Coffee with Kampas | March 12, 2020

Coffee with Kampas – Episode 22: Coronavirus & Business Continuity


On today’s episode of #CoffeeWithKampas, EMPIST Founder & CEO John Kampas is discussing the growing threat that Coronavirus is placing on day-to-day business operations, and what you can do to improve your business continuity plan while keeping your employees safe.


Hi, this is John Kampas, Founder and CEO of EMPIST. As I’m sure you’re aware, Coronavirus (or COVID-19) poses a growing threat to businesses and their day to day operations. That’s why on today’s Coffee with Kampas, I want to talk to you about how to improve your business continuity plan and protect against any potential business interruptions when scenarios like this arise.

The CDC has published an interim guide for businesses and employers to plan, prepare and respond to Coronavirus.  While the guide is helpful in preparing for the current outbreak, I didn’t create this video to speak specifically about coronavirus.  Business interruption is a constant threat, so businesses need to have a continuity plan in place at all times; not just when immediate threats are present.

Due to the Coronavirus, your company may have already experienced a decline in employee productivity, a drop-in sales revenue, a financial impact due to stock market crash, delays in shipments, and a slew of other things.  These effects are common in any business interruption scenario, and each company is impacted differently depending on the industry they are in.  One thing all these companies have in common though, is that their highest cost is their people.  A significant drop in employee productivity and efficiency can be a nightmare to overcome and can greatly impact your bottom line.

What we’re dealing with right now with coronavirus reminds me a lot of the Chicago Polar Vortex of 2014.  During this time, Chicago weather reached a low of negative 42 degrees with the wind chill.  The conditions made it difficult to travel to work, so many businesses shut down during this time to keep employees safe.  Many businesses experienced a substantial financial loss because they couldn’t work at all. Many other businesses didn’t even skip a beat.

If you were part of the group that was heavily impacted, hopefully you learned a valuable lesson.  The latter, more prepared companies had a plan in place that included business interruption scenarios beyond just an Armageddon-type event.   There are many levels of disasters, and some are far more likely than others, so having a proper continuity plan will save you time, money and unnecessary frustration.

If you don’t already have a plan, here are three things that you can do relatively quickly to prepare for the interruption most businesses are starting to experience due to coronavirus.

First, establish a flexible worksite policy; such as work from home. This helps reduce chance of spreading the virus among your entire staff.

Next, establish a process to communicate information to employees. Whether this is via email or a staff chat platform like Slack or Teams, it’s crucial that you are able to communicate quickly and easily with your staff.

Lastly, implement technology to provide secure, anywhere/anytime access to your applications and systems; just like if the employee is sitting at their office desk.  This could be through a Public or Private Cloud provider or VPN access.

Some of this may already be in place at your business, but make sure to test it regularly to make sure it can support all of your employees simultaneously.  You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where these solutions aren’t working properly when you really need them.

And finally, if you need any help preparing for disaster recovery and business continuity scenarios, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

Thank you.