Businesses Think Outside the Cube to Thrive in COVID Times
Mark Davies has always believed that his company Space cube would develop beyond its beginnings in the events and hospitality sector.
But the CEO of Spacecube could not have predicted that they would erect a COVID pop-up hospital in the parking lot of the Monash Medical Center in Clayton, east Melbourne, barely a month after the pandemic became serious for Australia.
The efforts of the Dandenong-based company – which also supplied dozens of its ‘cubes’ to pubs and restaurants in Victoria to keep them trading thanks to COVID restrictions – earned it a mention on the NAB 2021 “Innovation index” to be released on Friday.
The Bank, which has been compiling its survey since 2016, says business innovation in Australia plummeted during the crisis year to all-time low levels recorded by the NAB as companies slipped into survival mode amid disruption to the market. supply chain and cash flow, forced business closures and job losses.
But innovation is back, according to the NAB, whose points-based innovation index has rebounded by two points this year – although it remains well below pre-pandemic levels – thanks to companies doing things differently in a drastically altered environment.
Mr Davies says the ability to ‘pivot quickly’ was key to Spacecube, which found itself immersed in the healthcare industry at the start of the pandemic, using its reusable cubes to launch Melbourne’s first dedicated testing clinic then the more ambitious Monash project, put together in less than 24 hours last April and dismantled this week.
“We always knew there would be a point in our journey when we were going to provide infrastructure for a much needed business or even emergency response, but I guess neither of us expected that to happen. so quickly, ”Davies said.
Ana Marinkovic, head of small businesses at NAB, said the institution’s lending to the small and medium-sized business sector had returned to above pre-COVID levels, and more than 90% of commercial borrowers who had deferred their loans during the crisis were paying off again.