24 March 2020

CORONAVIRUS : What we can be doing right now. Wise words from MIT

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented phenomenon for us all. The situation is constantly evolving and we are presented with a new set of challenges every day especially in the logistics and transportation industry. There are many factors over which we have no control, so it is all the more important to make the most of the factors that we can.

We thought we can help you and your logistics business by sharing this synopsis of a video that we recently watched. In This in-depth video is led by Yossi Sheffi, Director of the MIT Centre for Transportation and Logistics, and goes into some detail about what businesses should be bearing in mind, and how this crisis compares to past crises.

We watched the whole thing (a few times) so you don’t have to. Here are the main take-aways:

Create an emergency management centre

For large companies, this is a war-room, in operation round the clock. For small companies, this is a regular meeting (or call) between the people designated to be the leads for all crisis-related communications. This centralises information and decision-making functions. All information comes to one place where people can take stock and make quick decisions.

Set up communications protocols

They recommend daily communications with all company stakeholders (staff, customers, suppliers etc.).
Define who has decision making authority: For larger companies, this is not the CEO, COO, or directors. They should be focussed on the dialogue with investors, media etc. but should be kept up to speed on everything as it happens.

Take care of employees

Put safe, actionable steps in place to protect employees.
Have comms ready for all stakeholders: Employees, customers, suppliers, media, shareholders, analysts, community.

Create a contingency plan for the worst

Have a plan in case key personnel fall ill. Who will step in? How will this be communicated? Who needs to know?

Review of Suppliers and Subcontractors

Who is being affected? Where are their upstream partners and is it a hot zone? Do they anticipate that they can fulfil their obligations? Will there be disruptions? Is there anything they need to know from you?

Plan for the recovery

They stress the importance of having a strong action plan in place to help the company bounce back after the crisis fades away.

Though it is unique in many respects, the COVID-19 situation shares similarities with all other global crises, in that we need to bear in mind the following: prevention, detection, and response. Where countries and companies fail it is because one or more of these are not addressed in a timely fashion. There are many factors over which we have no control, so it is all the more important to make the most of the factors that we can control.

We hope everyone stays safe during this difficult time.

To watch the full video, click on this link here.

If you wish to know how Yojee can help you with your business