June 2nd, 2020 - The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation recently announced a detailed projected timeline for reopening businesses across Ireland. While the roadmap is staggered, and wholly dependent on the country’s continued efforts to further prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is important for businesses to be responsible by having their own individual strategy in place for reopening.

Remote-working remains encouraged for companies capable of facilitating its staff to work from home, through all 5 phases. This may require some organisations to review their policy and technological infrastructure, where improvements may be possible to maximise productivity. The Government has also recently introduced an e-working subsidy for remote workers. For more information on this scheme, see here.

Cashflow management

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to focus on being agile in changing times. To understand the impact of decisions on future cashflow, it is important to have a detailed cashflow forecast. Crucially, this will help you understand what funding supports you may need to access.

For information on funding support available through Enterprise Ireland and SBCI, download our guide.

Pipeline assessment

Getting a full scope of cashflow will involve spending time interrogating your pipeline including any work that has dropped off since lockdown measures were introduced in mid-March along with any other opportunities. With a helicopter view of workflow, and an accurate revenue projection, you can outline a strategy that reflects the short-medium term challenges facing the business.

Supply chain review

It is important to carry out a forensic review of your supply chain in conjunction with cashflow forecasting and assessing the pipeline. This will include staffing and external service suppliers.

Data review

The aforementioned considerations reaffirm the requirement for comprehensive and accessible means of storing management information, particularly at a time where decisiveness is imperative.

Re-engaging staff

In many cases, employers will be in the position of re-engaging staff during the phased return to business. In departmental structures, this may involve analysing teams individually to put plans in place for departments to return at different speeds.

Client / Customer retention

Staying close to existing and previous customers/clients should be at the forefront of your return to work strategy. In fact, most businesses will have moved to protect client and customer relationships immediately when closures were introduced in mid-March. It is important to prioritise clients as the phased return to work process continues.

Best-in-class service delivery combined with clear and ongoing communication is the backbone of an effective retention strategy. Now is a good time to review how you are engaging with your clients and consider enhancing what you are doing.

Identify the opportunities

Listening to clients / customers and understanding the challenges they are facing is to key understanding where support is required and where opportunities are arising across sectors.

Internal communications

After a period of unprecedented disruption, there will undoubtedly be a demand from the workforce to understand company procedure with returning to work, and a responsibility on employers to ensure staff are informed and updated on company policy. Now is a good time to review your internal communications strategy to ensure alignment at all levels of the business.

Join our upcoming free webinar on June 10th to hear the views of industry experts on key HR & Financing considerations for Irish businesses, as the country returns to work. Register here.