Reduce Operating Waste By Carrying Certain COVID Practices Forward

Reduce Operating Waste By Carrying Certain COVID Practices Forward

Every business leader ought to be thinking about how to leverage beneficial business processes that were adopted during COVID. Substituting travel and in-person meetings with Zoom calls when appropriate is a significant opportunity to eliminate operating waste. Thinking back to my corporate M&A days beyond the initial Seller meeting (which did not need to take place in-person) and due diligence, all other deal elements were processed remotely. Even those instances where the Seller had second thoughts, a video call was usually sufficient to calm emotions and assuage doubt. This is a fair topic for investors to quiz management teams on.

Google for example enjoyed real savings in the March Q vs. March 2020.¬†Google’s T&E and Marketing expense declined $268 million year-over-year. Not a huge number in percentage terms (65 basis points as a percentage of Revenue in the quarter), but a significant absolute number. Google’s 10Q language: “This increase was largely offset by decreases in advertising and promotional as well as travel and entertainment expenses totaling $268 million, primarily as a result of COVID-19.”