Remaining Operational in the Era of Coronavirus
It’s important that each business have a clearly defined plan to deal with this crisis as effectivel
The outbreak and subsequent ramifications of Coronavirus were unexpected and are continuing to surprise. What started off with the reputation of a “flu-like virus” has turned into a worldwide pandemic, scaring and paralyzing people, industries, businesses, and organizations of all shapes and sizes.
We acknowledge that this is a difficult time for many individuals and businesses. There’s no telling how long businesses will experience coronavirus-related disruptions, and we have yet to see what will be the full picture post-pandemic- which businesses will survive, which will alter, and which will fade.
For this reason, it’s important that each business have a clearly defined plan to deal with this crisis as effectively as possible.
Management teams within businesses must consistently review, reassess, and- where required- reset, their action plan to ensure they remain relevant and focused on the right areas to remain viable and keep interruptions to a minimum.
Many resources we’ve seen on the subject of Coronavirus have to do with health and safety precautions or WFH. These are very important issues to address. But it’s also important to think about how organizations can ensure their survival post-pandemic.
We recommend that all businesses likely to be affected by coronavirus act without delay to assess potential implications and develop a plan to mitigate risk and remain operational. Below we address organizational issues that must be considered during these times.
Assess statuses: Supply chains, resources
According to an Institute for Supply Management survey, Nearly 75% of companies are seeing capacity disruptions in their supply chains as a result of coronavirus-related transportation restrictions.
Attempt to stabilize supply chains by using safety stocks, alternative sources, and working with suppliers to solve bottlenecks. Where rapid solutions are not possible, co-develop plans, put in place interim solutions, and communicate plans to all relevant stakeholders.
- Reassess and confirm banking arrangements
- Determine whether additional shareholder capital is available, if required
- Determine what other sources of funding might be available, if required
- Review insurance policies in place (business interruption) and notify insurers
- Assess level of required support from key stakeholders (customers, suppliers, lenders, shareholders, regulatory bodies etc)
- Seek help from appropriate professional advisers (e.g. crisis management, HR etc)
Establish the facts, update intelligence frequently, and communicate clearly
Reliable data underpins both crisis planning and response. Employees will likely be exposed to conflicting information and feel anxious or confused about the best course of action. Therefore, be sure to communicate policies promptly and clearly. It’s essential that the crisis plan outline how information will flow and that it provides employees with the confidence to react appropriately.
Consider exploring different scenarios and how they could affect the business in the short, medium, and long term. Utilize technologies like financial analytics to examine different perspectives. Update data frequently, consistently reframe the overall perspective and adapt behavior accordingly.
It’s also likely that the crisis will create unpredictable fluctuations. Consequently, put in place rapid-reporting cycles so that you can understand how your business is being affected, where mitigation is required, and how quickly operations are recovering.
- Communicate internally and externally early and often. Remain in constant contact with key stakeholders (employees, suppliers, shareholders, customers, etc.). This is vital for maintaining confidence in your business.
- Engage with critical suppliers. Businesses should have sight of their critical suppliers’ pandemic preparedness measures.
Preparation is key.
It is important that organisations be proactive as the situation continues to evolve.
Remember- How you respond today will determine whether your business falters or thrives tomorrow.
Sooner or later things will get back on track, and markets will tell which companies managed the challenge most effectively.