Many agency managers we speak to are worried – on many levels. Leaving aside personal, family and staff health, social and general economic news, we are all making decisions to guide our business through the next few months. That is quite a resposibility as staff, clients and many other stake holders are relying “the management” and visibility of leaders is very high.
Like you, we have been working through the possible risks of Corona virus (COVID-19) and contingency planning. Whether Corona explodes or disappears in the next few months, we need to have these plans for the next global upset as it is not the first and will not be the last pandemic we will see. Much to learn in our progressively connected world.
AXLR8 contingency plans
SaaS suppliers like AXLR8 must consider any threat to business system continuity because of the implications for clients who rely on our system to run their business. We have been working through how we would react at AXLR8 pending evolving news and expert advice on work practices to reduce infection rates. Our situation internally is manageable. We can all self-isolate and work at home with ‘phones diverted on our modern VoIP system. We have considered every aspect of our supply chain from external experts to training room providers, component manufacurers for our gowing IoT devices, datacentres and networks . There would be small differences in service. Obviously, we are run very lean and a key worker off sick will have implications – for example in face-to-face client reviews and in programming projects. As an SaaS provider, our first duty is to stay in business. Producing a custom code change for a client in a day or a month is often not mission critical for a client and we will not try to cut corners if the right programmer is not available for the job. Some other actions we are taking include cancelling all AXLR8 training classes till June 2020 and asking back office staff to work at home.
What hits us hardest is when a client has problems. So we are keen to help you if we can.
Staffing agency Implications
When it comes to our clients’ businesses, we are more worried as we have reports of many cancelled staffing contracts. We considered the problems already being faced and the solutions we could provide.
Experiential agencies, medical staff agencies, security staffing agencies and stewarding staffing agencies are putting staff in “high foot traffic” areas.
Staffing agency business is already under threat from future cancellations and travel constraints. Many businesses are asking if there will be an upside. Could your agency benefit from the absence of your clients’ permanent staff and help fill shifts that need to be done? What we are seeing now is mass cancellations in Counter cover in shops and airports. Any retail service involving contact with customers (such as makeup), the shifts are being dropped. Many agencies are considerng the potential acquisition of the clients, contracts and staff of competitors who fail.
Sports events have already been cancelled in Europe and across the world. This includes participation events and spectator events.
In the retail staffing agency client base, we have AXLR8 Field marketing staffing agency clients and counter cover staff agencies. In our luxury goods counter cover agencies, many of the brands have pulled campaigns. In a recent support call, a senior manager in an agency covering several European retailers was asking for us to confirm she was correctly cancelling 300 shifts for Chinese New Year. The forecast drop in tourists visiting from China meant three of their brands no longer felt the campaigns were viable. She had never done this before as the company is growing and successful.
You, our clients, put the food on our tables. As ever, we wish you health and hope you are not badly affected by these “epidemic” events outside all our control. We know that your management team have the experience, vision and skills to plan and ride through the next few months. Call your account manager at AXLR8 if you need any help from a systems point of view. In the meantime, rest assured your system will keep running and your team can use it on and off site as required. Call or email Support if you have any requests that arise from your contingency planning. As with all “dips” in business, it will be the most agile, well organised companies with the best systems that survive. They will be best placed after this to take up the contracts of those who were not ready.