ECONOMY

John Vasilakos: Flexibility and adaptability to take advantage of opportunities

john-vasilakos-flexibility-and-adaptability-to-take-advantage-of-opportunities

KOTSOVOLOS

2020 marked a milestone year for humanity and redefined the concept of normality. The impact of the health crisis is evident in all areas of human activity.

The changes resulting from the evolution or changes in people’s lifestyles have already affected the operation of businesses, as well as their relationship with customers. Teleworking is being established as a key component in the functional models of companies; distance learning complements or replaces the physical presence in the schoolroom; and online platforms have become an integral part of the new reality.

And as much as this new reality is frightening and the violent adjustment has not given us the time to take in all the new information, it is clear that technology has been a great ally in our efforts to survive.

The opportunities

During the lockdown, through the use of technology, both our online store and call center – which operated remotely – managed to respond to a very large volume of the total demand – something that would have been impossible without technology. During this period, sales through our website, kotsovolos.gr, and the call center jumped over 600 percent, while on peak days product deliveries reached 12,000 per day.

Growth should be driven by employment, innovation and financing, with additional components such as flexibility and adaptability. The health crisis has put health and safety in the workplace on the agenda at a more substantial level, with a clear focus on illness – both physical and psychological.

If businesses want to remain viable, they must build relationships of trust with their employees so that they do not miss opportunities for dynamic growth. Innovative ideas will help in taking advantage of opportunities, while digital transformation will continue to be a key component.

One way for retail companies to ensure the continuity of their business, even under extreme conditions, is  to invest in automated processes, personalized suggestions and service, as well as in a modern and productive supply chain.

The role of technology

There are always opportunities to be found. In our sector, the role of technology is crucial. People now spend more time at home, live with their devices and have different demands. “Technology was reintroduced to us” during the lockdown.

We used to talk about doing our laundry on a short cycle at low temperatures, but now, the need to disinfect dictates that we wash our clothes at at least 60 degrees, so people need a reliable and reasonably priced washing machine.

In information technology, home office equipment has been extremely popular, as distance learning has meant that each family member needs a different laptop.

On the one hand, these opportunities require manufacturers to adapt their products, and on the other they require retail to firmly hold the role of the adviser through all the interface points of a modern multifaceted organization.

THE COMPANY AT A GLANCE

Sector: Electronic and electrical appliances
Headquarters: Greece
Founded: 1950
Employees: 2.600
2018-19 turnover: €520 million