COVID-19 has been financially detrimental to many businesses around the world. As markets begin to reopen, how can businesses ensure the safety of their stakeholders, mitigate against the risk of future disruptions, and reinforce trust in their operations?

The measures taken by governments and individuals to slow the spread of COVID-19 around the world have proven to be only partially effective. As a result, many businesses have experienced financial slowdowns, with market capitalization declining across several sectors. Among the hardest hit sectors are aerospace (-40%), oil & gas (-34%), apparel & fashion (-22%) and automotive (-21%). However, no industry has been unaffected.

This has created immediate and long-term challenges for not only the businesses, but also for their workforces and customers. The imperative throughout has been to save lives and livelihoods. To achieve this, many governments have instigated measures aimed at protecting lives through lockdowns, while at the same time seeking to find ways to protect jobs.

As we move towards the next normal, organizations will need to address these challenges while instigating measures designed to minimize further disruption.

Successful businesses must instill trust in their employees and customers prior to reopening. Once the full impact of COVID-19 has been determined, organizations will need to find ways to renew this trust. Any recovery should be planned thoroughly, providing peace of mind to stakeholders while reinforcing the objectives of the company.

A comprehensive plan will encompass all aspects of an organization’s operations, including:

  • Verification and monitoring of cleaning and disinfection procedures
  • Assessment of management controls
  • Ensuring businesses in the manufacturing sector are fully prepared to restart


SGS has developed a comprehensive range of COVID-19 recovery services to help organizations with each stage of the reopening process Each solution is designed to positively impact a key operational area, supporting the business as it prepares to adapt to the challenges of the next normal.


The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of maintaining effective cleaning and disinfection procedures. The SGS solution ensures strict standards for cleanliness are met and maintained, to mitigate against the risk of COVID-19. Services include:

  • Cleaning & Disinfection Management and Supervision – all dirt and other surface pollutants are removed to prevent the deactivation of active ingredients in the disinfectant products. After this, disinfectants are applied to surfaces, with hard to access surfaces being reached through the application of an airborne disinfectant mist
  • Adenosine Triphosphate Testing – swab tests are performed to ensure COVID-19 is not present in the building or on employees
  • Inspection of Hygiene Standards – to ensure the correct standards are maintained, SGS will observe cleaning practices and interview employees

As governments begin to lift restrictions it must be remembered this pandemic has not been beaten. In fact, many emerging markets are still seeing a rapid growth in the number of cases.

The environment that businesses will reopen to is vastly different to the one in which they shut. As markets restart, many businesses may find they are not fully prepared to meet the demand they will receive. At the same time, governments and health organizations are going to require changes to the way organizations work, to protect all stakeholders.

As the world’s leading compliance and audit service provider, SGS has developed a Business Restart Assessment to help organizations ensure they have the correct procedures in place to remain compliant, while at the same time optimizing their operations.

For non-manufacturing premises, this solution includes checks on:

•    Management Commitment, Involvement, and Implementation
•    Physical Controls
•    Hygiene, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and Worker Protection
•    Social Distancing and Illness Reporting
•    Cleaning and Sanitation Policies
•    Utensils, Equipment and twice Contact Surfaces
•    Additional Risk Prevention & Physical Controls
•    Crisis Management & Business Continuity Planning


An additional module is available for manufacturing premises that includes checks on:

•    Quality Management System and Testing
•    Process Control and Recall
•    Sanitation
•    Pest Control
•    Plant Security/Emergency Preparedness


SGS has also developed a specific service, aimed at the manufacturing sector, that offers comprehensive checks on physical controls and documented arrangements. This ensures the business is ready to restart operations through the delivery of an end-to-end service that allows the manufacturer to maximize efficiencies while mitigating the risk of further disruptions. The service includes swab tests, inspections, and an audit to review policies and arrangements, including employees, manufacturing processes, the supply chain, and equipment procedures.

It ensures:

  • Measures taken to increase production have not compromised quality or worker rights
  • Where work has been subcontracted, formal controls are in place
  • Security and storage arrangements are in place
  • Stock can be provided to customers in a timely manner
  • Critical equipment is fully operational and the related impacts due to failure or breakdowns are controlled to limit the business impact


Ensuring Your Supply Chain is Ready

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to global supply chains. As businesses begin to reopen, they need to ensure the risk of further disruptions caused by supply chain bottlenecks are minimized. SGS’s Supplier Risk Management Service provides organizations with:

  • Accurate and up to date supplier information
  • A risk assessment process for all suppliers
  • Risk based audits on suppliers
  • Storage of the risk assessment, self-assessment questionnaire and supplier audit information in a single location
  • Performance analytics for both clients and their supplier

As businesses around the world prepare to reopen, they need to ensure they are enforcing the right health and safety procedures to renew trust in their operations. SGS’s comprehensive range of COVID-19 Recovery Services focuses on key operational areas within the business, to companies recover, renew, and reinforce as they move into the next normal.

Learn more about SGS Certification & Business Enhancement COVID-19 Recovery Services.



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