COVID-19: The impact on operators

eSIM provider, Workz Group's CSO Robert Varty

According to Inverto, the supply chain management arm of Boston Consulting Group, around two-thirds of companies have now implemented business resilience, liquidity and supply measures to maintain their business activities during COVID-19. 

In a chat with Robert Varty, Chief Sales Officer of Workz Group, we find out how mobile network operators are readjusting to the current situation and, the short-term and long-term effects of the crisis. 

How has the current crisis impacted MNOs? 

We see that our customers are focused on evolving their business continuity plans to adapt to the situation. Network operators, in general, are faced with multiple supply chain challenges such as: supplier facilities closing,  particularly in China and India, a decrease in both passenger flights (which typically carry around half of the world’s cargo) and freight capacities leading to a rise in rates, by nearly 60-80% in the instance of air freight, and the shutdown of retail stores. At a time like this, we have been working closely with our clients, existing and new, helping them overcome these challenges of not only maintaining their stock levels but increasing inventory as a business contingency measure.  

What does this mean to operators in the long-term? 

Amidst all these physical constraints, operators are altering their business models and are focusing more on their digital offering; looking for a more non-contact approach to overcome the physical issues created by the crisis and the subsequent change in end-user behaviour. Our team has been working with clients to support their digitisation strategies through the use of next-generation technologies such as eSIM and remote SIM provisioning. Of course, this not only brings about an immediate opportunity but also bodes well for the company’s future-readiness in an IoT world both in terms of new consumer devices such as smartphones, watches, wearables etc. and also new enterprise services where more businesses are looking at connected solutions that enable remote management and automation of assets.  

What special support is Workz offering clients during this time? 

First and foremost, we have been in constant communication and working together to resolve the difficulties that this pandemic presents with regard to freight and stock levels. With simple planning, we have helped clients transition from air to sea freight, therefore saving roughly 80% of their total freight cost.   

To enable us to support our clients, we have had to evolve our business continuity plan and, I’ve been really impressed by the dedication from our team and how we’ve been able to quickly and, rather seamlessly, adapt to the developing situation. During the crisis, we have been operating with little disruption in our day-to-day business and added business contingency measures such as increased inventory, sanitation, working from home, social distancing and other preventative practices. So far, we’ve been able to succeed in supporting our clients in maintaining operations and their revenue, but we know we must carry on working together, staying agile and being prepared to evolve with the situation to ensure everyone’s continued business success.  


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