After the events that unfolded 2020, business continuity will remain a priority for most companies this year. One of the key elements of achieving effective continuity is ensuring supply chains are agile enough to accommodate differing demands and working conditions without risk.
While there is a plethora of advice online about how businesses can prepare their supply chains, what can the suppliers do to ensure contracts remain secure through uncertain times? With businesses more vigilant than ever, suppliers must be on-hand to provide the reassurance that clients are looking for.
Here are some of the questions and concerns that clients might have during this critical time, and the answers they are looking for.
Has the pandemic changed your operating model?
Businesses, particularly those forced to adapt over the last 12 months, will want to be assured that service delivery from suppliers will remain at the same level. For example, are a supplier’s services in higher demand or being used in ways not previously envisioned? Have there been trade-offs in risk that could impact their business?
Even if clients do not proactively reach out with such questions, suppliers should address any potential concerns and offer reassurance. If operating models or key personnel have changed, provide an update and enable clients to ask questions.
What business continuity arrangements are in place?
Clients want to ensure their suppliers have robust business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place that address periods of disruption. Key areas of concern for clients that should be addressed include:
- The ability to rapidly enable remote working at scale.
- Contingency plans if critical on-site operations are disrupted, whether due to sites being locked down or travel limitations.
- Whether there is knowledgeable personnel who can effectively manage the client relationship should key account handlers be absent.
- Bolstered security protocols in place for remote workers to protect against cyber threats and ensure data protection.
Can you adapt to our changing needs?
The emergency nature of the pandemic meant suppliers have had to develop new ways of doing things to meet the needs of clients. Increasingly, agile approaches and the rapid reconfiguration of service delivery is required to tackle volatile market conditions and business challenges.
As a resourcing transformation specialist and supplier of talent solutions, Omni was required to adapt service delivery in line with increased demand, especially in the facilities and healthcare sectors. In April, Omni worked with the newly-established UK Lighthouse Laboratories Network to recruit a 500-strong team of lab scientists, bioscience leads and data scientists to mobilise the government’s Covid-19 testing programme. Despite Lighthouse Laboratories having no t infrastructure in place, Omni was able to find and appoint the right candidates in under four weeks by adapting our processes to reflect the project’s urgency.
The work saw Omni win the “Covid-19 Supplier Champion” accolade in the Recruiter Investing in Talent Awards 2020, with the judges “impressed with the innovative approach and how quickly the business responded to the needs of their client.”
Ultimately, businesses are looking to build a supply network that is flexible, adaptable, secure and effective in 2021. By addressing client concerns before they become issues and communicating changes in approach and strategy, suppliers can ensure they remain a critical part of these networks for many years to come.
Does your talent strategy need a health check?
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