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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  10 May 2010

2010 WORLD CUP: Preparing Business For The Red Carpet


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With less than 35 days to kick off, some businesses in Cape Town’s prestigious Waterfront area could be forgiven for being somewhat less than excited at the prospect of the World Cup. While the location is a prime attraction for tourists and this will hopefully mean more business for retail operations in the area, other businesses may find they are not actually be in a good location.

For a start, ContinuitySA’s Justin Hammann warns that the location of the Greenpoint stadium could be a problem. “The Waterfront falls within the restricted zone around the stadium and roads in and out of the area can be cordoned off up to 24 hours before a match,” Hammann says. “This can hamper the flow of traffic, which can include employees trying to get to work or get home. It can also restrict the number of customers that are able to get through to businesses.

And let’s not forget the high potential of a sudden outbreak of 24-hour flu that could well reoccur frequently over the course of the world cup.”

The soccer will also bring an enormous influx of people into the area on match days. Unfortunately, these people will be going to and from the match and not necessarily clogging the pavements in an effort to bring new business to the area. There will also always be the problem of vandalism in large crowds, especially when someone’s team has lost and they are looking to let off steam. Ground floor windows are so tempting when groups of fans are in a foul mood.

For those companies renting in the Waterfront, their building owners might allow the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to make underground parking garages available for parking after hours and on weekends for fans that need to park near the stadium. As experienced in Germany, many of these fans will hire a car and make use of garages as overnight sleeping areas to avoid the high cost of accommodation, also using restrooms in the garages.

Hammann also warns that the disruptions could affect the ability of companies to meet delivery commitments as well as limit the capacity for suppliers to get goods to them on time. Preparing for disruptions by having additional stock on-site or making alternate warehousing arrangements in an unaffected area to ensure businesses can meet customers’ requirements could also be an option to consider.

It may sound far-fetched, but companies in the affected area might also want to consider implementing their business continuity plans and sending employees in critical positions to work offsite for the duration of the world cup,” Hammann adds. “For those without offsite continuity plans, it may be worth making the appropriate preparations to at least allow their most important business processes to continue should these worst-case disruptions happen.”

Already companies in the Waterfront area are implementing park-and-ride facilities for their staff. Employees will all park at a central point and will be bussed in and out the area, which means everybody will start and finish work at the set times which may not be suitable to all employees or the business. This approach could also worsen the overcrowding on match days as they wait for busses.

That is assuming, of course, that one’s employees are planning to show up for work. A lack of staff is another contingency to be planned for and dealt with long before the games begin.”

Under normal conditions, these potential business disruptions are unthinkable. Unfortunately, the world cup is not a normal condition and businesses in restricted or sensitive areas must prepare for the worst. The alternative is to put your business on hold for six weeks and enjoy the soccer, something few companies can afford.

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