Monday afternoon session at PPAI Expo Direct-2-You, “How To Prepare Your Business For Recovery,” Sean Murphy and Bill Collins of BDO USA led hundreds of attendees through a 54-minute information-packed session, beginning with what they feel is wrong with the question, “How can you prepare your business for recovery when this crisis is over?”

Moderated by Megan Mandeville, national marketing lead for BDO’s legal, compliance and risk focus, and litigation services practice, Collins, who is BDO’s chief strategy officer, said the question suggests there is a finite end to the pandemic, which is a bias or misconception. “Quite rightly, we as organizations and, we, as leaders within organizations, have spent a predominant amount of our energy on dealing with the impacts of the coronavirus challenge, as well as thinking of ways in which we operate going forward, and what that means for both ourselves internally, our employees, our leadership, and also our customers and our partners—and what does that mean within the markets?” said Collins. “And to think that has an end date, I think that’s something of a fool’s errand.”

Asked about what is right with the question, Murphy said that “since crisis is a catalyst for change,” it’s both a necessary and motivating factor for leadership to consider their plans of action. “What we want to do from an industry perspective is we want to stop underreacting and waiting too late to make those decisions, and we want to be able to have those decisions thought in advance,” he said. Murphy said it isn’t a matter of planning for the impossible feat of preparing for everything, but to outline various scenarios and create a basic framework to address them. Collins said the question is a call to action. “By asking that question, we’re actually turning a mirror on ourselves and we’re asking, ‘What does it mean to lead?’”

Murphy and Collins also discussed market trends that were accelerated due to the pandemic. Collins said the hospitality industry was among the most changed, with diners swaping the in-dining experience for the option to have restaurant food delivered via food-delivery apps to the comfort of their own homes, and the growing presence of “ghost kitchens”—delivery-only restaurants used exclusively to produce food for virtual brands—and its impact on restaurants, bars and other food establishments. He noted changes in the healthcare industry as well, with greater usage of virtual services, such as the Telehealth app, and preferring medication delivery services over visiting the local pharmacy. Murphy added that COVID-19 has changed expectations surrounding services and delivery, and has augmented the incidence of fraud, procrastination in business, and cyber issues from system strain. He said to survive, companies must be prepared to “move faster than we’re prepared to move, than we have the education to move,” and develop a plan to manage it all.

This session and others presented during PPAI Expo Direct-2-You will be available on-demand soon.

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