With our corporate headquarters located in Florida, we are accustomed to hurricanes. What we are not used to, however, is having power in the event of a disaster, which is what we are currently experiencing. This time around, we have power, water, and if we could avoid mass hysteria, an ample food supply as well. I am convinced that running out on most goods (toilet paper being the worst!) is likely due to Floridians going into hurricane mode. In short, we are usually more concerned about the ability to get power (so we won’t melt), storing our food, staying in a safe place, and providing a work environment that’s conducive to business operations, and more.
Unlike during hurricane season, most of our staff can work remotely, and our clients are doing the same. We are blessed that our clients need our solutions even more during this time, and in many cases, the current situation has caused a larger need than ever before!
MCCi spent years informally discussing our Business Continuity Plan, and in 2019 we took the next steps in formalizing it. Our Executive team reviews every detail of our plan, deliberates and revises as needed, on an annual basis. We are thankful that we made strides in taking our business almost entirely digital over the years. This pandemic would have been a more devastating impact on our team and our business if we were caught scrambling to make changes now.
I’d like to share insight from our Business Continuity Plan and make a few observations from experiences we’ve had with our clients during this time too.
We Enacted Our Business Continuity Plan. Here’s How:
Transition to “Work from Home” Status: On March 16, we transitioned to mandatory work from home mode. There were no hiccups, only a lost day or so of productivity for those not used to working from home. Also, it’s worth noting that over 40% of our team was already full-time telecommuting.
Here’s how we were able to make the transition so smoothly:
- Infrastructure: All operations are housed on hosted infrastructure with Microsoft’s Azure Government Cloud
- Phone System: We opted to use VOIP with soft phones
- Records Management: We drink our own ‘Kool-Aid’. MCCi is already 100% paperless thanks to our Laserfiche solution.
- Business Processes and Job Application Routing: We already automate this process with Laserfiche and other main line business systems, there was no extra work.
Finance Operations: All of our finance operations are electronic.
- Lesson Learned: The only issue we ran into was that occasionally someone had to come to the office to cut physical checks. We are escalating this issue and planning to move away from physical checks.
Human Resource Operations: Payroll, HR files, the Application & Onboarding Process, and more – all of these were already automated and digitized. When we made the transition to work from home, our HR Director was out for Spring Break! She and her team did not have to come into the physical office after her time off. It was a seamless transition.
Client Services: The transition was an easy one for our team.
- Lesson Learned: The wrinkle MCCi is experiencing related to the impact COVID-19 is having on our clients. Our enterprise-level clients with access to more resources, seem to be impacted less.
Professional Services: While we discontinued travel – that change was appreciated by our clients. In fact, we are accomplishing even more!
- Lesson Learned: Smaller organizations are challenged with limited resources while pivoting their efforts to other emergencies. A few of our clients have become unavailable during this time.
Support Services: Many of our team members already work remotely, or they were working at least one day a week from home. We haven’t experienced any connectivity issues. We have been able to become even more proactive with our clients!
By moving all infrastructure and phones systems to be hosted, this gave us a foundation to focus on other business issues, rather than just connectivity.
Oh, by the way, our offices were moved during this mess! That’s right, we moved to our new corporate headquarters on March 20th. Thanks to the fact that we were able to transition so easily, we were able to continue with the original plan and made the move. This wasn’t how we envisioned making a transition to our new collaborative workspace, but we know that when our team finally arrives it will be even more appreciated. The good news is that thanks to video chats, we get to see each other every day.
Client Business Continuity Observations
Size Matters: Small to medium-sized organizations have had their IT and back-office operations disrupted more in comparison to their larger counter parts. A smaller number of employees were set up to work remotely, and they have less IT resources. Their time is consumed by helping people connect and function in a work from home environment.
The Ability to Empower is the True Reward: Many clients are contacting us to assist with additional licensing, business process configurations, new electronic forms, digital signature tools and integrations, as well as services and products that help provide access to records and automate business processes – all centered around moving rapidly to a work from home environment.
The Status of the Digital Transformation Journey Directly Impacted the Ability to Respond Quickly: When it comes to the office work environment, organizations that have not made moved through the Digital Transformation stages (from digitizing and organizing documents to automating and streamlining processes), have found it cumbersome, and in some cases, impossible to get work done in a remote environment. Conversely, the organizations who have progressed in their Digital Transformation efforts, have focused on other areas in need during these times
Hear from Our Clients
“We simply would not have been able to move to a work from home environment without our use of Laserfiche. Our records and key processes were already digitized, so we were able to focus on other hurdles.” ~ Large Manufacturing Client
“JustFOIA has been very helpful to the Clerk’s office working from home this week. We have set up a template in our responses about the Coronavirus and it has made our responses more personable and quicker.” ~ Georgia City Client