Businesses are like a standing line of dominoes.
People, facilities, and technology all interacting to produce the goods and services for your customers. At any point though, an emergency can interrupt that flow and set a chain reaction similar to that of dominoes falling.
Occasionally, you may get lucky: only one domino may fall. However, an emergency will set off a chain reaction bringing pieces of your business to a halt and the dominoes scattered on the ground. If the last one falls your business could be finished.
A Business Continuity Plan is designed to keep your lights on, the doors open, and your customers satisfied during an emergency. But, planning can be overwhelming. Where do you start?
1. Carry out an Assessment
Determine the type of hazards that will affect your area and your business. For example, if you are located on Annacis Island, landslides are not a concern but industrial fires might be.
2. Identify the Impacts
Establish how your business might be affected by the identified hazards. How would the incident affect your personnel, the facility and/or the technology? Don’t forget data! Map the simple hazards first, such as power outage or your website going down for greater than 24 hours. Planning for several smaller hazards will help plan for “the big one”.
3. List Alternatives
Come up with a list of alternatives and workarounds for key business processes. How will you pay your employees if the payroll application is unavailable? Where else can you work if there is a flood in your office or warehouse? If you are ready, customers will continue to come.
4. Orient and Train your Staff
A Business Continuity Plan that sits on the shelf is of no use to anyone unless your staff is well versed in its contents and understand its processes. Practice your Plan with your staff. The more familiar your staff are with the Plan, the more at ease they will be if they ever have to enact it.
With a Business Continuity Plan, your dominoes can be some of the first to be standing following an emergency event.
On April 12, 2017, CCEM had an opportunity to attend, present, and sponsor this theory among fellow emergency management colleagues at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Emergency Management: Business Resiliency Forum held at the Fairmont Pacific Hotel.
Interested In Learning More?
CCEM is happy to help with any of your Business Continuity Planning process.
Don’t hesitate to contact us as questions arise.