Rethink: Episode 2- Emerging through Crisis

Our host Kate Simms, Journalist, Producer and Broadcaster, speaks to BDO Risk Advisory Services Partner Tim Foster about how BDO are navigating through crisis using the Rethink framework, and how BDO are now using the same framework with clients.

Speaker: Tim Foster, Partner and Head of Risk Advisory Services

Tim is a Partner with considerable experience of providing partnership internal audit, corporate governance and risk management solutions, to a portfolio of clients on behalf of both BDO and other Big 4 firms. Tim joined BDO LLP at the beginning of 2013 after 5 years with KPMG to head up our Risk and Advisory Services team in the Midlands. His focus is on servicing leading companies throughout the UK and the world across a number of sectors, including Consumer Goods & Retail, Diversified Industrials, Automotive and Utilities.

This podcast discusses:

  • A summary of the Rethink framework which through three stages - React, Resilience and Realise - can give business leaders greater clarity on the challenges they are likely to face over the coming months and years and the seven key areas where issues might arise.
  • How businesses need to be rethinking previous assumptions to reflect how planning now needs to be thought of in the context of a new reality.
  • How Rethink has allowed BDO to actively establish teams across its UK offices and around the world to create aligned solutions for clients.  For example, BDO have a global supply chain team whose principal aim is to address the expected changes in global supply chain design.


RHIZA - Risk Management tool

Tim mentions the tool RHIZA, which clients are using risk management to rethink business in a COVID-19 world. Agile and dynamic risk management helps businesses react successfully to unexpected events such as COVID-19, as well as building resilience during restricted trading. It will also be essential for realising long-term business success in the new reality and the operating conditions that ultimately emerge.

Case study: Brompton Bikes shows resilience through pandemic and looks ahead to London’s ‘Amsterdam moment’

Brompton Bikes’ experience during COVID-19 reflects its ability to adapt to and manage the crisis. The company has a large supply chain and exports to over 46 countries, so felt the impact of COVID-19 as early as January. The company secured a Government-backed loan and overdraft facility as a precaution. Some staff were placed on furlough to further protect cash flow during the pandemic, although the company has now been able to return almost all its staff from furlough.

“For cycling, the virus outbreak could ultimately lead to a place like London having its Amsterdam moment.” Lorne Vary, CFO of Brompton Bikes

Once the company had financially prepared for the crisis, the management team looked at how they could adapt to become part of the solution by launching Wheels for Heroes, which allowed NHS workers to borrow bikes for free so they could travel to work safely. The company also looked forward and committed significant capital into its factory so social distancing could be observed. Ahead of a likely squeeze on income and discretionary spend, it also launched a B75 model with a financing element, allowing buyers to repay the cost for a fee similar to the cost of their monthly commute (£30).

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