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Transitioning to the “new reality”: From crisis reaction to active success

During this time of crisis, leaders from SMEs to large corporates are having to navigate unchartered waters and an unprecedented business landscape. Decisions ranging from the wellbeing of people to business continuity, long-term sustainability, and strategic adjustment of the business model are having to be made quickly for a future fraught with uncertainty. According to Business for South Africa (B4SA), SA’s GDP is expected to decline by between 10% and 17% in 2020 with between a million and four million formal and informal sector jobs at risk.  Entire supply chains are being disrupted and consumer spending will reduce at a rate not seen in a century.

Procursus and Turricula have developed a Covid-19 Business Response Framework that will help your company transition to the new reality in a structured and focused manner, moving from crisis reaction to actively achieving success. The framework provides a roadmap that enables stakeholders in key leadership roles to Act swiftly and pragmatically in response to the crisis, stabilise and Restore business operations, and position your business to Flourish in the post-pandemic new reality.

Act with Urgency

It is necessary to act urgently, with your optimised ‘Crisis Command Centre’ addressing the landscape changing every day with different Government directives, supply chain crises, and evolving clients. You need to continue to activate and adapt your business continuity and crisis management plans and perform robust business impact assessments to determine the critical areas in your business that are being triggered by the crisis. At the same time, stringent health and safety protocols must be implemented to ensure people wellbeing, financial metrics like cash flow and liquidity constantly recalibrated, business operations stabilised, new regulatory compliance requirements identified, and assurance activities repurposed to ensure governance, risk management, and controls are not overlooked or compromised during this time of crisis.

Restore Business Operations

Having stabilised your business, established protocols to manage the organisation through the pandemic, and enhanced your governance and internal controls, your business will be in a position to rapidly transition to the next stage of restoring and optimising operations. Operational capability and supply chains will be rebuilt and reconfigured, pre-existing revenue streams may be recovered or replaced by new revenue streams, and the organisation’s new ways of working reviewed in light of the changes to workspaces and virtualisation. Business solutions and information technology infrastructure, such as cloud computing, will require updating and modernisation, and enhancement of customer-facing digital solutions will need to be accelerated.

Position to Flourish

With the business restored and positioned to exceed pre-pandemic levels and having adapted to a new way of working, your company will be ready to seek out value opportunities and flourish in the new reality. The business model will be refreshed in the context of the strategy and environment, and a more agile operating model adopted. Opportunities arising from the crisis and business disruptions will present themselves and should be seized upon. The supply chain infrastructure must be optimized and opportunities to take costs and friction out of the supply chain and improve its resilience should be identified and acted on. A sustainable growth strategy should evolve, raising opportunities to unlock a competitive advantage in the emerging new reality. The information technology strategy is core to each business and has to be refreshed with data interpretation, machine learning, AI and digital solutions leveraged to improve productivity and to distinguish the company as being agile, able to respond quickly, and at the cutting edge of technology. Assurance must adopt a more agile, risk-based, as well as technology and data driven approach, serving as trusted partners to the business, enabling the organisation to quickly anticipate and respond to existing and emerging risks.

Execution of the Covid-19 Business Response Framework is only as good as the weakest link in the chain, whether it is adapting the business model, digitalising the offering or optimising the supply chain.  Most organisations have been able to weather the first weeks of the crisis by throwing their key resources at the challenges with abandon. Going forward, the organisation’s response framework must be sustainable, pragmatic and mapped holistically, resulting in a winning programme for the business to flourish.

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Third-Party Risk Management

Third-Party Risk Management in the Age of Big Data and Advanced Analytics

INCORPORATING ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES INTO THIRD PARTY PROGRAMS TO MITIGATE THIRD-PARTY RISK AND SATISFY REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS

As organizations continue to grow their business operations with the introduction of new products, additional services, and expansion into new jurisdictions, compliance and legal officers are facing increasing pressures to manage risks from new and existing third-party relationships, some of which can be dangerously complex. This white paper discusses the risk presented by third parties, the components of an effective third-party risk management system, limitations of current third party systems, and finally, how platforms powered by advanced technology solutions such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and social network analyses can assist organizations by minimizing expensive outsourced due diligence, streamline data management and decision making and, in turn, achieve effective regulatory compliance.
procursus-blog-stability

Stabilizing and Growing Finance & Operations During Covid-19 and Beyond

The pandemic and increased pressures of the economic downturn have created a number of operational and financial challenges for most businesses.  The economic impact from COVID-19 and the lockdown is leading to severe business disruption, cash flow and liquidity issues, disrupted and even broken supply chains, job losses, poor employee wellbeing, and other operational interruptions.

Act with Urgency

As businesses return to work and ramp-up following the stringent lockdown, the focus of leadership is on recovering and stabilising the operations, preservation of cash, review of existing credit lines, and examination of new funding options, apart from the many challenges arising from ensuring staff wellbeing, strong customer relationships, and safety.

Financial planning and cash flow forecasting will be critical and require financial leadership to focus on horizons encompassing the short, medium, and long term. Preserving working capital over the next months to sustain business operations is paramount, and the old adage that “Cash is King” holds more than ever in times of crisis. A business impact assessment of critical operations is urgently needed, whereby actions and efforts should be targeted at stabilising finance and operations.

Finance leadership should determine for what period sufficient cash must be set aside to maintain business operations and prepare short, medium, and long-term forward-looking cash flow projections under several scenarios. Access to Government relief schemes, including any tax relief measures should be explored and leveraged to support cash flow needs in the short term. Furthermore, financing options should be revisited under the current circumstances.

Supplier contracts may need to be reviewed and credit terms re-negotiated during the initial ‘Act with Urgency’ phase to ensure continued liquidity.

Regular, transparent communication with all stakeholders is important to gain confidence, particularly in supporting contract and credit re-negotiations with suppliers, customers, and financial services providers.

Restore

During the Restore phase, the focus and priorities shift to strengthening the balance sheet and seeking out cost reduction opportunities across the entire business. These may include institutionalizing the new ways of working which could have significant real estate, virtualisation, and other cost benefits, revised supply-chain sourcing strategies and contracts, outsourcing, and workforce re-sizing, amongst others. An asset inventory and needs assessment should be performed and redundant and non-core assets should be considered for disposal as part of the effort to shore up the balance sheet.

The risk assessment should be updated to reflect the move to the Restore stage and to support the strategic initiatives that need to be taken across all functional areas of the company is planning for the future.

Flourish

Having taken a structured approach to restoring operations and strengthening its financial position, the business will be well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities to acquire lower-valued and distressed assets arising from the business disruption as it moves into the Flourish stage.  A critical view of the industry and its value chain will unearth opportunities.

Cost reduction strategies taken during the Restore stage should be further leveraged to extract long term value and maximise profitability.

The strategy should be refreshed and re-aligned to reflect the ‘new reality’. Digitilisation, AI, and machine learning initiatives should be accelerated to enhance efficiency and leverage data.

The Covid-19 Business Response Framework provides a sustainable, pragmatic, and holistic roadmap to navigating the current crisis and a winning programme for the business to flourish beyond the crisis.