NO: DELENG / 2017 / 70663
official media partner of national maritime foundation
Murat Bakal
By Sea and Coast | 08/10/2020


In the business world, we all saw the challenges brought by COVID-19 during the pandemic process. In these processes, our goals should be to ensure that employees are as safe as possible, to ensure financial sustainability, to evaluate the flexibility of supply chains and to improve our remote working systems. However, no matter how many parameters businesses have evaluated these parameters, business continuity concerns or liquidity issues caused by the pandemic emerge as a situation that breaks companies' backs. The more focus we consider, the more we can all imagine what the future might look like in these days when restrictions imposed by governments are turning into relaxation. What lessons should we learn from this epidemic to prepare for the "new normal" after COVID-19? How can we ensure that our organizations thrive in a post-crisis world? We will try to find answers to your questions.

Who generally adapts better to crisis processes and who will be able to manage similar crises in the future

- Digitalized companies and companies that use technology well tolerate this process better.

- Companies that embrace the cultural and behavioral changes brought about by COVID-19 or similar pandemic processes are more successful in the crisis management process.

Use technology

Technology has made us rethink the way we perform core activities during this crisis. Although the exchanges are closed, it still works. Established a virtual Parliament in the UK. Contact centers around the world are switching to remote working methods, some using artificial intelligence to maintain expected customer service levels. These developments are impressive.

Many technologies and tools that we all have just learned, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, have made our lives easier.

Accept cultural and behavioral changes

For many, the global pandemic suffered weaknesses and made many traditional powers unimportant. Technology has been the common denominator for the resilience of most organizations in the midst of the crisis. It has also helped increase important cultural exchanges such as people working from home and connecting with colleagues through video conferencing platforms and collaboration tools. While online sales and services are already growing rapidly in many countries, pandemic online retailing has skyrocketed. The demand for services has increased, not only for food and household needs but more, even for training courses and entertainment. The world is still in chaos right now. Moreover, this chaos led to an important social, economic and technological transformation that plays before our eyes. Obviously, after the worst of the crisis is over, we will not go back to our old ways of living, working or doing business. It is certain that tomorrow will be very different, so today we have to start reshaping the future.

Some duties for states

The crisis had the effect of significantly expanding the state in many markets, as governments enforced strict rules to save their lives and created massive stimulus packages to save businesses. These measures have a huge economic and social cost, so many governments should focus on not having their countries shut down to the same extent in the event of another epidemic in the future. Following the financial crisis 10 years ago, governments around the world enacted more than 15,000 new laws to strengthen the global financial system. You need to consider how the new regulation might affect your organization”s business model and factors that affect your future strategy. In this process, states should save the existing crisis from deepening in an environment of trust by demonstrating reliable policies. One of the most important policies in such crisis is to carry out a safe policy.

It should not be forgotten that we are all together in this crisis. While each country has primary responsibility for its own economic and social development, countries must continue to work in solidarity on a strong, coordinated and comprehensive global response to the crisis, in line with our own capabilities and responsibilities. We need to work forward to create jobs, increase welfare, strengthen access to health and education, correct imbalances, design and implement environmentally and socially sustainable development pathways, and have a strong gender perspective. At the same time, the foundation of a fair, inclusive and sustainable globalization supported by all countries must be established. If we emerge stronger and more united from this crisis, we can better manage future crises.

If we evaluate from the maritime perspective, in such crises, especially in small businesses, periods of major crises may not be able to give opportunities for new investments due to cash shortages. In order to solve such problems, Turkish shipowners should turn to sister ship groups of different sizes in times of crisis. There may be more than one company in fleets consisting of sister ships. This strategy is a business system adopted by foreign shipowners to overcome crisis periods. At the same time, thanks to the cooperation to be made with the shipowners of different countries, the level of competition will be increased by providing operational and timing flexibility, but our country does not have a sister ship and company understanding in the maritime sector. Shipowners generally operate their own fleets. Not sharing the risk in such understanding causes many companies belonging to the sector to become bankrupt in times of crisis. The weak balance sheet and high debt level of our Turkish maritime industry reduces their future investments and credit opportunities for new ship purchases. It is known that especially our small scale shipowners have to sell their ships at low prices due to their inability to pay their debts. The method that our small scale shipowners should apply in these situationsshould be “to create common pools”.