#254: THE DEBATE: Keeping Businesses Open & Services Going During A Crisis

with Andrew Codd, Howard Cosby, Louise Miller, Mike Attwood

Winston Churchill once inferred we should never waste a good crisis. The current Novo Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is one we’re currently living through, there have been more regional crises before this and there’s also others down the road like climate change, oil wars, Brexit that will continue to present continuity challenges around keeping our businesses open and essential services running.

In this week’s episode we are joined on #sitn by three panelists, Howard Cosby, Louise Miller & Mike Attwood who have a combined experience of over 100 years in finance & business to help us debate how we can keep our businesses open & services going during this crisis. We discuss:

– Why the finance community has to be at the forefront of this.

– Some golden rules on how to manage through a crisis

– The importance of Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

– Leveraging value capture and cost minimisation approaches to turn negatives into positives.

– The most important things we can do to emerge stronger from a crisis.

Our Guest Mentors:

HOWARD COSBY is the Managing Partner at Aveiroe Europe LLP, who excel in the development of Outsourced Forensic Accounting, Audit and Business Process Review Services.

Howard also qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Mensa Member, served on the Cabinet Office SME Panel and the BRC Retail Audit Group, and is based near London, England.

LOUISE MILLER is VP Finance, Tradeteam at DHL. Prior to this Louise spent 13 years as Finance Director reporting into the CEO for NHS Supply Chain. A commercially focused senior financial professional Louise has a proven track record demonstrating consistently strong results in dynamic organisations. Strong people and communication skills. Able to develop and build strong business relationships.

Louise hold an ACMA designation and her specialties are: Commercial acumen, team building, motivation, communication and change. Louise is based out of Northampton, England

MIKE ATTWOOD is a Senior Director with 10 years experience of SUBWAY business. A current focus is all matters BREXIT. Until July 2018 wasdirectly responsible for procurement of food, beverages and consumables together with supply chain for all Subway restaurants in UK and Europe.

Previously successful and experienced at senior level in buying, convenience stores, retail and supply chain with Sainsbury’s Supermarkets. Extensive experience in global and local supplier base management in fresh meat, bakery and fresh fruit, vegetables and salads.

Goals are to win, have fun and bring success to those around me. Specialties: Project leadership, fresh food purchasing and university of life. CFO level. Mike is based in High Wycombe near London, England

Key Quotes From the Episode: 

“[Our biggest challenge in Finance at moment] As a finance professional you get catapulted into what does that mean and how is the future actually going to unfold, and the big challenge at the moment is that none of us actually know (the answer to this question).”[05:00]

“[On how to work through the current Covid-19 crisis] This crisis is different to anything we’ve had to work through before although the principles that we try to work through it have been learnt from previous experiences we’ve worked through.” [07:20]

“[On the role of finance during a crisis] Finance needs to be at the forefront of this because the reality is that people will need to make decisions based on facts and that is the forte of the financial community.” [12:42]

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Key Points From the Episode:

– Why the finance community has to be at the forefront of this.

– Some golden rules on how to manage through a crisis

– The importance of Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

– Leveraging value capture and cost minimisation approaches to turn negatives into positives.

– The most important things we can do to emerge stronger from a crisis.

Time Stamped Show Notes 

[01:10] – Howard, Louise & Mike introduce their career backgrounds.

[04:52] –Louise summarises some of the key challenges faced in the drink’s logistics business.

[05:50] – The benefits of having a positive outlook, being digitally enabled and an ability to plan.

[07:20] – Working through the current Covid-19 crisis.

[11:28] – The impressive speed of reaction from business and how the finance community has to be at the forefront of this.

[14:21] – The importance of Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

[16:35] – Coming back to Brexit and the role of government setting the context to get involved with business.

[18:48] – The Bill Gates Ted Talk about the next big pandemic, could we have got ahead of it?

[22:10] – Leveraging value capture and cost minimisation approaches to turn negatives into positives.

[24:31] – Some golden rules on how to manage through a crisis.

[27:20] – The most important things we can do to emerge stronger from a crisis and the importance of acting on learnings particularly with process improvement.

[31:36] – The evolving mental health context putting people under pressure during a crisis and some important items to consider to do about it going forward.

[34:32] – Guests give their closing thoughts.

Resources Mentioned:

Online

TED Talk: The next outbreak we’re not ready:

Connect with today’s guests:

LinkedIn Profiles:

Howard: https://www.linkedin.com/in/howard-cosby-1855911a/

Louise: https://www.linkedin.com/in/louise-miller-342a1b14/

Mike: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-attwood-5895871/

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