It is clear that we cannot wait until there is a cure and until every person is tested to open up the economy and restart life. In the face of food supply disruption, trade plunging and other depressed activity, a staggered reopening of the economy is the way forward and governments are starting to cautiously announce relaxing the measures that have been in place.

It will begin with opening of small retailers offering curbside pickups, restaurants at reduced capacity, salons with number restrictions, recreational activities such as hiking and park activities, elective surgeries, and other low contact businesses with strict protective measurements such as masks and social distancing. As a business, you should be following these preventative rules or risk complaint or even being shut down.

As a business, here are some of our tips to reopen:

  1. Prioritize the health and safety of your employees and premises. Set limits on how many employees can be on the premises at one time, stagger shifts and do temperature tests. Insist they wear PPE and rethink co-working spaces and be firm about your policies.
  2. Common areas must be cleaned and disinfected regularly, including elevator buttons and door handles. Install high-efficiency air filters and improve ventilation for work spaces and tissues in the elevator to touch buttons.
  3. If employees can continue remote working, encourage them to do so. Many will prefer this as they are reluctant to use public transport. Encourage them to participate in online communities and to access online educational tools if they have children home from school.
  4. With some co-working spaces closed off, consider other uses for them, such as storage.
  5. Remodel your business model. Perhaps there are services you can start up which are deemed as essential business during this crisis. Look at the needs of your local community and use it as an opportunity.

How ILC can help:

  1. If traditional demand forecasting is not working for you in this crisis, ILC Emergency Operations consultants can help you adapt to changes in demand by doing a full assessment of the disruptions you have faced. We advise on recovery models and our supplier relationships allow us to easily locate similar suppliers quite quickly.
  2. As a 5PL, our logistics network covers every step from the warehouse and manufacturer to distribution at retail outlets and healthcare facilities. Our facilities and staff are ready to store, transport, package and distribute your goods. We have been operational during full lockdown as we provide essential goods to the community, especially in supporting telemedicine initiatives, and are ready to pick up at speed as restrictions loosen.
  3. Our branches across Latin America and our operations in Europe have faced all degrees of lockdown and fluctuations in work and business. We are equipped with knowledge of how the pandemic is affecting elsewhere and how to manage trade restrictions and supply chain issues.
  4. With our own locations and customers, we have been proactive in installing extra security cameras and gates to monitor temperature, social distancing, the use of PPE and as well as in procuring testing kits. We are here to support you in doing the same for your business. We do believe that rapid testing can greatly help in tracking and isolating cases.

It will be a thoughtful reopening, and to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, it is recommended that those over age 65 continue to stay at home. During this time, it is important to stay flexible and patient and expect remote areas to open up faster than dense urban areas. Your ability to change and innovate will be tested during this time as there is no one-size-fits-all for reopening.