A case study from the Life Sciences sector
Our client is a ‘business incubator’ that supports the growth and development of businesses in the life sciences sector. As well as providing physical office and laboratory space to its customers at a number of self-contained locations in the UK, it identifies opportunities for investment, and provides: seed-funding, business advice, and further investment to promising businesses in this sector. The client had decided, as part of its risk management programme, that business continuity should be split into two elements:
- Emergency planning, dealing with operational incidents
- ‘Longer term’ planning, for continuity of the business operations.
The company had already developed plans to deal with the first aspect including identification of potential disruptions, appropriate response procedures, and localised ‘incident management’ structures and procedures. During our discussions to scope a potential project, we identified the need to establish a ‘corporate’ crisis management structure and plan to assist in handling the most serious incidents at any location, as well as documenting business continuity arrangements for the client’s own operations.
We proposed the development of a combined, yet succinct, crisis management and business continuity plan. Data was gathered from various areas in the business through a series of interviews:
- Company Secretary to discuss crisis management
- Heads of the functions directly working with the client’s customers (Venture development, Corporate development, Operations and Investment)
- Heads of the client’s corporate functions (HR, finance, IT, Legal and Marketing).
We also built upon existing risk management work to articulate improved ‘escalation criteria’ that provide guidance as to which team, in the incident and crisis management framework, should be responsible for handling the different severities of disruption.
Value and next steps
This project was delivered through a combination of face-to-face discussions and remote interviews. The first draft plan was produced at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was used by our client to assist in organising their response to this event. As the client’s business grows, we anticipate further assistance being necessary including the delivery of various scenario exercises.