How to Effectively Maintain Business Continuity in a COVID-19 Pandemic?
The world is today grappling with the alarming health crisis due to the hasty outbreak of the COVID-19 or coronavirus. Along with human impact, a substantial commercial impact is seen all over the globe and as the viruses know no borders, it is anticipated that the impact will continue to spread. Moreover, about 94% of Fortune 1000 is already experiencing disruptions due to COVID-19.
Nevertheless, it’s probable that the coronavirus threat will sooner or later fade just like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Zika, and the Ebola viruses have in the recent years.
The Fight against COVID-19 to Continue Business
The entire world is addressing the impact of COVID-19 and are taking necessary measures to mitigate its spread. In this exclusively challenging environment, it is necessary to make your business more resilient. But the question is how? The quickly-changing COVID-19 picture means that one wrong move and the corporate value and performance will seriously get affected.
Listed below are some considerations for continuing business in the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Turning Things Rapidly
The first priority should be to quickly stabilize liquidity and cash, and take a realistic view of existing options. This means to identify and accordingly act on opportunities for operational, strategic, financial, and organizational change. By creating a stakeholder management plan and assessing the liquidity position, establish a solid ground for a turnaround.
Five major steps for turning things around:
• Recognize options: rapidly and effectually assess your options
• Steadiness: access the financial position by stabilizing the business.
• Turnaround strategy: analyze financial paybacks of numerous options
• Implementation: ensure full delivery of the turnaround plan
• Value understanding: comprehend costs and risks of each option, which also includes the contingency plans.
2. Coping with Distressed Situations
If business is experiencing a distressed situation due to COVID-19, the first step should be to evaluate the situation and develop a practical liquidation plan. In order to identify the path to make the most of the available value, working with your stakeholders and advisors could help. Assess the risks and impact of various options, isolate the right filing jurisdiction, and finally prepare a comprehensive insolvency plan, which will help in optimizing stakeholder positions.
Five main recovery scenarios are as follows:
• Distressed corporates: Apprehend the extent of the problem
• Liquidation planning: Isolate your options
• Initiating insolvency: understand what happens in a formal security process
• Execution: discover ways to maximize value
• Taking-off a formal process: strategize a path back to ‘normal’
3. Overcoming Financial Difficulties
It is anticipated that COVID-19 is likely to produce distressed situations, in which stakeholders will frequently seek additional resources or information to help in rebuilding their confidence. By empathizing the needs of stakeholders, lenders, and borrowers, and managing stakeholder communications, you can make informed decisions by staying on the top of the issues. Assess the short-term liquidity requirements and discover ways to address potential risks by quickly preserving values.
Questions to ask to help achieve sustainable financial and operational change:
• Appraisal and steadiness: Do I have sufficient liquidity to keep operating?
• Assessing options: Am I aware what is wrong and do I know how to fix it?
• Intra-stakeholder consultations: What is there I can do to keep everyone engaged in negotiations?
• Development of options: What viable capital structure provides the best prospect of success?
• Execution: How can I merge all stakeholder positions to implement the novel capital structure?
• Constant monitoring: How do I make certain that the business is supported through its rescue?
Consumer Networks: The Backbone of Life and Business Continuity
Over the past few weeks, the people all across the globe were thrust into a “new normal” of learning or working from their homes. Plentiful ‘shelter in place’ orders have sparked a 40 percent rise in data usage in several countries. Also, the mobile phone use is grown by 50 percent. Italy has about 75 percent surge in residential data traffic as it was the first country to enter into a complete at-home lockdown.
The consumer internet networks has the capability to deliver data, video, and voice in our connected world. Hence, these networks are being asked to serve the world as the backbone for both full-time businesses and consumers.
The telecom operators have quickly stepped up in addressing the at-home data surge and their actions are keeping communities, businesses, and people connected as social distancing and isolation instructions are being enforced.
• Global telecoms companies including Verizon, Telstra, and AT&T are suspending overage fees and caps for home usage as well as waiving late fees. Some are even promising not to abandon service for those stuck by the virus.
• Vodafone, Verizon, and T-Mobile are adding capacity or/and spectrum to aid in meeting increased customer demand.
• AT&T is helping universities and businesses stand-up virtual classrooms or offices with video conferencing and conference technology.
Education and media companies are also doing their part.
• Media enterprises are focused on working with governments to regulate misinformation, and delivering vital information. These companies are also adjusting their business models like Disney+ and Universal Pictures have done to make content more accessible.
• Media outlets from The New York Times to The Atlantic, Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal have each made coronavirus coverage accessible to the non-subscribers.
• Netflix has enhanced their crowd-streaming platform, Netflix Party. This has allowed more servers to deal with the influx of use and it has also permitted the URLs from outside the U.S.
• Many online educational and video conferencing companies are offering discounted or free services for students to keep learning at a complete home lockdown.
All of these above mentioned efforts are crucial to maintain a sense of community and connection, which is significant for people’s well-being and mental health at this time. The telecoms companies are working hard and are doing an astonishing job in facilitating demand at levels never imagined. Hence, they are the backbone of life and business continuity, and also the key groups ensuring that the world can keep on moving.
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