Critical Vendor Pandemic Planning for COVID-19

With major updates happening by the hour, companies have moved into full attack mode with regard to preparedness for COVID -19. Business continuity is a major focus.  

Your critical vendors – those that provide software and services that are crucial to your daily operations –  play a key role in your pandemic planning. If their operations suffer a major disruption, so do yours. You need to know what they are doing to prepare. 

Here are five things you should be doing now with all of your critical vendors.  

  • Identify. Make sure you have a solid list of your critical vendors, the services they provide and key contact information.  
  • Obtain.  Request a copy of your vendor’s pandemic plan. If they don’t have one, conduct an interview to get the information you need.
  • Evaluate. Review the vendor’s planned approach with an eye towards those areas that impact your operations.  For example, if you outsource a critical function to the vendor how are they planning to ensure continuity – especially if they will be having employees work remotely.  What will they do if a large portion of their employees get sick?
  • Plan. Be ready in a worst-case scenario.  Can you assume responsibilities internally?  Are there alternative vendors? Or would you have to suspend operations?  These should be incorporated into your own preparedness plan.
  • Communicate. Create a document to alert your staff and your vendors as to your expectations.  This is important for all of your critical vendors, but also those non-critical vendors that have direct access to your employees, customers or members.  And be sure to identify a central point-of-contact for all questions related to vendor management. 

Your vendors are an important extension of your business. Get aligned with them now to identify potential risks to your operations and put the appropriate plans and communications in place today.

If you need help with preparedness planning for your critical vendors, contact us today. 

 

Tom Rogers
Author:

Job Title: CEO
Organization: Vendor Centric

Tom is the founder and CEO of Vendor Centric, he has been a trusted advisor to nonprofit organizations for 30 years, with a focus on helping them align the right people, processes and systems to mitigate third-party risk and drive more value from third-party contracts and relationships.

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