Advice Business

How to maintain business continuity as local lockdowns loom

Bureau Veritas advises firms across the UK to prepare for the possibility of a local lockdown by stringently monitoring and updating their business continuity and disaster planning procedures.

As a growing number of cities and regions faces the risk of local lockdowns and concerns over a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks grows, organisations are faced with new challenges in managing their business continuity.

With large areas of Northern England already under new localised restrictions and government advice guidelines changing constantly, the situation remains unpredictable for businesses across the country.

Fresh challenges for business continuity

“While it's great news that most British businesses are back up and running following a prolonged period of lockdown, the reality is we are far from out of the woods on this pandemic,” says Basilio Vieira, lead auditor for Bureau Veritas certification.

“As seen in recent weeks, business continuity has never been more important as firms still need to be prepared for the ongoing possibility that they might have to close again at a moment’s notice or alter their operations drastically for an indeterminate period of time.

“The ‘new normal’ is that coronavirus remains a risk to employees’ health and requires many employers to proceed with extreme caution. Essentially, guidelines, restrictions and best practices will continue to evolve daily for the foreseeable future, and as with the threat of a local lockdown, this presents fresh challenges in terms of business continuity and disaster planning.

“Our advice, first and foremost to businesses, is to have regular communication with the health agency in your local area to glean the risk of a potential local lockdown to enable better planning and safety precautions.”

Anticipate supply chain disruption

In order to ensure business continuity, Bureau Veritas says businesses should take a cautious approach to making long-term commitments, as well as anticipating a more nuanced disruption to supply chains.

“Whether it’s re-stocking perishable items or signing new vendor supply contracts, we’ve seen that taking a more short-term and nimble approach is key to business continuity,” Vieira adds. “What’s more, if your firm is operating in an area with low coronavirus cases, it’s important to factor in the impact that international, national, regional and local lockdowns may have on your supply chains and carry out a full impact analysis.

“In light of this, it’s clear that business continuity remains a top priority as we continue to navigate these uncertain times. Indeed, following best practice in this area will not only ensure firms are adequately prepared to deal with worst-case scenarios and protect the future of their business but, ultimately, could help to save lives.”

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