Chokepoints, Overcoming, Winning and Losing in the New World beyond Covid Bloomberg

Chokepoints, Overcoming, Winning and Losing in the New World beyond Covid Featured


Chokepoints, bottlenecks are costing us lives, unnecessary economic losses and future gains.

The stress testing of systems is happening simultaneously today around the globe, and nations are being graded by their response to the coronavirus pandemic. Beyond pronouncements of politicians, critics and peoples, we can see which countries have clear plans and communication, effective infrastructure, good execution and disciplined citizens and to some extent, which have been favored by nature and which have not. The grading is relentlessly shown in infection and death rates — without chances for appeal.

Since we have the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for recommendations for the policy level and medical institutions for the health level, we focus here on ground-operation recommendations.

Where we must improve to avoid disaster?

Essential goods are getting stuck up even at low volume. Customs, ports and logistics need increased hours; more personnel; upgraded computers, software and training; and better regulation and transparency. Goods, food even, are getting choked because of extreme delays, such that key needed commodities are endangering our manufacturing of crucial food supply. Even shipping lines are hesitating to transport to the country because of delays in processing — delays in coming out, increasing costs of demurrage and storage, with the latter in need of regulation, making our country’s already expensive handling cost even costlier not just for food but for all items. This is partly because of containers not being withdrawn by many importers, but this can be mitigated by organizing ahead for priorities, announcements of what importations to withhold and communications.

Breakdowns are happening regularly in information technology of different agencies, they need updating and training. There are complete stoppages because there are no back-ups or pre-planned alternative processes. In the last month, clearing of payments got stuck up; Customs billings, Customs payment systems stopped functioning. Various other agencies’ portals, enrollment, titling, registrations, verification, name checking, among other systems, stopped functioning at this crucial period. This has been happening regularly even in normal times, and yet they are charging much more. We expect breakdowns to happen, but the frequency and spread among agencies mean there is not even a functioning back-up system in some of our vital agencies. Without updating our systems soonest, this will happen again and again. This is a period when IT experts can analyze and redesign even during lockdown, let’s do it now. It seems our pride of a tech-savvy population refers to Facebook, Instagram and various social media?

Communications and quick-response culture that need to be planted are not part of most of us. Institutions are not responding to applications or inquiries even after weeks. People and companies need to know if they should anticipate not having income support or no deliveries, and plan accordingly. Some agencies like the Trade department are communicating and responding regularly. Each key agency needs different levels of responders, who are coached on responses and on how to disseminate every few hours, with access to decisions when needed.

We propose further:

1. Public-private partnership teams in operations, not just consultation. Recruit teams with proven operation experience. Skill sets and equipment available in the private sector can squeeze billions more in daily value through more efficient execution with the help of decisions of key government officials. Both the private and public sectors are helping each other out extensively now, but they can do much more, much better together if not just in an advisory capacity but being part of execution together. Without liquidity extensions and assistance, the private sector cannot last long.

2. Full-time, quick-response decisions are needed 24/7. Delays or non-decisions for situations on the ground are compromising life and death situations , reputation of the government and forgoing massive possible sources of income and savings, hurting morale and creating room for politics. Some decisions need live discussion, others need to be listed and responded to at a later time.

3. Food and rice need bigger buffer — a non-negotiable. We might meet possible tightening of supply if countries reduce trade, our purchases abroad need to be locked in, not just promised, to tide us over until our rice harvest season in October. Start orienting our people’s diets to be more diversified and adaptable, improve our agricultural yields and incentives.

4. Speed up national adoption of digital billing, payments and receipting systems, KYC (Know Your Customer), monitors and ledger systems, etc. We can take occasion today to advance the technology of operations in the country. Needed in executing the disbursements and inflows that need to be executed safely today with minimal physical presence or movement or pilferage losses will be very high or payments will get stuck up, all logistics won’t flow and the real economy as well won’t.

5. Plan now for increased health strains to the public and private sectors. How to use tests, operate safely, for after quarantine — as there will be another wave of patients when travel and the economy are liberalized to operate again.

6. Simulation studies, together with private actual operators and people, on effects of an extension of quarantine, to estimate more realistically financial, food, logistic needs and the costs and how to deliver. Without sit-downs with operators, unnecessary errors will cost a lot and even cause more deaths that are avoidable.

7. Productivity must be managed, modernized and not just kept up. This is a good time for government and organizations to do their updating, reformatting of their organizations and technologies, which were not possible before when everyone was busy with operations.

8. The same reformat is true for individuals for their careers, to catch up on self-development, grow with the family, empower those around us. Not just use this time to coast and relax all thru the holiday. What you do now will determine if after the unavoidable difficulties, you and your family will be one of the winners in the new world!

New Worlds by IDSI (Integrated Development Studies Institute) aims to present frameworks based on a balance of economic theory, historical realities, ground success in real business and communities and attempt for common good, culture and spirituality. We welcome logical feedback and possibly working together with compatible frameworks.000
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