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How to keep your business operational during the Covid-19 crisis

In just a few months, Covid-19 has become a world-wide pandemic. According to WHO?s latest Situation Report dated 4 March, 93,090 global cases of the disease have been reported with 76 countries now impacted. Considering the world?s population, the figures demonstrate the emergency response has been swift. However, the long-term impact cannot be predicted. And while it?s easy to crunch numbers, it?s important to acknowledge that these figures are real people, a small per centage of whom have died from the disease.

Covid-19 conjures a surreal scenario for many of us, which has resulted in both behavioural and economic jitters. For one, panic buying in Australia has seen essential supplies such as toilet paper become a luxury item. On a more serious note, with a market downturn fears of a recession loom large for governments and the business sector.

In times like these, it is important that we remain calm and stay informed. For businesses, it?s time to think seriously about how to stay operational if cases spike.

Stay Informed. Be prepared. And keep your business operational.

For brands and ad agencies, your best line of defence during the pandemic is to stay informed with the latest data from reputable organisations and news sites. Make sure you keep your staff informed about how it might impact your business as well as them.

It?s also time to prepare a policy and action plan for a worst-case scenario. Case in point, OMD Sydney closed temporarily last week amidst a Covid-19 scare when a London staffer arrived from Singapore with flu-like symptoms. While it?s just precautionary at this stage with no confirmed diagnosis, to reduce panic and protect its staff OMD acted in everybody?s best interest by closing its doors.

Mumbrella reported : ?OMD will continue business as usual, with staff working remotely to minimise impact on our clients,? said Peter Horgan, CEO of OMD?s parent company, Omnicom Media Group (OMG).

If cases do begin to spike in Australia, some businesses may either choose or need to temporarily mandate that all staff work from home for protective measures. After all, staff taking public transport to and from work are more susceptible to infection than those driving or working from home.


Next week automaton is doing a trial day where all staff will work from home to test whether we can remain operational during an office closure. We?ll update you after the trial on how we prepared for it as well as how we performed. We are confident the business has the right tools and set up for the trial to be a success.

So, let?s take a quick look at the cloud-based tools that enable businesses like ours to remain operational in such a crisis.


Automaton will use cloud-based tools for staff to work remotely
The great thing about cloud-based platforms is that users can log in and perform tasks and collaborate with other team members remotely. Here are some of the tools we use, that will enable our entire team to work remotely:


1. Admation project management software
With four inbuilt modules, our marketing team is able to manage content production from start to finish all from home.

Here are some of the features that will enable us to work remotely:

  • Remote login from anywhere there?s an internet connect. We have global clients such as Mondelez International, Havaianas and Tourism Australia which all use admation across many departments and offices around the world.
  • Admation?s project management tools means that we can continue to receive briefs, share documents and approve content remotely. We?ll also have full transparency over work in progress and tasks, so there?s no need to even pick up the phone or email anyone. We can see exactly who?s working on what.
  • The collaboration feature means we can communicate directly in the system about artwork changes and approvals.
  • There are project tracking tools and an automatic audit trail of work so we can look back and review what work has been completed, when and by whom.

We do free remote trials for admation if you think it?s something that might help your brand or ad agency stay operational during an office shutdown. If you want to know more, book a demo today.


2. Hubspot
As Hubspot can be accessed online, we can plan and track our admation blog content within the system. It has an inbuilt CRM feature which means it?s not saved on a server anywhere back at the office so we can access it at any time.

3. Campaign Monitor
With Campaign Manager, we can log in online and keep running email marketing campaigns so that we can continue to communicate to both our users and sales pipeline without interruption.

4. Jira
Our developers will use Jira?s issue and project tracking platform from home to manage their software development tasks and sprints.

5. Slack
Our developers and support teams will continue to use Slack to stay in touch and communicate any important data or issues. Slack is a great way to collaborate with each other in realtime in a remote environment. We like it because it prevents email inboxes getting overloaded, especially if the messaging is only a few lines.

6. Zendesk
Our client success team will continue to support our users with the help of Zendesk Support and Guide.  Zendesk assists our team to remotely manage any issues via an online ticket system, as well as provide users with a range of content including training guides, FAQs and tips and tricks. 

Of course, there is also the opportunity to pick up the phone for phone meetings or utilise one of the many video conferencing solutions.  We are feeling optimistic that all will run smoothly but we?ll be in touch next week with an update on how our trial day went. Meanwhile, we hope you all stay safe and productive over the coming months.

To stay up to date with new Covid-19 cases, read WHO?s most current Situation Report .