Nine Coronavirus Actions You Should Be Taking Right Now

March 6, 2020

Orange checkmark on wooden table

Are you prepared and responding to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) threat?  We’ve put together a list of nine actions you should be taking right now. Please share with anyone who you believe would benefit from this information.

These nine actions are presented in three categories: Reactive, Proactive and Opportunistic.

These actions may need to be repeated as circumstances change.

  1. Establish immediate and clear guidelines around travel, communication, remote work, holding client events and holding/attending industry conferences.
  2. Put together a pandemic response policy. Share it with your employees and customers.
  3. Perform a Supplier Readiness Assessment for key suppliers. Determine which suppliers can drop ship in the event of a shutdown.

Get out in front with these actions.

  1. Own the messaging around the risk and opportunities. If you don’t own the messaging, someone else will.
  2. Model your revenue, cash flow, labor, disease contraction and supply chain exposure scenarios.
  3. Model your customers’ purchasing slowdowns into your cash flow and inventory needs analysis. Even if your company isn’t affected, your customers may be.

Don’t be content to ride out the storm. Like all emergencies, this one presents opportunities.

  1. Explore what processes and services can be moved to the cloud immediately, and longer term (i.e., OpEx vs. CapEx staffing strategy). This is a great way to reduce vulnerability by moving forward with something that likely is already planned for the future.
  2. Identify technology solutions for your employees that don’t force them to decide between their job and their health.
  3. For U.S. domestic manufacturers, look for significant channel partnership opportunities to support foreign manufacturers struggling with disrupted production lines.

For businesses

Because there is no way to predict exactly what is going to happen, update all information in your Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Plan, including:

  • Org chart with contact info
  • Roster of key operations and responsibilities; who is main person responsible and who is primary back up for:
    • Payroll
    • 401k plan
    • Bill pay
    • Banking – receiving mail, depositing checks
  • Systems — Gather and secure username/passwords, written instructions for key processes:
    • Banking
    • Payroll
    • Email
    • GL
    • ERP
  • Offsite information security protocols
  • Key vendors or supplier list with contact info
    • Set up a communications plan with each
    • Make sure you are aware of any changes from a vendor or supplier
  • Communications and office closing protocol
    • Internal company mailing lists and notifications:
      • Office closing/remote work
      • Travel policy
      • Health insurance – what’s covered, best way for employees to get tested and stay safe vs. emergency room (talk to your health insurance broker)
      • Contingency plan if testing isn’t covered by health insurance
    • External contacts in the event of shutdown, supply chain interruption, etc.
      • Clients
      • Key vendors
      • Investors, if applicable
  • Work from home or remote readiness
    • Do key people have laptops?
    • Is there enough bandwidth at home?
    • Are key systems accessible off site?
    • Any changes needed to agreements or infrastructure for increased remote work? (i.e., currently you have licenses for up to two people to connect remotely at the same time, where you may need to change that to five; or, you may need increased bandwidth from the data center vs. variable surge pricing)
  • If multi-location
    • Set up news alerts or feeds from each location’s state and local government health department to monitor local directives and developments (they each should have an official Twitter account).
    • Key roles onsite — Person responsible and their backup along with contact info at each location
    • Local vendor list or access (keys, alarm, etc.)
  • If manufacturing/distribution
    • Key inventory and supply chain providers
    • Backup provider identified, if applicable

The bottom line

Be prepared. Be smart. Make the best of what is coming. Most of all, don’t wait until you need help to ask for it.  For any advice or an introduction to the right expert, we are only a phone call or an email away, or you can contact us here.

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