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Managing crisis with innovation and a responsive Business Continuity Plan

Friday 10th April 2020

A responsive Business Continuity Plan

In our review of the ASDA communications in this time of business continuity and crisis (see Case Study - A retailer Business Continuity Management System), we identified a series of actions that have responded, improved and matured over the past weeks as the COVID 19 crisis unfolds. Like all retailers, ASDA has implemented its business continuity plan and evidence from the communications on their website shows how it has responded.  

A particular area of interest however is the development of a new product; the Volunteer Shopping Card. Full details can be found on their website and this is in no way an advertisement or endorsement of the scheme, but an observation that while crisis and disruption are going on, there is space and moreover, necessity to respond to the situation. We are all familiar with the quote attributed to Charles Darwin

It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.

What ASDA are demonstrating here is an ability to respond to the problem that is faced by their customers! 

New Product Innovation in times of crisis 

In essence, ASDA have created a form of pre-payment card; the 'end-customer' pre-pays on an account, gives a card to the volunteer shopper, and the shopper goes to the store, collects the goods and delivers them. Simple but clever on a number of levels. The process not only takes the risk of handing over credit and debit cards (together with the PIN number) to a third pary, but also the third party (the volunteer) now goes to ASDA. They might become a new customer, and will probably buys products themselves! 

What does this mean for the future of Business Continuity Management? 

What ASDA have done is fascinating for future reviews of the BCMS Standard (ISO 22301) The internationally recognised Business Continity Management Standard only makes only light reference to 'adaptation' in their text, and no reference at all to 'innovation'.

Business Managers globally are asking themselves whether there are new ways they can deliver services in response to the current situation? We would suggest this becomes part of every organisations resilience plan in their Business Continuity Management System. 

What does your Business Continuity Plan look like? 

Take a look at our article on what to include in an effective Business Continuity Plan to get some practical and helpful ideas

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Adam Faiers - Director

Adam has been working on Quality and Environmental management systems for most of his career in small, medium and corporate organisations. A keen advocate of the ISO approach as a platform for improvement, Adam ensures that systems are practical and useful for Managers and Staff to use.

Following a number of years working on software development projects, Adam has diversified into Information Security and Business Continuity management. Keen to formalise his industry experience, he is currently undertaking a Diploma in Business Continuity Management at Buckingham University.

Adam has a PhD from Cranfield University and now supports the MSc Environmental Management programmes through the advisory panel and visiting lectures.

We hope this article has been helpful

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