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31 March 2020 5 min read

Covid-19: The key to successfully managing Operations: React, Adapt, Anticipate

Matt Jones

Matt Jones
Director | People, Process & Excellence | London

All businesses are having to rapidly respond to the most significant change to our society and how our society operates, for many decades. However, not every operation is the same, nor should the response be. Everyone is currently running at reduced capacity, making the most of the people you have and the technology available to support them is more important than ever. It is key that you know how to react to the current scenario, adapt quickly as the situation evolves and anticipate changes to come so you are operationally ready and robust. 

Scenario 1: Delivering our operations remotely is not an option. Focus on ‘React’  

The reaction in the immediate term and ruthless prioritisation is the key here, as capacity is going to be impacted more than it will be for those who have remote working as an option. ‘Re-teaming’ your available workers around new and shifting priorities will make it easier to stay outcome-focused and avoid time wasted on less important work. 

Scenario 2: We can deliver remotely, but have limited digital collaboration technology. Focus on ‘Adapt’ 

If your operational teams have the basic kit to be remote (laptops, phones etc.) then the immediate reaction to encourage home-working is clear, how you then adapt to this new work pattern is important. Regular communication from the leadership is non-negotiable but it is also important to retain the peer-to-peer support network amongst your employees. Having simple shared lists of who your key experts are can save significant time and keep the pace of support (and therefore productivity) high. 

Scenario 3: Investment in collaboration tools is paying off, we are continuing to deliver excellent service. Focus on ‘Anticipate’ 

For firms who are moving more seamlessly to remote working due to prior efforts to implement digital ways of working, there is an opportunity to go over and above. Customers still need their problems solving, perhaps more than ever, you need to make sure you are first to offer the solution. Now is the time to estimate the future changes in supply and demand that your operation is likely to see in the medium-term and invest today in the capabilities you will need. 

Do you recognise the current challenges you are facing in the scenarios described above? At Baringa, we have experts to discuss any of the above with you and help Operations respond to the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis. All our consultants are set up to work remotely, and our collaboration tools allow us to partner with our clients and help them through this crisis. Please reach out to our Operational Excellence team to arrange a call.