Updated: Aug 21, 2020
With resilience and innovation, DC continues to support its clients during COVID-19. DC’s trusted solutions in secured outsourcing print, customer communications and experiences, and data analytics are helping our clients accelerate change with agility and efficiency during this global public health crisis.
COVID-19 has made it necessary to reinvent conventional business practices and redesign how workplaces function. During this unfamiliar time, the role of Business Continuity Management (BCM) has been key for organizations to be empowered with an overall framework and proactive scenario planning to ensure preparedness for any situation. In DC’s own BCM practice, cross-functional teams have followed an extensive and comprehensive COVID-19 response plan to ensure we maintain business continuity for our clients and partners, with the same service level standards they have come to expect of DC. Supporting our employees, our clients and our communities have never been more important, and our BCM strategy has ensured we safeguard and uphold their trust.
In this Q&A conversation with Derric and Weng Ki, who leads DCs Business Continuity Management, we discuss how DC has approached business continuity during COVID-19 and other natural and man-made disasters in the past, and how they see the future of this practice evolving.
Q1: Can you provide an overview of DC’s Business Continuity Management team and its roles and responsibilities?
A1: The BCM team provides oversight to DC’s Business Continuity Program (BCP), which includes ensuring contingency preparedness for all DC sites across South East Asia and all lines of service. Contingency preparedness essentially consists of working closely with business units to understand their processes and identify risks. It also involves helping them work through solutions to manage and minimize risk. DC’s BCM team ensures that our business continuity and disaster recovery plans are ready and tested to effectively deliver critical services and functions when required.
The functions performed by DC have been deemed supporting essential services, so any inability on our part to continue operating could create a significant systemic risk to the financial sector.
Q2: What are the core values that drive DC’s Business Continuity Management Policy?
A2: DC’s BCM policies are driven by our core values of operating with Integrity, Accountability, and Performance. Every decision that is made needs to support a holistic and cross-functional approach for organizational resiliency and developing appropriate responses to unforeseen events.
Driven by these values, we focus on reviewing vulnerabilities in the business and operating models, looking at how an event would impact our employees, our clients, supply chain, information and communication, sites and facilities, and finance.
This process helps us identify the dependencies inherent in the delivery of those services. Achieving this insight is a highly collaborative effort across all teams within DC, as well as externally with our partners and clients.
The choices we make when designing and implementing the BCM policy impact our employees, clients and shareholders, as unforeseen events may occur at any time. As a result, DC has a comprehensive and rigorous BCP and technology Disaster Recovery Plan, geared to achieve a state of continuity of critical functions, systems, networks and personnel that are vital to supporting clients.
Q3: Can you share a few examples of how DC is continuing to support its clients and partners during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A3: DC has been monitoring the global spread of COVID-19 since the very early days. We proactively reached out to all clients to provide insight into our Pandemic Response Plan. As the situation rapidly developed and required clients to make significant changes to their existing processes, DC accelerated process changes to support their evolving needs, as well as those of the community. Leveraging existing protocols such as our Change Management process, we are ensuring our clients’ business needs are addressed in a timely manner.
Communication is another key priority at this time. We are committed to keeping our clients updated on new developments as they arise through a number of communication channels and mediums. Apart from daily update emails, phone calls and regular conference calls to ensure our clients are well-informed.
Q4: Talk to us about the importance of collaboration and teamwork when ensuring business continuity during a pandemic.
A4: During this unprecedented time, regular collaboration with our employees, clients, stakeholders, vendors, and business partners has been integral. A foundation of trust and a good working relationship with our clients, where we share common goals and expectations, allows us to pivot and adjust where needed.
Additionally, DC identified and deployed key teams and partners to support the BCM function in achieving and sustaining operational resiliency. We set up a Crisis Management Team and a Communication Response Team, which included key cross-functional teams within DC, to allow for a constant flow of information and collaboration within the organization.
We also brought the right talent and resources to the table by forming sub-committees to ensure each phase of the pandemic is properly examined and planned for. This has helped us deliver against critical business initiatives and services, and meet the needs of our clients and employees in an ever-changing time.
As cross-functional teams across DC collaborate on major technological milestones and business continuity objectives, we have also prioritized maintaining our connection to each other.
Q5: What are the top priorities of BCP leaders in times like these?
A5: First and foremost, BCP leaders must ensure the well-being and safety of their employees. Prioritize the implementation of safety measures to minimize risk of infection to employees, vendors, contractors, and agency personnel, and continue to reassess actions and pivot as needed throughout the full duration of the event. Our top recommendations to industry leaders are:
Communicate with relevant stakeholders in a clear, transparent and timely fashion to secure ongoing support from employees, clients, vendors and partners.
Maintain regular contact with your suppliers regarding their capabilities to deliver goods and services during the COVID-19 crisis and their recovery plans, to ensure that the company can consider alternative supply chain options in a timely manner where necessary.
Build resilience in preparation for the ‘new normal’. Once the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled, review your Business Continuity and Pandemic Response Plans to assess how they are working to support this crisis. Validate to see what has worked well and what requires improvement as we prepare to maneuver through potential waves of this situation.
Continue to focus on organizational goals including sustaining services, commitment to growth, and be flexible in adapting to a new way of executing business deliverables and meeting client expectations.
Conduct post-incident reviews, learn from this experience and leverage any learnings to update your BCM program.
Understand the needs of critical services and modify strategies to meet new demands.
Q6: Do you see this experience reshaping business continuity models across industries?
A6: Yes, we expect business continuity models to change to reflect the business measures and decisions that are being taken to continue services during this time. The emergence of an agile workforce strategy requires a review of how employees deliver customer experiences and the digital channels that are needed to support business continuity.
Acceleration into digital services will also challenge organizations to revisit and even reimagine their services. This period in time will also lead to the rapid adoption and onboarding of additional collaborative tools and technologies. To manage immediate resilience issues and lay a foundation for the future, organizations have to address issues like virtual team collaboration, sudden changes in volumes, real-time decision-making, workforce productivity and security risks.
For more than 10 years, DC has been a trusted provider of business process outsourcing solutions to businesses, helping them accelerate their digital transformation. During COVID-19, our clients and partners continue to rely on our industry-wide infrastructure, technological expertise and robust business continuity planning to bolster their operations for continuity and resilience. The post-COVID-19 world will indeed look different, socially and economically, and DC is committed to supporting organizations as they prepare for a successful future.