How to transition from lockdown to profitable business as safely and smoothly as possible

By Chris Ketley, Business Advisory Partner

Hi, I'm Chris Ketley and I want to share with you the key items we all need to look at to ensure our transition from lockdown to profitable business is as safe and smooth as possible. There is an increased emphasis on looking after our people and our customers while moving forward into the post lockdown environment as quickly as possible.

The KJ checklist is structured around the four pillars of business organisation:

  • Operations & technology
  • Finance & resourcing
  • People
  • Marketing & communications

In this blog, I'm focussing on Operations and Technology

OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY

It is clear as we move into unchartered territory, the way most business has operated in the past will need to be adjusted. It may be temporary, but it will have an impact on your business model and will require forward thinking to ensure your business is in the best shape possible to get back to work.

 The points raised below focus on three key areas:

  • Staff and customer-facing spaces
  • Operations, including processes
  • Logistics

The KJ 10-point Post Lockdown Checklist for Operations and Technology

  1. What does your technology capability look like?
  • Will your people still be able to utilise remote working and how will employees in the office interact with those based at home?
  • Will you still use video conferencing when the office is up and running again?
  • Do you need to reconsider the positioning of shared telephones and technology solutions used by multiple employees e.g. photocopiers?
  • Have you considered a phased switch on to avoid overloading the system?
  1. Social distancing will be important
  • What realistic measures can you implement to ensure you comply with social distancing rules?
  • Do you need to review your staffing requirements to be able to fulfil the requirements?
  • Will your shift or working patterns need to be adapted to comply with social distancing?
  1. How will your customer experience be affected?
  • Will you need to adjust how you make appointments to ensure that the relevant measures to reduce contact points can be implemented?
  • Do you need to supply hand sanitiser for customers who visit?
  • Have you provided clear, visible signage to provide guidance for visiting customers and all staff when hosting visitors?
  1. What does the return to work look like for furloughed employees?
  • Will you be looking at a phased return to work for those employees who have been furloughed?
  • Do you need to consider shift patterns and whether they should be adjusted?
  • Will the working day and conditions be different for furloughed employees returning to work?
  • What communications have you prepared to inform staff what new procedures and protocols are in place to ensure correct compliance e.g. hot desking, shared spaces, cleaning
  • Have you considered the situation of furloughed staff returning, are they or family members in a shielding group?
  • Have you considered the needs of those must use public transport or childcare?
  1. Will your operations resume at the previous rate?
  • Do your processes need to be adjusted to reflect your reduced turnover?
  • What changes do you need to make to ensure social distancing is practical on the shop floor?
  1. Are your Health & Safety procedures up to date?
  • Have you reviewed your risk assessments due to the new operating environment?
  • Have you recorded all significant findings of the review?
  • Have you communicated to your staff the importance of following your normal safety practices, in addition to new regulatory policies, procedures and control measures, e.g. using the guidance published by HSE?
  • Have you considered if and how social distancing can be maintained in your workplace?
  • Do you have sufficient appropriate collective and personal protective equipment?
  • Have you considered hygiene issues, e.g. a deep clean of premises, how shared equipment will be sanitised, facilities for hand washing, stock of cleaning agents?
  • Have you a training plan in place for staff, including cleaners, on your new or revised safe systems of work?
  1. Can work in progress be completed?
  • Do you have the necessary stock in hand to complete outstanding work in progress?
  • Have you written/spoken to customers with outstanding orders to determine when/if they need the orders completing?
  • Are your suppliers able to provide you with the goods you need to complete your orders?
  • Have you identified any potential issues with materials/supplies/resources to ensure that you can complete in good time?
  1. Review your supply chain
  • Have you spoken to your suppliers to understand what challenges they are facing?
  • Have you identified any weaknesses in their ability to supply and research alternatives, especially if there is a heavy reliance on imported goods?
  • Do you need to source certain products from elsewhere?
  1. Book your haulage in advance
  • As many businesses will be re-opening at similar times have you confirmed your haulage and other logistical requirements in advance to minimise delays to customers?
  • Have you considered if you need to adjust how your deliveries are made to maintain social distancing and whether you need to supply your drivers with PPE?
  1. Consider what your customer service offering looks like
  • Do you need to use technology differently to meet the needs of the remote end user?
  • Can you fulfil any requirements for repairs or returns safely?
  • Have you thought about whether you can make changes to enhance your offering to your customers/clients?

Look out for our next blog which will focus on Finance and Resourcing

All members of the Knill James Business Advisory Team are experts in advising clients on post lockdown issues and changes in your business. We invite you to contact us to let us help you and your business get ready and adapt quickly to the new business environment. 

Contact: Chris Ketley on 07860323079 or email at chris@knilljames.co.uk 

Contact: George Clayson on 07794031187 or email at georgec@knilljames.co.uk

Contact: Kirsty Wilson on 07387 108020 or email at kirstyw@knilljames.co.uk

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