Kris Michel, Chief Operating Officer with Flash Global, discusses how the service supply chain responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting disruptions in global supply lines.
The pandemic and recession tested organizations, helping supply chain executives to understand what they got right and wrong about business continuity planning. Still, there were a certain amount of “myopic” approaches to the subject, Michel says. Companies had to realize that, in a world of connected technologies, “it’s very difficult to look at one piece, come up with a plan, and not consider the ramifications across the organization.”
COVID-19 served as a wake-up call for companies that hadn’t already gotten the message about the need for a strong business continuity strategy. Others were already motivated to action by prior disruptive events, such as severe weather and heavy tariffs. In fact, says Michel, “it’s less about continuity and more about resilience — how we can create a new world where you can adapt on the fly, not just wait out a long outage.”
The service supply chain is especially well-suited to a risk-aware mindset. Its very nature lies in the need to respond quickly to emergencies. When it comes to the service world, Michel says, companies are beginning to understand the need to focus on “the end-to-end customer experience, how to make it seamless, how to use technology, and how to align resources to fit long-term objectives.”
Risk mitigation today isn’t a separate initiative; it needs to be propagated throughout the organization, Michel says. Nor is an effective risk strategy focused solely on the crisis of the moment. “It’s less about building it for the now, and instead building for how we adapt to a constantly changing cycle.”
Critical to the success of true business continuity is an emphasis on people — “the processes that are human-powered,” Michel stresses.
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