Many states in the U.S., and some entire countries, have issued restrictive orders in response to COVID-19. With Stay-at-Home and Shelter-in-Place orders being enacted, the time has come to review your business continuity plan - if you have not already.
Most of the non-service, essential industries, along with those deemed non-essential, have the ability to remain operational with the proper software and technology. One key aspect of continuity is risk assessment. Given the current environment, service provider disruptions are most likely inevitable.
If you have not yet done so, quickly identify all your business functions and divide them into Business-Critical, Essential and Non-essential categories. They break down as follows:
Business-Critical functions immediately jeopardize the entire entity if not restored at once following a disaster event. Essential activities are a step down in importance. They should be recovered as soon as possible after the critical ones. Non-essential is defined as concerns that do not pose a considerable risk to the enterprise, but instead present as minor irritants or obstacles.
Next, identify the suppliers or providers responsible for or that support the items in your Business-Critical list. Contact them to review their continuity plans. Is the supply chain still intact? Are there contingency plans if they start to fail? Do Service Level Agreements still apply, and if so, which metrics are in place to determine that the standards are met? Are work from home scenarios addressed, or allowed? In many cases, avoiding remote work situations could be impossible or illegal.
Also, have a conversation about where you fit amongst their roster of clients. Try to ensure the activities you regard as Business-Critical are consistent with your business partner. Make certain you have the appropriate emergency contact information and are aware of the potential alternate locations of staff, if applicable.
EOX Vantage is monitoring the pandemic’s consequences for our clients and their industries, which include insurers and transportation/logistics companies. To delve into just a few of the practical implications of what we’ve been discussing here, please refer to this article concerning one of EOX Vantage’s clients, TrueNorth Companies—an insurance and financial services firm—about how pandemic-related disruptions could affect insurance claims in the trucking business.
We’ve touched on working from home. Please review the work from home guide we recently provided. It will help you recognize your own needs and realize the implications of what might be happening, or is about to happen, with your service providers.
Are your remote work tools functioning to support your staff successfully? If you were caught ill prepared for the transition to a remote work style, consider the TeamedUp 2020 communication and collaboration tools provided in our Enterprise Operating System.
We are currently offering these essential collaboration and communication tools on a free, no-fees basis for users through 12/31/20 (get in touch with a sales rep about this special offer). EOX Vantage staff members use our platform throughout the day to navigate a complete work from home campaign, in which all our workers in both India and the U.S. are working remotely!
We also offer Managed Services to assist with the accomplishment of routine back-office tasks. With the transition to working from home, a high volume of deliverables has been piling up for businesses everywhere - especially in the insurance industry for MGAs, MGUs and Agencies with their endorsements, cancellations and claims. We are helping relieve backlogs and streamline their processes to help meet demand.
We all have our hands full right now trying to get through the disaster phase of this pandemic. Swift action and close attention to risk mitigation are required to stay afloat. Once the current crisis is on its way to resolution, there should be time enough to review lessons learned and how your business continuity plan helped you perform—along with opportunities to improve it, ensuring you will be better prepared for any future disruptions.
Good luck, and in the meantime let us know how EOX Vantage can help you with our Enterprise Operating System, its base apps or the Managed Services team!