By Rohan Day, Partner, Armstrong Watson Skipton

THE Government appears to be keen to get certain industries moving again, but what does this mean from an operations perspective and preparations that should be made?


Logistics, operations, as well as the underpinning infrastructure will all need to be reviewed.


Businesses will need to recognise that social distancing rules will need to be implemented, adjusting staffing requirements, including shift patterns and working patterns to ensure that the social distancing can take place.

Supply chain

Speak with your suppliers to understand what challenges they are facing, identifying any supply weaknesses and researching alternatives.


Most delivery companies have implemented measures when dropping off orders to consumers but what does that look like in the business-to-business arena? Reducing contact points will be vital.

Operational levels

Before you restart operations, consider whether you will be able to recommence at the same levels prior to closure and determine your purchasing and staffing requirements in the short to medium term accordingly.

Work in progress

Do you have the necessary stock in-hand to complete outstanding work in progress? Speak to your customers whose orders are outstanding to determine when/if they need the order/s completing.


Many businesses will be opening up at similar times. Confirm your haulage and other logistics requirements in advance so that you can minimise any delays to customers.


Review your message to the market, taking into consideration what that will look like to potential customers.

Customer Service

Given the social distancing measures, it is likely that you will have to adjust how you deal with customer/client queries.


Once the return to work is imminent, consider a phased switch-on to avoid overloading the system, and how multi-user equipment, such as photocopiers and telephones, can avoid cross-contamination.

Return to work

Consider who is returning and when, thought will need to be given to those who are in the shielding group, any public transport constraints and child care.

Health & Safety

Follow all your normal safety practices, referring to existing and specifically any new regulatory requirements, policies procedures and risk assessments.

Taking a step back will enable you to reflect on your current operating practices (pre-lockdown) and how they need to be adapted to make the environment suitable for the “new normal”. If you are concerned about the financial impact that this will have on your business, please get in touch with Rohan Day on 0808 1445575 or email