Webinar with PwC Singapore – 31 March 2020
On Tuesday 31 March 2020, the INSEAD Director Network held a topical webinar for its members on “What can boards do to handle the Coronavirus Pandemic”.
The webinar was facilitated by Liselotte Hägertz Engstam (IDN Board Member, Non-Executive Director & Chair at Listed & Private Companies), introduced by Karen Loon (IDN Board Member and Non-Executive Director), and featured guest presenters, See Hong-Pek and Marc Philipp of PwC Singapore, and with Q and A support by Gerard Forlin QC.
In her introduction, Karen Loon noted that COVID-19 is a wicked problem which globally is impacting all our lives personally and well as professionally. A challenge for all of us is dealing with the rapid change – how do we move from our fear zone (anxiety and ambivalence) to a learning zone, and ultimately a growth zone where we embrace this opportunity. She also shared her experiences of both some short-term challenges of boards (especially helping people, business continuity and clients), as well as some medium term potential focus areas, and concluded that it is during these fluid times that it is important that we all leverage our networks for diverse ideas and perspectives.
Three waves of response
SEE Hong-Pek of PwC Singapore highlighted three potential scenarios (contained, pandemic with hot spots, and uncontrolled pandemic) concerning the evolution of the crisis which need to be taken into consideration by companies which will have different impacts on organisations.
Companies are likely to go through three different waves (mobile – immediate; stabilise – medium term; and strategise – long term) as they learn to adapt and accept the new “norm”.
Supply chain challenges
Marc Philipp of PwC South East Asian Consulting outlined some of the external and internal challenges which companies which PwC works with have experienced in relation to their supply chains. These have included external (unpredictable demand; supply disruption; economy uncertainty; contractual challenge), and internal issues (production/internal supply, workforce limitations; financial and regulatory issues; operational issues). An example of a challenge for some companies was to be able to manage the increase in demand for products in China after some restrictions were lifted.
He also suggested eight questions which boards could be asking in relation to their business continuity plans, operational risk assessment, scenario planning, alternative sourcing, risk assessment across supply chain tiers, critical supply chain data, temporary inventory and evaluation processes, and product redesign/material certification resources.
IDN members also raised questions, particularly in relation to legal matters including global legislation, work from home legal employer duties, data protection, and potential litigation. The speakers all agreed that good communication with all stakeholders is vital, and that that board members play a key role in supporting the mental wellbeing of the people in our organisations, particularly CEOs.
INSEAD IDN will be arranging more webinars on managing during the crisis for our members in the next few months so do watch out for them!
SEE Hong Pek – Partner, Business Resilience, PwC Singapore specialises in assurance and management consulting services in the areas of information technology, data privacy and business controls.
Marc Philipp, Partner & Management Consulting Leader, PwC South East Asia Consulting has significant experience in corporate strategy, operating model design and digital supply chain transformation across Asia Pacific.