Issue - July/August 2021


Flexibility and Adaptability

By Terence Wee, Business Development Director, Smart Relocators Pte Ltd

For many of us, going through a global pandemic has been a traumatic and stressful experience. It is difficult to imagine right now when this crisis will come to an end. We can only accept that there will be a new normal. While some work activities will go back to the way they were, we are starting to see permanent changes to the way we think and run our businesses.

Early in the pandemic, in 2020, SRS worked closely with IT consultants to develop a framework for migrating to the cloud. This included transiting from on-premises servers to cloud storage and adopting cloud-based finance and HR systems to enable employees to work remotely. This transition was not without its own set of challenges. Introducing new technology to any organization will always present challenges for management. Not only do we need to lead the organization strongly in adapting, we are also responsible for weaving the innovation pieces into our daily routines to support business processes.

Apart from technological changes, we also made changes to our processes and improvements to the way we manage people. We started to put more focus on employee mental well-being and on flexible work arrangements for colleagues who had family commitments. We consistently encouraged them, communicated frequently, and continued to empower all SRS employees through certification programs such as Moving Specialist Training on IAM Learning.

Beyond internal changes, SRS also adapted to changes in the way we engage our customers. We placed our focus on delivering excellent customer experience by checking in more frequently with our customers, checking in on customers feelings of ‘cabin fever,’ and even providing some form of financial relief for companies facing severe financial distress.

Despite these changes, SRS is deeply blessed to be headquartered in Singapore. The local government has taken a cautious and yet measured approach in managing the pandemic situation. SRS was fortunate to have benefitted from the Singapore government’s “Resilience Budget” to help local businesses survive the pandemic. One such use of the budget was on support packages encouraging local small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to take on digital transformation projects. Other support packages include job support schemes for displaced local hires to get re-employed, and productivity grants that encouraged SMBs to adopt innovative technologies.

As vaccination programs roll out globally, we must remain aware that the vaccination does not completely take away the risk of infections. While vaccinations are effective in helping reduce the severity of the disease, we will still need to do our part and practice due diligence. Stay safe, everyone!