Maximize Incident Response Effectiveness: Internal Operations

This article is part of a larger series of posts related to assisting mid-market companies in maximizing incident response effectiveness. See all parts of the series. 

Regardless of what industry you are in, all companies rely heavily upon the internal processes, procedures, and operations across all areas of the business. Being able to get work done, provide revenue-generating services, produce products for sale to customers, and support all of those business functions from the back office are of critical importance. It is the lifeblood of any company. When a company faces adverse operating conditions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s Internal Operations (IO) will require a higher degree of time and attention in order to keep running smoothly. When formulating and executing the Internal Operations aspects of your Incident Response (IR) plan, the Operational and Technology experts at Elliott Davis would like to help accelerate your response efforts by sharing our expertise, cross-industry experience, and observations of working with other mid-market companies facing the same set of challenges.

Our intent is to provide you with “thought triggers” and give you simple, practical guidance to provide you with a starting point to create and/or refine the Internal Operations aspect of your incident response plan. We recommend you consider the following items for your IR Internal Operations plan and incorporate the ones which make sense for your specific scenario.

Do

Don’t

Make sure you understand what internal processes are truly required to keep the business running.

Prioritize all operational functions and determine delivery capability at various staffing levels.  If required, which functions would be suspended and in what order?

Establish incident response responsibilities and crisis team leadership in affected areas.

Prioritize/tier your customer demand.  Confirm inventory levels needed and manage levels to support key customers.

Consider setting up “war-room” capabilities (even if very basic in nature), to effectively deal with incident response coordination, changing business conditions, and active operational management.

Inventory critical equipment/services:  Identify critical equipment and personnel that would move quickly and get ops up and running in an alternate location.

Create an inventory of contractual and service level performance impacts and communicate concerns to key partners.

Fail to extend your clean workplace/personal hygiene and sanitization protocols – be sure to apply adequate resources to this.  Consider extended cleaning contracts.

Let travel planning fall to the bottom of the list:  Review whether a business trip is necessary and/or implement teleconferencing capabilities.  Make it a point to clarify any revised travel protocols and limitations.

De-prioritize the creation/modification of procedures to clean, sanitize, and/or decontaminate the facility.  This includes heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems, equipment, and soft materials.

Assume you will maintain access to your facility and/or its full capacity.  Instead, determine options for alternate site operations and develop a framework that would enable quick transfer of specific operations.  Explore reciprocal partnerships with other companies.

 

We can help

If your organization has concerns about continuing operations, developing and implementing an incident response plan, or is working to determine the best way to serve its customers and employees, the Operational and Technology experts at Elliott Davis can help. We have a team of experts with the deep practical experience and expertise necessary to help you actively manage through this unprecedented series of events and keep your business moving in the right direction.

For more helpful tax updates and business continuity resources to navigate COVID-19, visit the Elliott Davis COVID-19 Resource Center

 

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