Company operations have been pushed to limits at both extremes, with businesses either not having enough capacity and stock to meet new levels of e-commerce demands or businesses who are having to scale production or services right down in a bid to effectively ‘mothball’ operations during lockdown.
In both scenarios, new ways of working have been initiated to certain levels of success and it’s worth considering some of these new ways in your post COVID-19 operational plans:
We have seen some of the UK’s largest institutions struggle to maintain minimum customer service levels due to inadequate processes being in place for large parts of their workforce to be able to work remotely, with full access to shared drives, SharePoint, or other file storage measures.
If you have customers, then you still need to be contactable, so having a process in place where all of your calls can be diverted to company mobiles or landlines, in the homes of key personnel is vital. Your employees will need VPN (Virtual Private Network) software on their laptops at home as standard.
Creating a truly agile workforce is where those employees included, can effectively work from anywhere at any time.
It allows for optimum productivity and efficiency, where the ability to react quickly and concisely to requests, either internally or externally, is essential.
We’ve written a useful guide of what technology your core workforce should have in place to allow for agile working. Click here to view the full guide.
Business Continuity Planning
Having an agile workforce is one element of your business continuity plan (BCP), but this plan will cover a lot more such as:
- IT (telephony, network access, data)
- Agreed minimum service levels
- Key roles of personnel should there be a reduced workforce
- Supplier management (have they their own BCP in place)
- Contingency funds
- Human resources (processes in place for changing the status of the workforce)
- Other operational elements.
If you didn’t have a plan like this before COVID-19, then you certainly need one going forwards.
When coming out of the lockdown phase, companies need to look at the lessons learned during the period.
It’s often in crisis that red tape is removed, and people can operate with a lot more flexibility.
What did your company STOP doing during the lockdown period? Was it missed, or did it actually improve your operational performance?
Holding regular sessions on this with your teams and documenting this during the lockdown, allows you to swiftly put in place a plan to make these changes more permanent, thus improving your operational performance as you come out of the lockdown.
Post COVID-19 planning
To read more insights and our full guide on preparing for post COVID-19, click here.