While the health and safety of employees is the number one priority, companies will also grapple with other urgencies.
In BlueWater Partners’ experience, crises come with both short- and long-term implications. Companies differentiate themselves by how well – and how quickly – they react. Successfully navigating crisis will assure stakeholders that a company can be a strong partner in the future.
COVID-19 will test an organization’s ability to manage through and, in some cases, survive major disruption and uncertainty. Leaders need to be more proactive now than in any time in recent memory. Below, we’ve outlined a few actions to help leaders think through their own crisis management plans – they are not all-inclusive or detailed enough to substitute for a thorough, company-specific analysis.
- Model out the impact of a material drop in revenue (10%, 20%, or more).
- Communicate the potential impact to your customers, suppliers, bank, and other stakeholders.
- Prepare a range of business disruption scenarios.
- List the steps you can take to react to and mitigate the potential damage (e.g., cost reductions).
- Prepare for high absenteeism.
- Identify critical components, parts, and suppliers.
- Map your supply chain and its risks – know who your suppliers’ suppliers are.
- Consider backup or secondary sources to mitigate risk, especially if they are offshore.
- Confirm each supplier’s production capacity and your place in their schedule.
- Determine whether each vendor is prepared for high absenteeism.
- Keep all of your stakeholders informed on a regular basis.
- Be ready to share contingency plans as the environment changes.
- Be proactive – don’t leave your stakeholders wondering.
- Present solutions, not problems – going to your stakeholders with a plan will earn you cooperation, time, and support from customers, lenders, and suppliers.
- Stick to the facts, and disclose the bad news with the good.
While ensuring continuity of operations, your company should implement strategies to protect your employees from COVID-19 — click here to learn about the Centers for Disease Control’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers.