Covid contingency plan – Omicron is taking us back to the future

Risk management should be central to life and business.
At Porters CA we see two simple key imperatives – (A) achieve your goals; (B) plan and manage the risk of not achieving your goals.

With the WA borders set to reopen on 5 February it is time to start contingency planning. Absent a major surprise we are looking at a high and rapid incidence of Covid with:

  1. interruptions to business operations
  2. working from home
  3. school and daycare interruptions
  4. masks
  5. supply chain interruptions
  6. regional travel restrictions
  7. vaccine boosters, mandates and potential restrictions on unvaccinated people
  8. health care becoming complex and overwhelmed

Covid mask imageInvest in solutions that will improve your performance and resilience in all cases such as remote working capability, duplicate supply options, multiple unrelated revenue streams, strong communication channels, robust funding arrangements, documented operating systems.

Where do you start?

  1. People first – look after yourself, family, staff, customers. Be alert to people in a high risk category or with family members at risk. Start a conversation now to understand the issues
  2. Get ahead of the supermarket and supplier clean out – the usual run on masks, toilet paper, food staples will occur. Rapid Antigen Tests will be in short supply. Key industrial supplies such as farm chemicals and building materials may be in high demand and short supply.
  3. Business continuity – how will your business operate when one or more adverse events happen?
  4. Supply chain – which suppliers are critical to your business? What could go wrong? What if your supplier is online but transport is not? How would you manage it?
  5. Customer demand management – how will you respond when demand rapidly changes? Covid has shown us that demand is unpredictable and can move both up or down.
  6. Cash management – reduce discretionary spend, collect debtors, be careful of making high value commitments, build a cash buffer.

Isolation for close contacts of Cvoid cases presents a risk. You may wish to manage your workplace in separate shifts or locations so that one case does not put all workers out of action.

Watch for warning signs and act decisively.

Communicate clearly. Novak Djokovic and Tennis Australia have taught us that when rules are not clearly established, communicated and implemented the results are messy, confusing and divisive. Poor communication has no winners so don’t make the same mistake in your planning.

Cashflow boost and JobKeeper are unlikely to be repeated. Federal and State government financial support is likely to have limited scope and value.

We shared detailed contingency planning templates in 2020 and the government has a useful template. The details are the same, save that between vaccinations, boosters, Omicron and eastern states experience we appear less likely to suffer serious illness and more likely to see wide spread illness and interruption.

Do this right and you will cover many more issues than coronavirus – supplier insolvency, bike accident, unexpected resignation, IT hacking event, serious illness, bushfire, flood, etc.

As always, please get in touch if you want to talk further.

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