Roadmap to Restarting a Business

Roadmap to Restarting a Business

Many process companies shut down regularly.  Auto assembly lines and oil refineries, for example, retool and do maintenance and repairs during such periods of inactivity. They have elaborate plans and drilled protocols for shutdown and restart. But this time, things are different for everyone:  Shutdowns were thrust upon organizations by government “stay at home orders” in response to the spread of Covid-19. Closures were abrupt and total, without detailed plans to follow. And it happened all over the world almost overnight.

Although most companies had risk management and business continuity strategies in place, no one anticipated a global crisis response of this scope and scale. Thus, few were prepared for the suddenness or the magnitude of this shutdown. With wide spread business closures and the ensuing furloughs, the situation feels dire.. And perhaps even worse, the ensuing restart could be equally ugly as politicians and economists lock horns with doctors and epidemiologists over what to do next. But at the individual company level, the restart doesn’t have to be ugly. In fact, if done correctly, it could be a market differentiator providing a more timely resumption of business with greater consistency and responsiveness than those who simply try to open the doors and turn the lights back on.

Restarting after an unexpected shut down requires detailed planning using best practices as a guide.

Restarts are more complex than typical project events in the company. They require a framework to drive activities and information that result in sustainable business operations for the enterprise.  As a project, Restarts should be planned in a manner like other major corporate initiatives, however, Restarts involve activities that will not necessarily be discernable or accessible or even visible ahead of time. They will also be closely watched, attracting the attention of shareholders, boards of directors, public officials, and customers, all demanding significant transparency. Restarts impact the finances, operations, and virtually every employee of the organization: They are “whole business events.”

As such, the Restart Roadmap requires a strategy that entails 3 key corporate dimensions:

a) Financial – knowing how long the organization can survive and what has to be done to fully engage within that time.

b) Operational – determining how the company will operate in various supply and demand scenarios. Identifying market demand for goods and services and determining where risk can be mitigated.

c) Human Capital – having a plan to ensure availability and safety of the human capital needed to operate.

To view the full Roadmap To Restarting Business, CLICK HERE

Mark Burzlaff, Sr. Consultant – Sirius Solutions, L.L.L.P.

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