Charting Your Course A Pathway to Success


This crisis will eventually end, as all crises do. The key to your organization's strength and ability to recover will be redefining your normal and taking near-term actions to ensure you achieve it.

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  • Think about how you'll position your business for recovery while still balancing the demands of crisis management.
  • Identify and build the bench strength your business needs to persevere.
  • The specific actions you take today are all part of building a stronger future.

Contact your local MNP Advisor for assistance in charting a pathway to success for your organization.

Changing how your business operates in the contemporary environment is non-negotiable. The test of resiliency is how quickly you can adapt and respond to remain relevant and minimize harm.

It is critical to think about how you'll position your business for recovery, while balancing the demands of crisis management. Once you have the vision for a "new normal” you will be able to communicate to others how your business will function, grow and be profitable post-recovery.

Six Actions to Help Define Your Vision

To reposition your organization for the current crisis, consider:

  1. Refining the vision for your business to help define a "new normal."
  2. How can you adapt your internal processes and practices to both generate and deliver goods and services under a new business model
  3. Whether different skill sets are needed in your workforce and whether you can leverage other resourcing models such as contractors.
  4. The technology requirements associated with your evolving business.
  5. Your financial needs, including the available government crisis response programs or any (interim) financing you might require. Reach out to your trusted advisors for help making decisions that will support the sustainability of your business.
  6. How to risk-proof your organization by regularly identifying emerging threats and developing strategies to manage them.

Building on these considerations, chart a course of action to implement the necessary changes to your people, processes and technology and achieve your vision.

Building a strong team

The above six actions will help you define a clear vision for the future of your business and understand the world in which you are operating. With that defined, your next step is to identify and build the bench strength necessary to thrive in the new normal for you and your business. The following guide will help you understand who, when and where to reach out.

Group 1: Financial Management and Support Programs (including Cash Management and Tax Filings)

  • Review and maintain cash management needs, loan payments, financing, etc.
  • Determine whether you qualify for payment deferrals or government programs and applying for the appropriate support programs. (Government and financial institution recovery programs will likely require accurate financial statements and records. Getting this prepared in advance can make the application process easier.)
  • Maintain compliance around tax and regulatory filings.

Specialist Team Support: Accountant, Business Advisor, Banker, Chambers of Commerce, Government.

Group 2: Business Insurance

Review your insurance policies for possible coverage, including:

  • Business interruption: Disruption at insured location causing loss of income.
  • Contingent business interruption: Disruption to customers or suppliers causing loss of income.
  • Extra expense: Loss mitigation costs related to disruption (e.g. Increased telecommuting costs).
  • Civil authority: Civil authorities prohibit access to insured location causing loss of income.
  • Ingress / egress: Denial of access to insured location causing loss of income.

Specialist Team Support: Insurance Broker, Insurance Advisor.

Group 3: Workforce and Employment Issues

  • Review labour standards and employment codes to understand obligations.
  • Mitigate further financial liabilities and legal challenges with the support of an advisor.
  • Address technical and communication challenges from team members working remotely.
  • Focus on keeping the right skill sets within your workforce as business changes.
  • Implement strategies to maintain communication and improve morale.

Specialist Team Support: Labour Lawyer, Workforce Advisor.

Group 4: Business Operations and Continuity

  • Analyze customer-base and new or evolving markets, including moving into new jurisdictions or product / service offerings.
  • Review networks for delivering and distributing your products / services.
  • Adopt technologies to support e-commerce or virtual collaboration amongst team members and with customers.
  • Review supply chain networks.
  • Undertake financial modelling to review your product mix, pricing, expenses and overall profitability.
  • Evaluate your discretionary spending to contain costs.
  • Implement cash-flow planning (collections, receivables and payment options).
  • Conduct workforce costs models and scenario projections.

Specialist Team Support: Performance Improvement Consultants, Business Advisor, IT Service Providers.

Getting from Here to There

MNP’s business continuity and resilience advisors offer a number of specific planning actions you can start on today to help to begin moving toward a stronger future. These include:

  1. Perform financial modelling to review your product mix, pricing, expenses and overall profitability.
  2. Evaluate your discretionary spending with a focus on reducing or eliminating expenditures and conserving cash.
  3. Implement cash flow planning, including regularly monitoring collections and staying abreast of aging receivables and sales to customers struggling to pay on a timely basis.
  4. Evaluate opportunities to offer payment options to your customers, while still protecting the value of the receivable.
  5. Model your workforce costs and burn rate by developing scenario projections based on short- and long-term opportunities and challenges.
  6. Focus on customer needs throughout this period of disruption to understand any challenges they are experiencing with your product / service and how you may need to evolve.
  7. Reconnect with your suppliers to review their supply chain projections and whether they anticipate any further disruptions. Build these discussions into your financial model to anticipate any additional adjustments which may be required. For example, consider whether you will have interruptions in your supply chain and for how long; or whether you will have the ability to build up inventory to sustain any supply interruptions. Begin exploring alternative supply chains.
  8. Review your business' physical and cyber security protocols. Remain vigilant in managing your cyber security and ensure your employees are: monitoring for suspicious requests, emails, texts, etc.; not disclosing critical or sensitive information; authorizing payments only with confirmation from an appropriate authority and not clicking on potential ransomware links. Uncertainty increases both your vulnerability to and the likelihood of cyber attacks. Don’t lose sight of also maintaining the physical security of your business and your workforce as well.
  9. Prevent fraud by regularly reviewing transactions for accuracy and authenticity and ensuring that only valid transactions are processed and complete billings and deposits are made.

Mariesa Carbone is a Partner in MNP’s Edmonton office where she leads the Enterprise Risk Services Group across Canada. You can reach her at 780.453.5377 or mariesa.carbone@mnp.ca.