Hospace Conference 2021

9:45 - Keynote - Finance State of the Nation Address
Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards — Finance state of the nation address

  • Inevitably, if we are talking about the last year or so there is only one word to sum it up — pandemic.

  • We are now moving to a post-pandemic era where prices are rising, labour shortages are widespread and a 4th wave is in full force across Europe.

  • Our attention needs to turn to planning for the future.

  • Key things to worry about:

    • People: This could mean one of two things — employees or customers. People want more training yet we know turnover is very high. Apprenticeships are almost certainly an answer but we need to do more. We have a 10% labour shortage and something needs to be done about it. With customers, experience is key and that is more important living in a world of hyper-connectivity. Influence is one of the most important things for us to follow.

    • Property: Are staycations here to stay? Let’s make sure we’re not committing to something that isn’t long term. Everyone will and have been, manipulating their property — trying to maximise their returns.

    • Process and technology: Technology is vital but I can't help thinking that technology has always been about data. People have been collecting data for a long time. There are lakes or maybe even oceans of data out there. In a lake, you can drown and in an ocean, you can get lost at sea — there is a greater need for professionals to take data, analyse it and put it to better use.

    • 45% of consumers are already making decisions based on sustainability and 60% of consumers consider ethics.

    • Your choice is to try and perfectly predict what is going to happen. The reality is, most of us need to prepare for a period of paradox and ultimately, proper post-pandemic planning will prevent poor performance.

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