To survive, a company needs to be able to anticipate. This means integrating changes in its environment into its strategy.
The company contingency plan concerns the company’s management of the future. It is used to identify changes in environment and also areas of innovation at an early stage and helps to incorporate this forward-looking knowledge into the company's business activity. The company contingency plan ensures the company’s competitiveness and innovation capacity over the long term. Management of the future by the company is not so much aimed at predicting the future but at enabling a continual, systematic and rational debate about possible, likely and desirable future developments.
How important is a company contingency plan for an SME?
SMEs account for the overwhelming majority (99.7%) of companies in Switzerland. They represent approximately two-thirds of all jobs. In recent years, due to growing globalization and technical progress, SMEs’ markets have transformed. The removal of obstacles to trade and the drop in transportation and communication prices have allowed Swiss SMEs to access the international market.
At the same time, it has become possible for foreign rival companies to offer their goods and services in Switzerland. This has led to a shortening of innovation and production cycles and a blurring of political and sector-based borders and has brought about increased dynamics, complexity and competition on the market. A company contingency plan helps SMEs to anticipate technological and social changes, as well as changes in markets and customer requirements, and to prepare for them.
One possible solution: join forces to evaluate the future
If a company is too small to conduct systematic observation of the future, it can join forces with other companies in cooperation with suppliers and customers or with a professional organization. This allows disparate elements of forward-looking knowledge to be accumulated and shared and processes, methods and best practice to be exchanged.