With our societies almost at a standstill, how do we prepare for recovery?
While the peak of the epidemic has not yet been reached, it is difficult to predict a date for the end of the crisis. The role of the manager is, however, to plan, anticipate and ask him or herself “How should my company (can it) prepare for a way out of the crisis? “
In many industries, the restart will be long and laborious as it depends on multiple stakeholders and internal and external factors.
Beyond the ability to re-mobilize employees under conditions that guarantee their health and safety, how is it possible to ensure the reliability of all the components and resources necessary for on-going production activities (products or services): supplies, materials, subcontractors, systems, operators, etc.,
In addition, even if these uncertainties and challenges at the level of the complete production chain can be met, other key questions arise: what will happen to our customers? What will be the level of demand? How to identify and manage increased customer risk?
We can easily imagine that global demand will be disrupted and unpredictable: between explosion and complete stop, no scenario is to be excluded. Our order books, schedules and delivery rates may need to be completely revised. Some customers will be requiring extreme responsiveness, others will be unable to consume for reasons that can range from logistical problems to economic difficulties.
Fundamentally, the preparation of such a recovery is very similar to that of a “continuity plan” type project. There is a great deal of similarity with projects such as those necessitated by the transition to the year 2000 or the Euro, with the major difference being in terms of sheer scale: the impact of the health crisis and, in particular, that of a lasting confinement of a large part of the world’s population has no parallel in recent memory. This upheaval leads companies to step back and have a systemic review of their company
The Restart Plan: a solution for companies wanting to bounce back from this major crisis
Much more than a Continuity Plan, the Restart Plan must first, starting from the company’s operational model, identify key stakeholders (customers, suppliers, co-contractors) and assess their needs and short-term capacity term to operate in order to reshuffle, if needed, its product and services portfolio and modify its sales forecasts. It would then analyze the necessary, critical and available resources, identify key dependencies, alternatives, and finally plan, prioritize, schedule and synchronize actions with operators and resources.
For complex, multi-activity, multi-geographic companies with a large number of projects, this organizational work will not be simple. Performance during the restart, however, will depend on the quality of the evaluation and the preparatory work. The optimization of the needs- resources equation and the proper prioritization and allocation of resources will be critical.
The playing field is being reshaped and the competitive positions of companies may change significantly during and after this crisis.
Within a given sector, the preparation for this Restart, the ability to capitalize on opportunities for adaptation and the management and prioritization of the portfolio of products, services and initiatives can make all the difference.