• Businesses can prepare for the economic impact caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global professional-services firm, analyzed more than 4,000 crises in the last five years ranging from cybercrime to natural disasters.
  • The consultancy also surveyed 2,000 companies and identified key components in how businesses can withstand the economic toll caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
  • They then developed a 14-question quiz that measures crisis preparedness, which you can take here.
  • Click here for more BI prime stories. 

The coronavirus has spread to more than 100 countries, and many companies wonder if they’re equipped to withstand the outbreak. 

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global professional-services firm, surveyed more than 2,000 companies and 2,084 senior executives in 25 industries to compare how businesses have responded to crises in the past.

In analyzing different approaches in the last five years, the firm created a quiz that measures a company’s crisis preparedness in relation to others.

The secret sauce to resilience

Business leaders often have to adapt to incidents they can’t control. A crisis is formed when those incidents are poorly handled, thus threatening the viability of the business, PwC noted.

About 51,000 companies worldwide have direct suppliers in the coronavirus-affected regions to date, and the entire global economy has been put at risk because of the spread of the outbreak, according to the Federal Reserve. The coronavirus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19, has killed nearly 3,900 people and infected more than 111,000. The vast majority of cases — more than 70% — are in China.

Many workers have expressed concerns about the outbreak, and about 31 major companies have taken safety precautions to combat the spread. Nevertheless, the coronavirus is definitely not the first crisis ever encountered. 

PwC documented a total of 4,515 crises in the report. These hurdles ranged from cybercrime and natural disasters to leadership misconduct and fraud. Nearly 74% of the companies surveyed said they sought outside help during or after the crisis. Moreover, 42% explained they emerged stronger from it and are at a better place. 

Kristin Rivera, global forensics leader at PwC, and Dave Stainback, US crisis leader at the company, wrote in the report that the secret sauce to building company resilience can be broken down into five ingredients. 

First, the companies that generated growth after crises were better equipped because they prepared — more than 40% shared that they had allocated budgets for emergencies. They had a clear response program in place before everything went south. Secondly, they tested their contingency plans over and over again to make sure they worked.

These companies communicated with stakeholders and suppliers the whole time, and they also performed regular analyses on how to reduce crisis impact. Lastly, the outperforming companies prioritized teamwork and held to their company values, even in the midst of upheaval.

How the quiz works

The consultancy’s crisis preparedness quiz consists of 14 multiple-choice questions that assesses your company’s profile (what industry you work in, how many employees the company has, where the your offices are located, etc.).

It then jumps to more analytical questions. Some of these include “Following a crisis, how has your organization incorporated changes based on the root cause of the crisis?” and “What is your organization’s annual spend on crisis preparedness?”

Your final score is determined by your answers in comparison to the 2,000 companies surveyed.

All responses submitted to PwC’s quiz are strictly confidential, meaning the survey data will be separated from the organization and your name.

Take the quiz here. 

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