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Business Continuity in Unusual Times
The unprecedented situation we find ourselves in with the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing us all to look at how we can continue to provide the services that we need for day to day business to continue and how we work as individuals. In many ways Agriculture is a ‘traditional’ industry with many business relationships still built on person to person contact. With the exception of Field Agents, the majority of staff work from an office, but the general lockdown imposed now in many countries and states does not make this either feasible or safe. Adding to the issues for the Agri industry is the fact that we are moving towards the build-up to Harvest when such a high percentage of business is performed.
Businesses, such as Amazon, are still able to operate in the current environment because they are Platform based businesses. Their method of operation is not going to change in the current situation. Many organizations are now having to accelerate or even put in place, their plans to extend their digital platforms to allow them to continue to work effectively in the current climate. Consider the following in relation to your organization:
- How do I allow my staff to work from home, provide access to the systems they need and know that our systems are still secure?
- How do we secure our supply of grain/cereals for this year from our growers?
- How can we monitor the quality of the crops in the field and assess the quality and volume of the crop available to sell?
- How do ensure orders and deliveries of crop protection products and other items?
- How can we give visibility of contracts, deliveries, analysis results, invoices, payments to our growers and customers?
These are probably just a few of the questions that you are considering. The above are a combination of what you need for your business and what your suppliers/customers need from you.
Consider using digital versions of documents with digital signatures for those that are legally binding e.g. contract.
It is human nature to look for someone else to provide information for you; how much of your staff’s time is taken up with simple questions around delivery or uplift of goods, payment of invoices etc? Why not look to provide that information on an outward-facing portal? You can provide the information required and it is available 24 hours a day not just during office hours; look on it as an extension to customer service!
The good news is that these and many others can be addressed and in a timely manner.
Yes, you may have to bring forward parts of your overall plan but these will allow you not only to survive this current situation but will leave you with stronger and more advanced methods of working when we come out from Covid-19.
We can help you ………