Covid-19 coronavirus disease is a global health threat that is evolving fast, and quickly shaping new demands in the business community. Here are some of the developments we’re tracking:
Coronavirus and business travel
Travel restrictions to China have been in place for some time, but we are seeing parts of Europe and South Korea also affected. Companies are forgoing business travel to these regions and planning to restrict travel to greater areas in the near future.
Business contingency planning for coronavirus
Handling WHO and CDC guidelines proactively, many businesses want to have contingency plans in place in the event of significant disruption of daily operations. This includes creating work-from-home policies and discussing resources that will be in place for employees.
The impact of coronavirus on key business sectors
Retail and coronavirus
Many retail and consumer-facing businesses are gearing up for impacts to their operations. Some will beef up training and introduce enhanced sanitization efforts to reassure customers and patrons.
Manufacturing and coronavirus
As China institutes strict measures to control the spread of disease, a number of factory operations that are essential to the flow of global consumer products have ground to a halt. Whether a company’s goods are fully manufactured in China or they simply rely on Chinese manufacture for component parts, supply chains are set to be disrupted in the near and long term, necessitating adjustments.
Apple is already reducing revenue targets in a rare move in response to this manufacturing slow-down. Amazon is also quite reliant on the production of Chinese goods, and will see an impact to its business. Electronic manufactures like Samsung with a large base in South Korea are also concerned.
Aviation and coronavirus
US airline carriers have suspended flights to China and Hong Kong through April, and are bracing for a financial hit as a consequence of this decision. And while travel within the US and Europe has not yet seen major impacts, companies are keeping an eye on the situation with frets about the overall growth of the industry.
Hospitality and coronavirus
Hotel operations and other hospitality centers are hoping for a resolution to the coronavirus issue before their busy season in summer. Thus far many of the travel restrictions are occurring at a time when hotels are at their lowest occupancy in many cities. A number of hotel chains are beefing up training and hygiene practices to be able to confront the threat from coronavirus proactively.
Biotech’s response to coronavirus
Some sectors are poised for growth amid a growing health crisis, including biotech, pharma and manufacturers of other key medical equipment. Cutting-edge companies in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors are ramping into high gear in the race to find treatments and vaccines that will be useful against the virus. Experts warn that a vaccine is likely a year away, while other companies are focusing on treatments that could help contain the spread of the virus.
The bottom line for business preparedness and coronavirus
It’s useful for all companies to take the time to add coronavirus to the list of serious contingencies that can affect their operations on a number of fronts from operations to revenue projections and staff training. Even if not required, the preparation can help organizations cope with change that affects all businesses. Think about all aspects of your business that may be affected by coronavirus and plan accordingly.