Is your plan "B" in place for an extended overseas COVID-19 lockdown?
Addressing the nation for the second time in less than a week, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi called for a nationwide lockdown starting midnight yesterday to contain the novel coronavirus . The duration of the lockdown will be 21 days. This news has wide-spread implications for the title insurance industry, which has been offshoring title production work to India for some time. Not only are there production continuity concerns, but security fears and long-range distress over the business outlook in a populace that could be significantly impacted by this crisis.
If you have been offshoring your title production, it is time to assess what your short and long-term options are in order to keep your domestic operations running. Some of the questions you should be asking your offshore partner are:
- Do they have the capabilities to maintain a remote workforce that can support the production and communication needs of your company for an extended period of time?
- Does their remote workforce have the proper security measures in place to ensure the integrity of the process and the elimination of fraud?
- Does the company have the financial stability to weather the economic needs of running a remote workforce in a time when capital, trained personnel, and resources may be scarce?
What To Do In The Short-Term
The answers to those questions will give you a clearer picture on how to proceed and with what urgency. If the answers you are getting from your offshore partners are not reassuring, then your short-term solution should include the addition of onshore capacity, whether from an outsource partner with production in the U.S., or ramping up your in-house capabilities.
If, on the other hand, your offshore partners have the remote systems in place to maintain production and communication, security measures to eliminate fraud and the financial stability to weather the crisis, then your only short-term concern will be what impact the crisis will have on India's infrastructure. And that, remains unclear.
One unknown and growing concern is how effective the measures India is taking will be, especially considering nearly one-third of the population is thought to live in slums with little or no access to running water. There are other challenge facing India according to the experts, is not testing enough people, which suggests its mere 500 confirmed cases are just a fraction of those infected. What this could signal is a potential for a long, extended, lockdown in India.
Using An Onshore Partner
The good news is that there are qualified, title production companies in the United States that do not use offshore staff. The bad news is that they have limited capacity and can only take on a few extra clients before they reach their limit. If you have not secured your partnership agreement with then by now, chances are they may not be able to accommodate your production needs.
Ramping Up Your In-house Capacity
Your other option is to ramp up your in-house capacity. This requires two things. A senior executive team that knows how to scale a title production operation, and a recruiting team that can get you experienced candidates quickly. If your systems and senior team are in place, scaling in this time of crisis will involve finding workers that are flexible enough to meet your operational challenges. Those challenges may include a lack of office space in the short run that would require workers to work remote. It could mean the necessity of hedging for future economic uncertainty by hiring contractors, temporary workers or temp-to-perm staff who are comfortable in those temporary roles. It could also mean leasing flex space as a way to increase your office capacity quickly.
What To Do In The Long-Term
There has been a growing debate as to the impact offshoring our workers, manufacturing, even financing may have on the U.S. economy in the event of a global crisis. Of course, most people were thinking a military war or trade war, or a global financial crisis, not a pandemic. However, the cautionary tale here is that a global crisis is impacting the U.S. economy and our exposure from offshoring our production is greater today than it ever was. In the long term, I believe that companies will learn from this lesson and always have a plan "b" that includes a back-up/concurrent U.S. operation that is ready to scale up in a crisis. I think this pandemic will make us, as corporate leaders, as companies, and as Americans, stronger and better prepared for any other future global crisis.
We Are Here To Do Everything We Can To Help.
At Jobtracks, we have actively prepared for this new work environment and anticipated the needs of our clients. Since early March, we recruited specifically for remote workers in key operational positions. These candidate are comfortable with short-term, contract, temporary and remote work opportunities. We are always looking for talented candidates, and have in excess of 20,000 qualified candidates in our database. Whether you are looking for short-term workers to fill the gap being created by the lockdown and pandemic, or you are looking ahead towards long-term solutions to bring back some production capacity to the U.S., click the button below to set up a time to talk. We are looking forward to being your partner in overcoming this crisis.