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Business Continuity in Times of Uncertainty

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

For many businesses with overseas ties, the last several years has been tumultuous to say the least. From NAFTA being replaced by USMCA, followed by the US China trade war, and then finally the global COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice protests in 2020, many multinationals have had to make drastic changes to their suppliers as well as day to day operations.

Nearly all medium to large sized corporations maintain some form of business continuity and crisis management planning; and it would be easy to assume that many of these plans were activated recently to deal with some if not all the events described above. It would also be reasonable to assume that most companies have found that their business continuity plans are too simplistic and usually only pertain to natural disasters.

It would thus be prudent to ensure that during the coming quarterly or annual management reviews, that companies take a keen look at their business continuity plans to ensure that it is robust, and that representatives from key departments be involved.

What are some key points to consider for the business continuity and crisis management plans?

  • Is there sufficient redundancy in the business’ supplier network?

  • How much redundancy are there in key roles?

  • What are customer expectations regarding timely delivery of your products?

  • For those businesses that create physical products, do you maintain sufficient buffer stock in both raw materials as well as finished products?

  • Do your key departments (e.g., facilities, procurement, IT, HR, R&D), each maintain their own plan?

  • Is there a regularly updated communication plan for key departments and key roles in case of an emergency?

  • How will you test the effectiveness of your business continuity and crisis management plans on an ongoing basis?

Depending on the type of business, the answers to the above questions will differ greatly.

Safety Nest can help your business tailor a robust business continuity and crisis management plan, please contact us to learn more.


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