Due to restricted travel and quarantine zones, global supply chains are being disrupted. Per Forbes, this is also resulting in a downturn of consumer demand. (Ex. Travel, tourism, conferences, etc.) Organizations are slow to respond as sufficient testing has not been completed regarding pandemic plans. So what should you do? In today's TPRA Practitioner Meeting, we discussed steps you can take to evaluate the impact COVID-19 has/will have on your vendors/suppliers. Below are the highlights.
First you need to understand the impact COVID-19 has on your own organization.
- What are your critical processes and/or products? Does a vendor perform pieces of your critical processes or supply raw materials for your critical products?
- Do you know the locations of your suppliers? Do you know the locations of your supplier’s suppliers?
- Have you enacted your own pandemic plans?
Next, are you determining if your vendors/suppliers have sufficient pandemic and recovery plans in place?
- Create a task force to review critical vendors and/or suppliers.
- Map out where your vendors/suppliers are located. You will need to understand where their critical suppliers are also located.
- Once you have a list of vendors and suppliers critical to your business, begin understanding if they are prepared for and/or have been impacted by the pandemic. Are they in a quarantine zone?
- If they are prepared, ensure you are communicating with your vendors/suppliers the change in the demand for your organization’s products/services.
- If they are less prepared, determine if you need to plan for alternate sourcing. Quickly work through due diligence and contracts for alternate sources.
- If you do not have them already, set key risk indicators to alert you if things change with one of your vendors/suppliers. (You can start with contract SLAs and response time.)
- Ensure you and your vendor/supplier have a strong communication plan regarding updates on future impact.
- Be compassionate. Every organization will be impacted by COVID-19 in one way or another. Offer to help those that need it if you can.
How can you determine if your vendors are prepared?
- Create a set of questions you can use to determine if your vendors/suppliers are prepared for a pandemic and/or if they are impacted by COVID-19.
- Reach out to your vendors/suppliers via email or phone (depending on criticality) to determine their preparedness and/or impact.
- Review responses to determine next steps. You may want to form a committee to assist with this piece.
- Ensure you have an escalation plan when unfavorable responses return.
For TPRA Practitioner Members, the TPRA has prepared a set of questions for you to consider. This questionnaire is available in an excel format on the Information Sharing site within the Members Only section of our website. The document is titled "COVID-19 Readiness Questionnaire - TPRA Created".
Author: Julie Gaiaschi, TPRA CEO & Co-Founder