In the light of recent events, it should come as no surprise that business continuity planning (BCP) is spreading throughout industries like wildlife. Those that had a BCP were not hit as badly by the pandemic. Those that didn’t have a BCP, are barely surviving or have gone under. It’s quite shocking just how powerful unforeseen events can be. We usually plan for some hard times but nothing like world-changing events crosses our minds. However, this is the entire ethos of the BCP; planning for the rarest of events as if they are going to happen. Here are some basics of BCP.
The Scope Of The Plan
The area of allocation for the BCP is called the scope. This is where the BCP will be implemented the most. It usually consists of targeting your key dependencies and core processes. If your core process is transporting materials to your manufacturing business, the key dependency is that your workers have the materials they need to keep the manufacturing plant operating. Your BCP would involve creating different channels of supply. In other words, you would have two or more backup suppliers of the raw material you need. You would also have different transport routes and work with different freight companies to deliver the product you need. Your BCP should not cover small details like expenses, expenditures, travel arrangements for staff, holidays, maternity, etc.
Rare Event Planning
You will of course need to consider rare events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods etc. All of these could result in a power cut. So the first thing you do is work with a power supply company that can keep your business operating during extreme circumstances. A company like gff power is a well-known distributor that has a large network of power supply equipment. You can keep some vital equipment stored so that should your power be cut off or damaged during a storm, you can transport these parts to your energy supplier to fix the issue. This is especially true if you have specialized power needs, such as voltage stabilizers for your testing facility.
Key Responsibilities And Roles
When you need to activate your BCP, you should not be confused as to who should do what. Part of your BCP planning is to select the right people who will take charge of teams. You should consider the following structure.
- BCP owner – Someone should take ownership of the BCP. This way someone knows exactly what is in it, what needs to be done when, and who should do what. He or she will manage the implementation of the BCP around the clock.
- Executives – They are in charge of departments, so they should be well aware of the BCP and discuss it thoroughly with the BCP owner. They will be responsible for key dependencies, making sure the spine of your business is not broken.
- Managers – They should take orders from the BCP owner and follow orders to take charge of their own teams. They will be responsible for managing operations. This usually involves communication across the business and those that are on the ground i.e. warehouses, freight haul companies, distributors, etc.
- Employees – It’s their job to give information to their managers as to what has been affected by the event, i.e. data loss, broken communication, confusion among clients, etc.
Eventually the disaster will be over. Then, someone needs to pick up the pieces to limit the damage. That’s your job as the CEO or business owner. You’ll need to do interviews with the media, let stakeholders know what is going on and communicate with the public on social media. Your business may have physically recovered in a few weeks but any reputational damage that you suffer during an event can last for a lot longer.
Salvaging any losses can be done by effective re-routing of objectives. Having a second premise which you can fire up and continue operating from is something many larger businesses do. This allows you to have a temporary workplace where employees can continue to work in their teams, all the while your main premises might be being repaired or it might be out of action during a flood.
A BCP is a highly relevant plan considering what is happening in the world. It can help you to remain in business even while horrendously challenging circumstances have fallen in your lap.