How Digi Stayed Afloat During a Pandemic Using This Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

Blog
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July 15, 2021
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By
Michelle C.

It’s no secret that many companies were left struggling to keep business operations going when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Telecommunications giant Digi was one of the fortunate companies that had a solid Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place and thus was able to weather out the storm and remain competitive. 

From making swift changes in work arrangements to supporting employees and their welfare, read on to learn how Digi Telecommunications managed to protect their business, employees and customers. 

Human Resource Management

At Digi, they have been diligently updating our BCP throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic. These updates have included:

  • Changes to the Movement Control Order (MCO) and Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) situation in the country
  • Addressing potential queries from employees such as questions regarding work status
  • Rules relating to the MCO such as not being able to travel

General guidelines around work from home etiquette and how to navigate situations such as:

  • Requiring time to look after elderly family members or young children
  • Flexibility in work hours to care for family
  • Communication required with a manager to manage workload

If you have a digital HR software like altHR, you can save your BCP within ‘Documents’ so that it is easily accessible. With altHR, your BCP is only two clicks away for employees to refresh the content of your BCP. If you do not have a digital HR solution, keep your BCP in a shared folder and have your employees bookmark it so that they can access it easily.

Digi appointed a business continuity manager to help employees familiarise themselves with all of our business continuity plans and how they apply to them. Your organisation may need to appoint more than one, depending on how many employees your organisation has. 

Digi has also established an employee health surveillance process. They have a daily attendance reporting flow whereby every employee has to indicate their health levels. For those who are unwell, the business continuity manager will check-in and monitor closely to ensure they do not transmit the disease to other employees. 

altHR is also helping Digi to ensure that their employees’ wellbeing is looked after. Within altHR, they have provided ample information about where to seek help if employees become sick including contact information and locations where medical assessments are available, the hotline number for symptom clarification, and a list of all available clinics. Employees can easily access all of this information in the ‘Resources’ section of our altHR dashboard.

As important as helping employees stay healthy is keeping them notified and engaged with the company. The Highlights feature within altHR has been extremely helpful in doing this. Digi has populated the ‘Highlights’ section with engaging and informative information like: 

  • How to maintain hygiene during Covid-19
  • The Responsible Digizen’s Guide to Covid-19
  • Do’s & Don’ts
  • Important contact information if there are any questions & doubts
  • Safety FAQ & Digi’s Way of Work Updates

At Digi, they have also made sure to have a clear and consistent focus on internal communication. They ensure that their BCP plans are clearly communicated and repeated so everyone understands what the expectations are as they move forward. They also share their BCP slide deck through altHR so everyone has access to it and can view it whenever needed. This helps to keep employees informed. Routine updates also help with consistency and maintaining sanity for every employee in the company. 

Process & Business Functions

As Malaysia shifts into a minor relaxation of the MCO and starts allowing businesses to run in adherence to the rules under the CMCO, Digi has been evaluating the need for all of their employees to be physically at work. They came up with a plan to allow critical teams to come to work while reducing the chance of transmitting COVID-19 among their team members. 

If possible, split employees into multiple teams (at a basic level: Team A & Team B) to work from the office on alternate weeks. It is important to keep strict rules on teams not meeting the other so that any positive COVID-19 test only impacts one team. In this scenario, it is important to keep employees up to date on where they should be on which weeks by scheduling it into their calendar. As time passes, keep reviewing the need for different work schedules, locations, or if alternative commuting arrangements are required. 

For organisations that choose to close their physical offices and allow employees to continue working from home, there are a few steps you should follow to keep employees happy and productive:

  • Ensure employees have access to documents or tools they need to do their job
  • Ensure required documents are archived or backed-up
  • Evaluate the need for remote-access to certain office tools if it can't be moved home
  • Ensure important customer information is moved to the cloud - with strict restrictions on privacy

Supplier & Customer Management

As Digi thought through their supplier and customer management priorities during this pandemic, their number one goal has been to protect cash flow. This is vital to keep their employees paid and maintain the delivery of products and services to their customers. There are a few steps that they have taken, and that you can too, from the supplier side to ensure that you are able to reduce costs, while taking your suppliers needs into account as well.

  1. Write to your suppliers and ask for a reduction in cost, a payment moratorium, or to put a deferred payment plan in place.
  2. If you rent your office or storefront space, write to your landlord or rental company for rent relief during this crisis.
  3. Don’t be afraid to have active and open conversations with stakeholders that are dependent on you. We are all in the same boat and need to work together to weather this storm.

When it comes to working with your customers, it’s important to do it in a targeted approach. Split your customers into Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels. Tier 1 customers are the ones your business will not survive without. Tier 2 customers are wonderful to have and you value them, but if you don’t retain them through this time, your business will not fold. 

For your Tier 1 customers, direct communication is required. Check-in with them bi-weekly throughout the CMCO period and offer assistance to help them alleviate the situation. 

For your Tier 2 customers, a once a month or once every two month communication regarding your company’s situation and updates on any service or delivery delays will be sufficient throughout the CMCO period. 

Finally, it may be necessary to begin to evaluate supply alternatives if your supply chain has been disrupted. 

Conclusion

This has been an unprecedented time of business disruption. It is unlikely that we will see another global pandemic on this scale in our generation. However, that does not mean that your business will not need to have a business continuity plan in place once this is over. In fact, after this disruption, it’s likely that your customers, partners, employees, and stakeholders will expect you to be better prepared for any future business disruptions. Formulating a BCP should be of the utmost importance as you move forward through the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future of your business.

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