You can’t get very far these days without hearing about how the COVID19 virus or ‘coronavirus’ is having devastating impacts in some countries and causing significant supply-chain issues in others.
Many people are now scrambling, looking for a specific pandemic plan that they can put in place should COVID19 impact their company. Most do not realize that if they have been planning for ‘the big 4 results’ of any business interruption: no building, no people, no systems and no third-party suppliers, along with following the direction of health authorities, they likely have everything they need.
If you’re worried about COVID19 striking your business directly, you need to be prepared for a ‘no people’ scenario and if supply chain is your concern then ‘no third-party suppliers’ may be where you need to focus your energy.
Here are 10 questions you should be asking yourself about your business continuity plan (BCP) to ensure you’re prepared for COVID19. Note that they are all just part of good business continuity planning for any business interruption.
1 – Do we have a way to monitor attendance? You don’t know if you’re having an issue with loss of critical workforce unless you have a way of monitoring workforce losses. Whether it’s COVID19 or a hurricane preventing people from reporting to work, you need ensure you have a way of knowing who’s available and who’s not.
2 – Are our corporate priorities clear and well communicated? Recovery priorities should be super clear and well-known within the organization. If you’re short-staffed or short on raw materials, everyone should know where those resources need to be directed.
3 – Is our internal communications plan solid and do we have current contact information for all personnel so that everyone can stay informed on the status of operations? If you’re in an industry where priorities are subject to frequent changes, internal communications will be critical to ensure everyone is informed of what those priorities are and who is available to help address them.
4 – Is sufficient cross-training in place? Look particularly to areas where there may have been some recent staff turn-over. Has the necessary cross-training taken place to ensure the most critical functions can be performed by multiple people?
5 – Is procedural documentation up to date? If someone is placed in an unfamiliar position, ensure they have the documentation they need to get the job done.
6 – Is delegation of authority clearly spelled out? If manager A is not available, who takes over?
7 – Do we have enough people authorized to do each of the critical functions within your organization or do we need to deputize some extras to ensure we are covered?
8 – Is everyone who can work from home ready to do so? Have they logged into their VPN recently? Do they need to be reminded to take their laptops home? Do we need to grant remote access to anyone else?
9 – Are there other locations where our manufacturing activities can occur given our planned production schedule? Can we outsource should we need?
10 – Is our external communications plan solid? Can we communicate easily with our customer and supplier base? Is our current AND alternate supplier contact information up to date? Is our media strategy ready to go?
By ensuring you have a solid BCP in place that covers no building, no people, no systems and no third-party suppliers, and following specific health directives for whatever the outbreak might be, such as this one issued by the WHO for COVID19, you’ve got your pandemic plan in place.
KingsBridgeBCP offers businesses of all sizes BCP Software Solutions and industry know how based on best practices. We help build, exercise, and maintain Business Continuity Plans. Our services and software packages are customized to meet the wide range of our customers’ needs, ensuring we deliver the best value in every project. To learn more click here.