As businesses across the country resume operations after weeks-long coronavirus shutdowns, the supply chain risk management advisory firm Avetta is urging companies to heed the wakeup call delivered by Covid-19 and get serious about their post-pandemic preparedness planning.

“This unprecedented pandemic has tested a lot of companies’ preparedness, and it’s clear that many were not ready,” Avetta President and CEO Arshad Matin said in a release. “Reopening companies and factories worldwide gives us a second chance to learn and better prepare for the future.”

As for what that planning might entail, the first order of business will be creating a “safe return to work” protocol, according to the Orem, Utah-based firm. Although the specifics will vary by company, typical areas of focus include improving hygiene and sanitation processes, scheduling staggered shifts, and rethinking the use of common areas.

And in the longer term, companies should apply the lessons learned in the crisis, which will likely mean reviewing their business continuity plans and rethinking their supply chain networks in order to “de-globalize” and create redundant sourcing, the firm says.

“As companies emerge from this pandemic, we’ll see a de-globalization of the supply chain,” Matin said in the release. “For years, companies have been focused on cost efficiency, and in just a few weeks, much of the savings generated by focusing on costs have been wiped out. For the long term, companies should diversify and shorten the distance of their supply chain options.”

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