Global disruption

The current pandemic has created several complexities in the operational supply chain of financial services organizations and tested resiliency plans. While managing through these complexities and maintaining pre-pandemic performance levels is the primary focus of executives, this is also an opportunity to evaluate and enhance the longer-term model for optimal performance, resilience, and growth.

The most visible change has been the rapid implementation of remote working models for domestic employees requiring both infrastructure and business practice changes, but this has had wider ranging implications for firms that have global workers in their resource mix. With over 5 million jobs sourced from locations in India and the Philippines alone, the impacts of this global pandemic have been more widespread and required several temporary changes to established security protocols and business practices. These temporary changes have allowed workers that may have limited access to reliable technology infrastructure outside specially built facilities to continue to support operations, but with significantly reduced security controls for critical data such as personally identifiable information. Several temporary changes to standard controls have been made to accommodate domestic workers and suppliers as well.

As the initial impacts to the work environment are addressed and business operations stabilize, focus will need to quickly pivot to creating a sustainable, resilient, and controlled long-term operating model. Given the risks to the global supply chain of resources, suppliers, and technology, and continued pressure on operating costs, greater emphasis will need to be placed on the use of technologies and alternate labor sources to offset these risks and create sustainable capabilities.

A structured approach

Designing and building solid operations require a structured program that is divided into manageable components, providing the flexibility to adjust to evolving business needs and funding fluctuations while adhering to a set of guiding principles and long-term goals. There are three key phases to get started:

1. Disaggregate and evaluate the current supply chain

The capacity and capabilities of an operating model are often observed and understood in aggregate, without a detailed understanding of the individual components or the performance and risks of these individual components. To effectively evaluate the risks, performance, and alternative options, it is necessary to break the operation into its component parts – combinations of processes, technologies, teams, and service providers – and evaluate these for relevant risks and capability requirements. The individual risk points should be identified and documented, along with a documented view of the model that allows for the appropriate level of analysis along risk, capacity, and cost dimensions.

2. Design a resilient operating model

Once the individual components of an operation are understood and measured, and the required capabilities are established, alternate delivery approaches, technology options, service management protocols, and capabilities can be designed and assessed for fit with overall business objectives. The new delivery approach must include mitigants for a variety of risks, including access management, fraud, data protection, and threat detection. It is important to document the target operating model – which includes a detailed view into the business functions, delivery processes, functional interactions, and supporting infrastructure – to provide all the impacted teams with a clear view or blueprint against which capabilities are built. The resilient model will mitigate risks associated with supply chain interruption and strike an optimal mix of labor inputs and capital investments.

3. Create an investment plan

With a clear plan for capabilities and operating model architecture, the final step is a well-designed investment and execution plan that prioritizes key capabilities and allows for changes in business conditions and market opportunities. The investment plan must have clear linkages to business objectives and market economics.

The time required to complete these three phases will vary by organization, based upon the complexity of the operations and decision-making protocols, but should be time-boxed to ensure timely delivery and minimize unnecessary analysis.

At Antares, our professionals can assist your organization successfully navigate and execute these activities, and we leverage the latest digital collaboration capabilities to provide high-value services during the current pandemic conditions.

June 29, 2020

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