COVID-19: Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.
We are carefully navigating the developments in the global spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Like you, we are thinking about family members, friends, and loved ones. Like you, as business leaders, we are also preparing to limit any potential disruption to our important work.
The good news is that Newfire Partners has made management and financial investments during the last 18 months to strengthen a global operations infrastructure and to prepare for the “unthinkable” (e.g., natural disasters, political instability, and other major unforeseen incidents). We recognize that we provide services that are critical for many of our customers, including you.
We wanted to share proactive steps that we have taken and also recommend steps for you to consider.
Here are some steps that have been taken to ensure business continuity:
- We operate in five separate facilities in four cities in three countries with fully redundant local management teams that can operate independently if required. By the end of 2020, we project expanding our global operations to eight facilities in five cities in four countries on three continents to further diversify our global supply chain.
- We’ve strategically selected “paired locations” allowing mass relocation if needed. Some of our customers have already opted to operate teams in multiple locations.
- This year, we started rolling out access to company-subsidized private healthcare to ensure the fastest access to medical care for our team members and their families.
- If isolation is required, our entire technical staff is equipped with modern laptops that allow them to work from home. Each facility has a dedicated engineering manager who can help ensure productivity is minimized. Secure VPNs can be implemented for clients with sensitive information.
- We are doubling shifts of the cleaning staff to more frequently disinfect common areas, and we are in process of installing hand sanitizers at the entrances of our facilities.
- Of course, we maintain and periodically review multiple US-issued insurance policies that provide emergency funding in certain crisis situations.
Meanwhile, here are some immediate actions that we recommend you consider:
- Take time to inventory existing documentation of critical systems and processes; if they do not exist or are outdated, then please dedicate time to create these artifacts to ensure business continuity.
- Review the entire organization and identify any “single points of failure” of systems or personnel. Ensure proper coverage exists if key knowledge holders become unavailable for an extended period of time.
- Execute a “war games” exercise with your senior leadership team. If the unthinkable should happen, then it will likely happen very quickly. A rapid and effective response requires that contingency plans and their triggers are already in place.
Uncertain times like these remind us about the importance of leadership and the value of our key partnerships. We believe our combined efforts and good communication can help us all work through this developing global health issue.