Image: Lorna Wu 2/

Research: COVID-19 Mitigation

Image: Lorna Wu 2/

The world took a step or more back when the pandemic was underway. One result was that many products were either born or repurposed to combat this tragedy. This report puts structure around how you may want to consider keeping this in check.

Classifications: (what is this?)

  • Category Size: Medium
  • Geographic Dispersion: Low
  • Requirements Complexity: Medium

Industries Covered:

  • Hotel, Resort, Motel, Inn, B&B, Restaurant, Vacation Rental, Golf, Spa and more
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This special report is intended to be a planning resource for hotel, vacation rentals, restaurant and golf and country club businesses affected by COVID-19. It’s important to note that Capsolve is not an expert in the virus, but understands the software, technology and business processes that may help protect you, your colleagues, your company and your community from the risks inherent within a COVID-19 influenced world. The COVID-19 mitigation categories and solutions are not silver bullets in and of themselves, but offer viable, common-sense based possibilities in your efforts to mitigate the aforementioned risks. 

Capsolve has identified a preliminary 26 fundamental capabilities that may be affected by COVID-19 mitigation for these industry segments. These capabilities may require adjustment, discontinuation or a complete overhaul to be successfully addressed in this rapidly changing environment. Capsolve has also identified 34 solution categories and is actively compiling the software, technology, equipment and services within them that may prove useful depending upon your specific needs and chosen business and mitigation strategies.

Marketplace Context

The COVID-19 crisis is being described each day as “unprecedented times”, “uncharted territory” and “a challenging scenario”. While we have learned much about this virus and how to manage it, we may have yet more to learn. Selected regions of the world have more experience with the effects of contagious viruses and have put in place solutions to mitigate this unique type of issue. Capsolve’s research attempts to aggregate solutions based upon all of these inputs and more.

As you already realize, your needs as a business have and may continue to change over the coming months and years. What appears to be taking shape right now will undoubtedly be different when this situation clears. We may be dealing with complete eradication of the virus that allows our economy to rapidly return to previous levels, continued management of a heightened threat or something in between creating a sense of a new normal. This may vary by region or location and the effect on a given business may require a specifically designed response aligned with your local COVID-19 impact, company culture and philosophy as well as other known or unknown factors.

Capsolve’s Research on COVID-19 Mitigation Solutions includes:

  • COVID-19 Affected Capabilities
  • Prospective Solutions
  • COVID-19 Solution Cloud
  • Marketing Considerations
  • Risk Mitigation

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Mitigation solutions encompass virus killing tactics, disinfecting solutions, equipment and technology designed to eradicate or protect us against this new enemy.

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COVID-19 Affected Capabilities

When considering Capsolve’s clients, we recommend reviewing your capability subset that was or will be affected by these world changes. It is also crucial to stay flexible and ready to adjust as the clarity and collective view of this situation continues to unfold. The following chart shows capability areas that may need to be modified based on our brave new world, regardless of what scenario becomes our end result. This research and its charts will be updated as our collective industry predictions become reality or not.

Prospective Solutions

Now that we have a baseline of what might change in the near future, we need to understand the solutions in the marketplace that could help us as businesses. Our goal is to provide the type and style of service that may be necessary or prudent to meet the needs of our customers, guests and business partners. This fact will remain true.

While some restaurants have decided to close and not attempt to weather the many unknowns we are living in right now, others are adapting quickly and may need to continue this level of change before all is said and done. One area affecting the restaurant segment is Pick-up and Delivery. Many Full-Service restaurants simply didn’t offer this option until COVID-19 arrived and demanded it. Today, many have scrambled to adjust their operations to accommodate this type of food service. Even Quick Service locations that were possibly better prepared from a marketing and technology infrastructure perspective, have made significant changes to their operations to meet new market expectations and perform their COVID-19 mitigation techniques.

As another example, limiting certain types of customer contact during the menu contemplation stage, ordering process, and receipt of food, is now imperative to business success. Therefore, the menu medium and the ordering and payment processes have new, crucial requirements that many businesses didn’t have before this situation surprised us. That is, they may need to be contactless or address the idea of minimizing viral spread through surfaces, money, credit cards, hands or speech. Furthermore, the delivery of products to the consumer may include any number of technologies such as: digital menus, digital ordering features, take-out storage at the restaurant, mobile warming ovens, drones and numerous other solutions. Learning from other region, such as Asia and the Middle East in addition to the medical and banking industries, may prove paramount to managing these new risks.

Building upon one of Capsolve’s areas of expertise, the next chart helps direct the mind toward potential solutions to creating a new “how” for any of the previously mentioned capabilities. Our goal here is to enable you to make connections between Affected Capabilities and Potential Solutions and reach results faster and easier. While similarities exist across the two charts, they were designed to promote creative solutioning rather than forcing a structured thought pattern.

When using these grids with or without Capsolve, don’t limit your team’s ability to construct solutions from these ideas. As an obvious example, could personal protective gear from the medical industry play a role in Food Production or Delivery, similar to the addition of single-use gloves many years ago? Should UV emitting robots and consumer devices play a role in cleaning rooms or restaurant surfaces? Should the frequency of disinfecting procedures increase at the POS, login or payment devices? Should restaurants give incentives to their customers to pre-order, using online ordering functionality? Should mobile phone geo-positioning data play a role in tracking potential exposure after a positive test is confirmed? Will our revenue management processes correctly recommend appropriate pricing as today’s data anomaly becomes its historical input? Are changes necessary to internet booking engines for hotels and vacation rentals? All valid questions depending upon your organizational needs.

Marketing Considerations

There is always concern about spending marketing dollars during a crisis environment and that is a decision you have to make in addition to allocating the money you do have to the best producing marketing programs. However, if your balance sheet allows, you may want to consider closely monitoring reliable sources of information regarding the market rebound and the shape of its curve. This information will fuel your strategic and marketing decisions in the coming months. Planning when to re-employ your staff and how to rebuild your business given any meaningful changes that may be around for the long haul will be important to your successful resurgence.

All businesses have to contend with the allocation of potentially limited marketing funds to determine how best to create and manage marketing campaigns. That said, it is necessary to inform the public of any meaningful changes in how you do business.

Risk Mitigation

While foretelling the future is entertaining, as usual, our suggestions are founded on the principles of being practical and quickly finding solutions to real world issues and opportunities. These risk mitigation techniques may be useful to your company.

  1. Working from home and deploying the technology to facilitate this new type of distance-based collaboration amongst your teams and customers.
  2. When working on-site, what type of protective gear might your employees need to have on hand to keep employees and guests safe.
  3. New cleaning procedures and tools that may be necessary to avoid or manage the introduction of the virus into any type of workplace environment.
  4. Changing business processes to account for current economic conditions and COVID-19 mitigation, the local business environment and the realities of your limitations and opportunities.
  5. Training and educating employees with accurate information about the situation and how your business processes have changed.
  6. Application of Technology to assist your business in managing this change and any new processes you choose to implement.
  7. Continuity Planning – your business has and may continue to be at risk of change, what is required to maintain a consistent and reliable operating environment.

Questions for the Now & Future

As the world continues to change at a rapid pace as a result of COVID-19, here are some questions your company may want to answer:

  1. What are appropriate solutions to re-engage previous business and find new business in this environment?
  2. How will my business interact differently with customers now that the crisis has mostly subsided?
  3. What information or expertise sources could I rely upon to keep me aware of demand levels as we exit the crisis?
  4. What COVID-19 mitigation capabilities should we continue to manage and how will they affect our business?
  5. How will your business position itself to take advantage of necessary and innovative solutions within its own Roadmap?
  6. How could I estimate the financial implications of either an investment or divestment in capabilities or business processes and how will they help my business survive?
  7. How will businesses continue to manage employee compliance with changes in procedures?
  8. How should the responsibility of health and compliance be allocated to either the business or the customer?
  9. How will the new solutions put in place to address this era affect the other areas of my business?

About this Report

This document details a review of the marketing information and capabilities associated with this category’s solutions and the surrounding technology ecosystem. It contains original content written by Capsolve to provide a perspective of current trends affecting one or more of the hotel, restaurant and golf & country clubs industries. The analysis covers a statistically significant portion of the previously defined category marketplace.

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