Navigating the coronavirus chemical industry impact
The chemical industry is no stranger to disruption, from SARS to trade policy conflict and the financial crisis. Yet COVID-19 is unprecedented in its impact, creating a universal imperative for governments and businesses to take immediate action to protect their people.
Unlike many other sectors, the chemical industry is not in a position to stop production and send workers home. Instead, it needs to strike the right balance between “social distancing” and keeping plants running to provide the basic necessities for society, as well as the antiseptics, disinfectants, protective packaging and more needed to fight the pandemic.
Across disruptions, one success factor stands out: resilience. From strategy to operations and execution, building a sustainable, resilient business has been key—and now, it is more important than ever.
What to do now: Manage the response
Actions to mitigate near-term operational risks and protect your people include:
Post-coronavirus chemical industry actions to build resilience
Post the COVID-19 crisis, the immediate next step is to conduct a fact-based audit of crisis management and performance (including an external benchmark). Next, zero-basing all functions to free up resources is recommended, including setting up governance to sustain the zero-based improvements. Determining how to capture value from past technology investments is also essential.
To build resilience, chemical companies should consider taking action across the following areas: