17 April 2020
Faced with a transformed world, dynamic companies evolve
As the Covid-19 pandemic bears down on the world the impact of restrictions on movement and industrial activity are growing ever greater as the exceptions are prolonged. One industry hit particularly hard is that of mobility, including both hardware manufacturers as well as service providers. However, faced with decreased demand, in the case of mobility service providers like Lyft, and supply shortages, such as OEMs like Ford and GM, companies are displaying their agility and dynamically moving to shift their operations.
This ranges from companies like ride-hailing service provider Lyft which sprung into action faced with a critical drop in users for its ride-hailing app. Lyft, realizing the need to provide solutions outside of the normal bounds of its operations, moved to add a delivery service to its offering, not only giving drivers on the platform a source of work but offering a crucial service in delivering essential items in a time of need. Similarly inspired by the need to adjust operations, automakers GM and Ford quickly pivoted and turned their idled car manufacturing plants into ones providing the ventilators in short supply at hospitals across the US and the world.
New technologies such as autonomous vehicles that have yet to reach streets beyond limited testing and piloting have also found a new purpose under these circumstances. Autonomous vehicle operator Beep and autonomous shuttle manufacturer Navya have partnered with the US Mayo Clinic on a pilot that uses autonomous shuttles to transport Covid-19 test kits for processing. Displays of innovation and community spirit such as these offer a ray of hope which extends beyond the current crisis, suggesting that, with the right motivation and collective will, companies can be drafted into the fight against global challenges. Perhaps the next phase of joint action will cohere around the climate crises as the world emerges from this pandemic with a renewed sense of urgency in the fight.