Many members have recently contacted LGIS seeking information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and the issues they need to consider to continue delivering vital services. We've put together the following to assist members in reviewing their business continuity plan.
While many members plan for emergency situations that impact business continuity, most are not prepared for potential prolonged impacts on staff welfare, operations, supply chains, and the broader economy arising from a globally-spreading infectious disease. Members should take the time now to review their resilience and crisis response strategies and plans so they are well prepared for the potential impacts of the novel coronavirus.
Potential organisational impact of coronavirus
Being reactive to events will:
- Delay a recovery
- Increase response costs
- Place a significant strain on the time senior management have available for operations as usual, further compounding the disruptive effects of a pandemic event
People (Put staff first):
Staff may fall ill, become anxious about risks, or fail to show up to work due to safety concerns, they might be caring for sick family members, and subject to travel restrictions. Supporting your staff throughout a pandemic event and planning for any absences, particularly in critical roles, will be important. Visit the Australian Government's Head to Health website for information managing the stress and anxiety of COVID-19.
Travel (take advice):
Official travel advice from the Australian Government will change. Refer to the Department of Health's daily health alert for the most up-to-date travel advice - travel policies may need to be adjusted quickly. In addition to your own staff travelling, you should consider the potential risks related to any visitors arriving from infected areas.
Operations (Prepare for disruption):
Operational disruptions could lead to significant backlogs and increased costs of working. For some businesses, the event will cause a drop in ratepayer demand, while others will need to be prepared to handle an increase.
Supply chain (manage supply chain vulnerabilities):
Supply chains may be disrupted by delays and be presented with cost increases for inputs or services, either through suppliers directly experiencing operational problems - as a result of travel restrictions, or scarcity of in-demand goods.
Reputation (Ensure responses are timely and thoughtful):
An organisation's behaviours during a crisis can significantly damage the trust of staff, ratepayers, and other stakeholders. A poor response can have lasting negative consequences.
Managing operational impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19)
In terms of managing the impact of the novel coronavirus, LGIS recommends you develop and implement a four (4) step action plan. Our team has the resources and experience to help you to:
Key activities and when to do them
Identify your main vulnerabilities.
- Convene a meeting of senior decision makers to identify the main areas of potential impact for your business.
Understand how prepared you are.
- Review any existing plans and check whether they are up to date.
- Begin drawing up business continuity and crisis management plans aimed at minimising impacts specific to a pandemic outbreak.
Implement and change (this week):
Make sure your plans will work.
- Work with senior management to establish and embed response and recovery arrangements.
- Confirm that senior management understands its role and supports how the plan will be used.
- Ensure you have a means to monitor the situation and know when to trigger any special recovery arrangements.
Communicate and stay vigilant (throughout the event):
Make sure your teams are kept informed.
- Assign clear responsibilities for internal and external communications
Business Continuity Plan Template
The LGIS Business Continuity Plan (BCP) template is available for members (right hand column) to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please be aware that this template is usually accompanied by a comprehensive workshop to develop a BCP tailored to each member's specific needs. If you have any queries regarding use of the template, developing, or testing your BCP please contact LGIS.
For more information, contact Senior Risk Consultant, Michael Sparks on 0417 331 514 or email email@example.com
Download this article in full (right hand column) which includes more information on BCP including:
- Focus area list
- Managing operational impacts of the coronavirus outbreak,
- Prevent/respond/recover guide