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SDDDC· Ten Lessons | Lesson 5. Agility

2021-1-19 16:52:06 Comments:0 Views:679 category:SDDDC News


“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security”

                 ----John Allen Paulos 

COVID-19 pandemic came and conquered the world within a few weeks. According to recent figures from JohnHopkins University (, the virus globally hit 21.6 million people with over 775,000 deaths within about 8 months. Since we have over 30 mn cased and by the time of the printing of this booklet the 1 million death will be passed - eg the status at Oct 1, 2020. Many governments responded to this with unprecedented interventions. The effects of these interventions were huge as many of us have experienced.

The last time we as humans had to deal with such a pandemic was in 1347-1351, a long time ago. The Black Death (bubonic plague) had a huge impact on mankind as well. Entire cities and villages were completely wiped out and the way of living people was used to before the epidemic was incomparable with the situation afterward and therefore not of much use. A more recent outbreak was Ebola in Congo. Other major disasters such as floods, tornados, volcano outbursts and wars; all led to a huge number of people having to adjust to new situations. 

In our time, the pandemic also has a major impact, although in another way. Most countries went into a kind of lockdown, as a result of which many public services, such as restaurants, public transport, sports clubs, etc. were closed. It was the largest lockdown of the out-of-home establishments ever in human history. Even during the great wars restaurant remained open.

Dairy is an important ingredient for this out-of-home foodchain. This chain came to a complete standstill and had a huge effect on the sales of flavored dairy drinks, cream, butter for cooking, etc. Just think, for instance, of the enormous quantities of coffee creamer cups, small portions of cheese, single slice packs, ice cream, and lots of other things consumers use in airplanes and other forms of transport. ‘On the go’ became ‘stay at home’. In general, this involves relatively profitable products, so the companies that are fully dependent on this route to market cannot compensate any losses with other product-market combinations and have suffered a strong decrease in their sales. 

Case study Cheese UK:

It has been a tough few months for British cheesemakers, but one company has a more positive perspective for the future thanks to its switch to e-commerce and the way it sells its products. Bath Soft Cheese Co. lost more than 50% of its business when the corona crisis forced restaurants and cafes to close, leaving it facing an uncertain future. Besides a drop in orders, the company also had to close its brand-new café in its hometown, but at the same time, it had to make sure that the work on the farms continued. In its attempt to survive the unprecedented challenges it was faced with, the company launched a simple cheese selection for home delivery and also created a grocery home delivery scheme for its village and the nearby rural area. Essentials were sold from their shops. In this way, the company managed to survive.

Lesson learned:

When business gets tough, we have to show flexibility and adjust ourselves to the new situation. 




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