COVID-19 has been a shock to businesses across the globe, with a significant impact on day-to-day operations. Meeting those challenges effectively is vital to support your customers, keep important services running and to protect your business in the long term.
This requires flexibility, effective planning and being ready to action business continuity plans, as needed. Your customers depend on you to maintain not just your service, but also your standards. As such, no matter how your business changes, the show must go on.
Prioritisingbusiness continuity is vital during any crisis. Problems need to be identified, recognised and responded to quickly, particularly controlling your cost base to maximised headroom. Is your continuity planning sufficient?
Understandingthe situation is crucial if you're going to react rapidly. Management information (MI) must be readily available and as accurate as you can make it. Can your MI team cope with the changing situation?
Evolvingyour strategy along with the situation will allow you to make the best decisions, but you simultaneously need to create greater certainty of demand and supply. Are you adjusting your indirect cost base and support functions accordingly?
Actions to consider
Do your best to expect the unexpected and stay as agile as possible. Readying strategies to deal with the impact of the rapidly changing situation will help you react quickly and appropriately.
Once you know what decisions you need to make, you can go about ensuring you have the best-possible information available to support you in choosing your strategy. It's likely that these choices will turn out to be imperfect when you look back at them after the pandemic is over, but it's better to make the wrong choice than to make none at all.
All this is temporary; these conditions can't go on forever. As such, as well as dealing with the emergency, you need to be ready for a return to business as usual. Be prepared to make mistakes in the short term, but make sure you've protected yourself from the long term consequences of those decisions.
Consider these questions
Is accurate, current MI available to inform your choices?
Do you have a view of your changing cost base and customer demand?
Are your resources sufficient to outlast shortages and volatile prices?
With your whole team working remotely, do you have sufficient capacity in your network to support that?
Is the information you're sending to your employees enough to get your message across?
"Many of our clients will go through a 4 stage process of understand the impact, protecting the business, responding to the change and then setting up for recovery. It is critical to understand where you are in the cycle and in certain instances the parallel nature of them, they key is once the first 3 stages are under control the ability to set up an agile operating model in the recovery phase will set the foundations for growth."