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Effective risk response and management in the "Covid-19 Era"

As the situation becomes more complicated, businesses should reconsider their operational systems and work processes to adapt promptly, thereby minimizing risks and minimizing the negative impacts of the pandemic. Below are some steps that businesses can take to address the complex economic landscape, including social distancing measures or home isolation. Businesses need to consider and develop appropriate response solutions in all situations, including emergency situations.

Khi tình hình diễn biến phức tạp hơn, các doanh nghiệp nên xem xét lại hệ thống vận hành cũng như quy trình làm việc nhằm kịp thời thích ứng
When the situation becomes more complex, businesses should reconsider their operational systems and work processes to adapt promptly

Build a consistent communication plan during a crisis

In the face of the complexity of a pandemic, businesses need to regularly deliver consistent communication messages to stabilize employees. Depending on the scale and complexity of the business, communication can occur at various levels, from internal newsletters to announcements within small groups. However, regardless of the level, these messages must always be consistent and disseminated throughout the entire company. Additionally, business leaders should remind employees of the communication mechanisms that have been established and how to provide feedback to management and supervisors.

The content of the messages should address how the business will continue to meet the expectations of stakeholders and how it will provide services, as well as the necessary changes in operational systems to maintain stable operations while safeguarding the health and safety of employees in the context of the pandemic.

Xây dựng kế hoạch truyền thông nhất quán trong giai đoạn khủng hoảng
Establish a consistent communication plan during times of crisis

Business communications should include important informations below:

  • First, provide updates on how issues that could affect the business operations are being managed

  • Second, share information about proactive adjustments to operations in response tho the pandemic

  • Third, address issues impacting the workforce

  • Fourth, enhance support for remote processes

  • Fifth, remind employees to refer to official health agency websites for pandemic updates.

In addition, external communication messages from the business should be carefully reviewed to align with the current situation. Furthermore, businesses should consider implementing mechanisms to adjust information based on feedback from customers, shareholders, and other stakeholders.

Businesses must ensure a safe and healthy working environment for their employees in the face of the complex developments in the pandemic.

Assessing current risks and planning for the future

Businesses should regularly review adjustments in their operational systems based on metrics measuring operational efficiency. Additionally, they should continuously assess risk and the potential for encountering risks when implementing critical processes in the current environment. Ultimately, businesses should identify short-term risk mitigation strategies that are appropriate for their current capabilities and resources.

Furthermore, businesses should re-evaluate their initial goals and determine whether it is necessary to temporarily halt or expand essential business operations to meet future needs. Simultaneously, businesses need to consider potential changes in the current situation (e.g., COVID-19 infection rates) and their impact on their ability to provide essential services.

Accordingly, business owners providing essential services should regularly provide reports on the current situation, including information such as work efficiency metrics, liquidity levels, the current workforce capacity, updates on progress within the business, and technology updates.

Once the pandemic situation is under control, services and economic activities that have been temporarily halted will be resumed. Therefore, businesses should start building and developing recovery strategies tailored to each phase for disrupted activities.

Human resources strategy: exploring alternative solutions

Continuous management of human resources in businesses providing essential services is of utmost importance. Additionally, if a business utilizes outsourced services, the interaction between core employees and support staff should be monitored and reviewed to identify several key issues:

  • The impacts of remote work om the job and personal lives of employees.

  • Supplementary training and skill development measures necessary to enhance the existing workforce and meet current and future needs.

  • Opportunities and challenges associated with remote work arrangements.

  • Difficulties and challenges faced by employees in the current situation.

  • The availability of healthcare services and support.

In addition, businesses can also consider alternative solutions, such as outsourcing services, to meet the changing market demands for services or products. Furthermore, short-term outsourcing for specific business activities can help fulfill certain current needs while allowing employees to maintain stability.

Businesses should also establish mechanisms to support on-site employees compared to remote workers. By reviewing and assessing operational systems, companies need to provide a safe and healthy working environment for their employees in the face of the complex developments in the pandemic.

Ensuring connectivity and safety in remote work

Businesses should review their policies supporting remote work and be flexible in adjusting work schedules, if possible, to ensure the safety of their employees and maintain stable business operations.

For employees working from home, it's important to ensure continuous connectivity with colleagues and teams through electronic devices to ensure seamless and efficient work.

Businesses may also consider appointing employees to supervise and monitor the challenges that other employees may encounter while working online from home, with the goal of improving and enhancing the quality of remote work activities.

Additionally, companies can consider providing specific crisis-related communication messages to address employees' concerns caused by the pandemic. This will help foster a stronger connection between employees and the company in the context of remote work.

Enhancing supplier diversification

Maintaining communication and managing suppliers plays a crucial role as the pandemic situation continues to evolve. Businesses can implement several methods, including:

  • Establishing a system of functions and operational procedures within the company, along with critical resources and suitable suppliers, to enable more effective production and supply chain adjustments.

  • Regularly conducting supply and demand forecasts for the business.

  • Communicating the necessary supply needs to leadership.

  • Proactively staying in frequent contact with key suppliers to meet the business's needs in a timely manner.

Furthermore, businesses should also consider new products and services they may need to meet the demands of economic recovery following continuous disruptions. This assessment should be based on changes in customer behaviors and preferences post-pandemic, as well as potential market shifts that could occur in the future. Ultimately, businesses should put more effort into diversifying their suppliers and sources for their products and services. This may involve evaluating and quality-checking potential alternative suppliers, negotiating contracts, and allocating orders to multiple suppliers to spread risks and minimize losses for the business.

Author: Mr. Le Khanh Lam, Deputy general director of RSM Vietnam

Mr. Lam has nearly 30 years of experience working with multinational corporations and Vietnamese clients in all business sectors. He specializes in providing services related to Transfer Pricing Compliance, domestic investment, M&A advisory, local tax consulting, customized tax review, and other compliance issues related to domestic investment.

Prior to joining RSM Vietnam (18 years ago), Lam worked in one of the Big 4 firms in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Australia for 11 years, advising many multinational companies on transfer pricing compliance, investment structure, entry strategies, foreign investment regulations, international tax planning, and local tax compliance.

Lam currently serves as the Deputy Managing Partner in charge of tax and advisory services at RSM Vietnam, specializing in compliance, local taxation, customs compliance, outsourcing services, and advisory services for foreign investors in Vietnam. Mr. Lam represents various companies in dealings with tax authorities and relevant agencies on matters related to foreign investment and tax policies.

He is currently a lecturer in Accounting, Taxation, Risk Management, and Business, as well as other related subjects for ACCA (F6), CPA Australia, VTCA, VACPA, and the University of Bolton.

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