By Jenina P. Ibañez, Reporter

COMPANIES in various industries are making plans towards recovering operations in the next few weeks as the enhanced community quarantine is set to be lifted at the end of the month.

Philippine businesses must position themselves for long-term growth in adapting to the pandemic, Management Consultant Tully Moss said.

Mr. Moss said in a webinar to the Management Association of the Philippines that companies must think like startups in terms of hyper-efficiency in using cash and willingness to experiment.

He said companies should retain their workforce.

Universal Robina Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Irwin C. Lee said in the webinar that as the company shifts towards recovery, it has not laid off employees and is ensuring the resiliency of its supply base.

“What we’re doing now is stress testing our plans for a range of scenarios, but also what we have decided to do was to not mortgage the future. We have not laid anyone off. We have kept everyone on the payroll,” he said.

“Recovery will be in our hands…including looking at adjusting our plans towards next year…the heightened awareness for health and wellness trends,” he added, saying that they will tailor plans according to changing shopping habits.

Nestor V. Tan, BDO Unibank president and chief executive officer, said bank branches are moving towards digitalization.

“The biggest issue for us is how we are able to psychologically address the concerns of our staff, and we will have to adjust our working environment to see how we can maintain the due diligence that we’ve done,” he said.

The big issue, he said, is the reaction of customers in an industry geared towards having people walk into their branches.

“Will they change their behavior? If they change their behavior, we will have to adjust how we service them,” he said. “We are actually moving to a digital process, but we believe it’s years before we’re able to get there. The COVID scare may have accelerated us a few steps, but it will revert back to the slow pace by which it’s going, meaning you can’t move faster than the market.”

Arthur R. Tan, chief executive officer of Integrated Micro-electronics, said the next few weeks will be an extension of its current operating procedures.

“Being able to continue to supply the critical components that is needed on a global basis. Most of it are basically telecom-based and medical-based,” he said.

He said they have housed operators, security guards, and other staff in-house.

“However, we’re also limited…what happens on a post-scenario after this (ECQ)? The revenue is completely minimized,” he said, as the company is housing a smaller staff.

He said global industries like the automotive sector are beginning to restart their supply chains.

“The rest of the world is gonna continue, and if we’re not gonna be part of that supply chain, it will find itself somewhere else.”

He said testing for coronavirus diseases 2019 should be more extensive.