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How Companies Respond to the COVID-19 Crisis

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The coronavirus and economic crises have created an urgent, unprecedented opportunity for CEOs and corporate leaders to put purpose-driven leadership and stakeholder capitalism into practice. Companies face extraordinary operational and financial challenges, and with every industry and business tested in unique ways, the course of action may be different for each

Many companies have already stepped up to support their workers, customers, and local communities.

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Global logistics company Agility – a Strategic Partner of the World Economic Forum and member of our Pandemic Supply Chain Network – has designed interactive maps reporting the latest global shipping and operational outlook, to assist global supply chains and keep cargo moving during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is producing real-time crucial updates on the impact of the coronavirus on global air freight, global ocean freight and road freight network capacities. Their interactive data updates allow users to navigate across their digital maps, discovering capacity availability in real time. The maps identify airport and port constraints across the world, to assist with the transport of medical items, and the manufacturing and storage of support products and personal protective equipment. Volkswagen Group is driving a global response to the COVID-19 outbreak

Doctors, nursing homes and hospitals across Germany are being provided with medical equipment worth around €40 million – from breathing masks to disinfectant, gloves, thermometers, protective goggles and suits. In a recent interview with the World Economic Forum, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot also called on companies to give practical support, not just money, to fight COVID-19. He said governments needed help with their supply chains, capabilities, skills and expertise - and that it remains crucial for companies to partner with others in order to scale their efforts.

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Usually, companies should consider establishing pandemic-specific policies and procedures, capabilities for employee communications, telecommuting and personal/family leave to minimize disruptions. Due to their duration, impacts on personnel in the regions that absorb additional work cannot be overstated, from the start of the pandemic to several weeks in, when contractor resources can start to meaningfully contribute

Scale can also vary, and to date it has been regionally concentrated with some global impacts; we have not seen a fully global crippling pandemic yet, although this remains a possibility.

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