A business continuity plan increases chances of survival during crisis

Aurel Constantin 24/03/2020 | 09:21

A well-established business continuity plan increases at least 30 percent the chances of a company facing a crisis such as the one we are experiencing these days, when companies try to fold, adapt and continue their activity by adopting solutions for maintaining essential business processes, according to representatives of Horváth & Partners, a management consulting company.

The company’s experts have developed a management framework that involves a three-step approach, which helps to stabilize processes during periods characterized by strong uncertainty, such as the current situation generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. These also apply in other situations of danger such as financial crises, floods, earthquakes or other threats that present major risks for companies that do not have emergency plans to handle extreme situations or Black Swan events – very rare situations, which no one really anticipates them, but whose effects are all the more devastating.

“The essential processes that keep a company in working order must remain stable, even in unusual situations, such as the one we are going through now, considered unprecedented since the end of the last world conflagration. Therefore, it is necessary to protect the important resources without which the operation becomes impossible, that is, employees, IT services, external suppliers, etc. In order to be able to be with our clients during this very difficult period, we also launched on the local market this program that we have since 2007 in our international portfolio. At this moment, the speed of reaction and the adoption of simple and rapid measures to limit the negative impact that this pandemic will have on the whole economy are crucial,” said Kurt Weber, General Manager of Horváth & Partners Romania.

The three steps of intelligent business continuity management involve the following actions:

  • a deep understanding of the vulnerabilities of their own processes;
  • analyzing the impact that the crisis situation has on the business, as well as identifying and coordinating the processes whose interruption can lead to major and potentially irreversible damage;
  • elaborating the business continuity strategy.

“Acting quickly and wisely is the key to successfully addressing uncertain times such as the global economic crisis of 2008 or the current coronavirus pandemic. Companies need to identify critical business processes and develop efficient emergency plans, and for this many of them, especially the very large ones, which have thousands and tens of thousands of employees and numerous procedures, need help specialty from consultants specialized in this segment. In such situations, it is necessary to identify the triggering factor of interruption of the process and to pay attention to the symptom, not to the cause. For example, it is not relevant why employees can no longer be present at the company headquarters, but it must be seen how this affects the value and productivity of the business and what measures need to be taken so that the staff are as safe and financially secure as possible. , and the company can continue its activity to optimal standards in the situation,” added Weber.

From the perspective of Horváth & Partners representatives, most players who have already started implementing business continuity plans are currently from the industries that have been most severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: the aviation industry, tourism and HoReCa. In countries such as Germany, Austria or Poland, where the practice of adopting continuity plans has been taking place for a long time, large companies have already taken measures to limit the economic damage that this unusual situation will generate.

The Smart Business Continuity Management program has been implemented by Horváth & Partners experts for over 12 years and has been implemented with very good results internationally.

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