COVID-19 Pandemic Response – Resilience tips and resources #4

Rob WalleyCOVID-19, Resilience

Are you strengthening your supply chain and organisational resilience?

Fewer than 50% of businesses had a plan in place that sufficiently enabled them to respond to supply chain issues encountered during COVID-19 so far.  A further 3.5% of businesses had no Continuity Plan in place at all during COVID-19, and we are advising people to consider generic, flexible Crisis Management and Business Continuity Plans (tailored to the COVID response where necessary) as preferable to focusing all Planning on the recent experience of COVID-19 to date.

In April, we provided some Crisis team top tips, advice on gaining perspective, improving technical communications resilience and mapping the way forward. Since then, our debriefs with clients and lessons identified are especially relevant as we face predicted COVID-19 case growth and we have been providing regular COVID-19 policy and statistical analysis. Several stand out items include:

  • Supply Chain dependencies are not well understood in a surprising number of businesses and are under ever-increasing pressure as the social, financial, operational and other challenges disrupt suppliers’ capacity to respond to service level agreements and customer demand.
  • While the primary consequences of COVID-19 are our main focus, cyber risks, information security breaches, site incidents (fire, security, flood) remain real challenges, and ones which may have a greater impact on top of existing COVID challenges
  • COVID-19 is testing personnel resilience and although August is providing downtime for some, we see a number of centres of expertise that are critical and who have been stretched over the last few months.

From the beaches of the south coast, to manufacturing, retail, corporates, Government and construction organisations we have been supporting a range of clients in recent months. Managers at various client organisations have been facing up to the challenges in creating the capacity to plan their resilience measures due to additional workloads and challenging ways of working, budget pressures and the balance of achieving proportionate resilience arrangements within constrained budgets. Over 53% of businesses plan to develop a comprehensive pandemic plan and we have recently been focused on delivering five key areas for clients which we recommend as focal points for your immediate readiness for the coming months:

  • Debriefing the last few months, identifying strengths as well as gaps to address ahead of the predicted increase in COVID-19 cases.
  • Compliance: Developing COVID-secure mandatory risk assessments and Office Plans with support suppliers assisting with technical health and safety analysis on occupancy levels, air conditioning requirements and the like as well as organising deep cleans and regular fogging of office spaces (and at short notice following a case being confirmed)
  • Establishing and maintaining effective and efficient information management: we have been providing our ECR Manager platform to clients who require a simple and effective log and audit trail, rapid reporting on business activities and capability to send alerts to personnel/
  • Updating Plans to reflect the current reality of operations, staff locations, IT environment and supply chain links with refreshed Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery and Crisis Communications Plans and COVID/Pandemic Plans to document specific actions to address cases within the workplace/workforce.
  • Validating arrangements with readiness simulations to stress test arrangements, leaving individual managers and collective incident teams more confident, efficient and coherent in their response to a future disruption.

In September we will be leading a free webinar as part of the Business Continuity Institute Education month. We will be in touch with details on this and other Resilience webinars in the coming weeks so you can secure a place on the right session for you. In the meantime, please contact us to discuss your Resilience and do register here for access to our resource portal and updates.