CASE: Medium-sized enterprise operating in Asia
A medium sized high-tech niche company with a strong foothold on the Danish market and extensive relations with customers and suppliers in the Nordic region and across Europe. The company has been looking to expand business into other parts of the world, primarily to Asia and has cultivated relationships with suppliers and professionals in several Asian countries.
The client had no safety and security measures focusing on the conduct of business outside Denmark. The demand for a sudden visit to a supplier in a medium-high risk destination triggered questions regarding safety and security issues, company Duty-of-Care, responsibility and liability. Insight in regional developments, threats and dynamics were limited, combined with a reluctance to take supplier “no-problem” assurances seriously. Fortunately, the management realized the need for specialized assistance to build their internal capacity and strengthen resilience.
There were several challenges. Organisationally, we were at ground zero. The management team has some travel experience but little insight in the particular challenges of the region. Both from a cultural point of view and security-wise, female managers feel vulnerable and exposed.
Secondly to strike a balance between what is necessary to be and feel safe, without making security an obstacle to business.
Bischoff Advisory assessed the threats in a larger regional perspective and in relation to the specific activities. After a briefing of the management team on threats and mitigation, we did a risk profiling evaluating the historic and expected travel patterns, staff in terms of experience, vulnerabilities and training, relevant data-gathering, company insurances with regard to travels to medium-high risk areas, preparedness in terms of incident- and crisis intervention, means of communications, systems support. We reviewed documentation, policies, procedures and plans in relation to the particular business venture.
Based on this we came up with suggestions for:
- A risk mitigation plan
- Trainings to be conducted (travel security awareness, cultural issues, cultural conflict management, basic first aid and health issues)
- Data-gathering – with a view to strengthen incident and crisis management
- Suggestions for systems support, including situational awareness and traveller tracking
- Contingency plans
- Travel, medical and special risk insurances.
Beyond these more operationally oriented measures, which has helped build a company safety culture and a greater general awareness around risk, risk perceptions, -tolerances etc. This has led to the demand for a policy process where a dedicated team of employees are working on a Safety and Security policy. A process which we are grateful to facilitate.
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