The COVID-19 Coronavirus
As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the world, we’re faced with risks and opportunities that we never considered. Millions are forced to self-isolate; businesses are closing, employee layoffs are occurring, basic items such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer are in short supply. We are faced with challenges on a scale that are unparalleled since World War II, as we make our best attempt to “flatten the curve”.
It is estimated that we are still several weeks away from being back to “normal”, if not months, or potentially even longer. It could even be that a new “normal” takes shape, one where this becomes a recurring concern, until such time that a vaccine is introduced and made available to the public.
Risks and Opportunities
As of this writing, we are facing health risks, including death, to our persons, our families and our neighbors; economic risks associated with the economy, the falling stock market, the security of our jobs, and the integrity of our supply chains. We also faced with the risks that both our livelihoods and lifestyles may be negatively affected by prolonged shutdowns, and the necessity of remaining in our homes.
As we work our way through this pandemic, which we will, there will also be opportunities that follow, once of the first likely being a reduction in our dependence on imported manufactured goods and materials. We may potentially see a new era of domestic growth and expansion, with many industries revitalized as “Made in America” takes on a new meaning. We may also see new opportunities related to improvements in medicine, health care and social programs, as the coronavirus is now testing our current capabilities and capacity to its limits.
Impacts to Business
For most organizations, the consideration of a global pandemic was just not “on-the-radar”, and if it was, it was considered alongside other extraordinary events such as meteor strikes, volcanic eruptions, and alien arrivals. While such events would surely have a significant impact to the organization, their probability of occurrence was, until this point, considered low.
Now that we’ve reached this point, the impact of this pandemic has affected nearly every industrial sector. While I’m not sure that any business could develop and execute a contingency plan that is comprehensive enough to deal with all of the profound effects and impacts of this virus, hopefully it will emphasize the importance of considering potential risks and opportunities that may affect our businesses, prior to their occurrence.
For those companies where the consideration of risks and opportunities was considered an academic exercise, required only for achieving and maintaining ISO 9001:2015 certification, the need to address such concerns through our planning activities should be clearer than ever.
Our ISO 9001 Blog
Information, thoughts and periodic updates from MAS Solutions' QMS Consulting Group.
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