From gin to hand sanitiser, the magic of the pivot.


Management is a lonely and demanding job at the best of times. Add working in isolation through the biggest health and economic crisis in memory for most of us, and it brings those demands to a whole new level. A great deal of the pressure at this time, is sitting firmly on the shoulders of the CFO to ensure the survival of their businesses. It is easy to believe at a time like this, that you are the only one struggling through these challenges. I recently came across the PwC CFO Pulse Survey and found it a great way to lift my head for a moment, to realise that lots of other people, like me are experiencing the same feelings.

The PwC CFO Pulse Survey has been completed by over 300 CFO’s, across a range of industries (primarily financial services, tech, industrial products and consumer markets) in the US, Mexico and 19 other territories. One of the areas of the survey that was of particular interest for me was the supply chain resilience. This was something we felt here in Australia, I was down to my last 6 toilet rolls at one point living in a 4 person household!

Many people and businesses were caught by surprise, at the precarious nature of their supply lines and suppliers. The ability to pivot and adjust was something that not all businesses were able to do. One company who did it exceptionally well were Archie Rose Distillery, this Sydney gin distillery were able to modify their operation to produce hand sanitiser and support the community as well as take advantage of an unexpected demand for a number of weeks across Australia.


As companies assess their vulnerabilities, they are realising the need to make adjustments to the operating model to improve flexibility and produce more comprehensive data earlier to support decisions that work around or mitigate risk near and long term. PwC CFO Pulse Survey

The key to moving quickly is to have access to reliable data, in as close to real time as possible. Early in the COVID-19 outbreak, we saw significant impacts on Chinese manufacturing plants, which had flow on effects to distribution across the world. With access to reliable data, some businesses were able to reshuffle their supply chain to shift production to alternate suppliers outside of China. This short video shows how this can be achieved using ThoughtSpot.

There were lots of interesting nuggets of information presented in the PwC CFO Pulse Survey across cost-cutting, workforce, financial reporting and many others. I’m looking forward to the update later this week.


© 2020 by Harper Stone Pty Ltd