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SMEs weak links in business continuity plans

By People Reporter
Friday, March 27th, 2020
SMEs weak links.
In summary
    • Labour shortages and increased costs due to mobility restrictions that the government has imposed continue to impact businesses.
    • Dozens of firms have changed working practices with a chunk of them directing some staff to work from home.

Steve Umidha

Business continuity plans of many local companies, detailing how to keep operating in the face of unprecedented disruption, are inadequate or non-existent, chief executive officers say.

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, firms are contending with concepts to sustain regular communications that align with current government and health policies to help employees remain engaged as they navigate through the crunch.

Business Hub sought comments from various CEOs to find out how their work had been affected since the country’s first case of Covid-19 was reported on March 13 and what adequate contingency plans they had employed to stay afloat.

It has now emerged that most companies especially those with physical dealings with clients are grappling with a significant impact on running programmes and coordinating staff, harmonising financial systems and planning  security systems as well as communicating to customers.

Scale down

“It is costly now to come up with those measures and as a result we have been forced to scale down on staff, especially technicians and engineers with front office also affected,” said Kennedy Omondi, Electrinet Solutions CEO.

The situation, he added, could heavily impact on many businesses if the crisis persists with most of his clients in export business having either halted operations or closed.

And while some firms had succeeded in implementing programmes on the ground in an environment of “social distancing” to adequately serve clients, Peter Macharia, Jijenge Credit Ltd CEO, admits that dealing with financial systems and planning was the most significant business continuity concern.

He said his firm has been forced to scale down operating hours with half of his staff working from home and others sent on paid leave.