Disruptions to normal operations such as a natural disaster or a labor dispute represent major threats to any organization. Business continuity planning can go a long way in minimizing uncertainties and managing risks of the disruption to acceptable levels on the bottom line.

This means that investments in pro-active business continuity services have competitive advantages and revenue generating implications that are core to every business.

The importance of a pro-active approach to physical risk management
For example, if you are a company with a unionized workforce, a reactive "wait and see" strategy as the collective bargaining agreement expires actually increases risk while a pro-active strategy reduces it. In addition to thorough pre-strike planning, if temporary employees were actually needed they most likely require:

  • Site-specific facility training
  • Site-specific safety training
  • State-mandated licensing and training for security officers

Any delay or lapse under these circumstances could have significant costs and penalties attached, let alone unacceptable threats to safety.

Analysis: Most providers of business continuity services will visit a company's facilities to assess operations, observe processes and learn how the company functions under normal conditions. The key is preparation and the ability to execute the plan if and when needed, and it is essential that the analysis is conducted by experts that can help you identify available resources that will give the protection you need in what is a non-standard environment.

Pre-deployment: It is strongly recommended that a small specialized team be deployed in advance of a potential known disruption, such as the labor dispute example noted above, in order to specifically set up risk reduction counter measures that can be engaged immediately if the disruption were to occur. As with insurance, any costs of pre-deployment go a long way to reduce risk by mitigating the impact of the disruption were it to occur.

Security/Protection: Protection of your people, products, property and brand during a disruption requires more than individuals wearing a badge and uniform, but rather  field-tested teams comprised of trained officers and leaders. These experts, often drawn from law enforcement or military backgrounds, can not only identify any areas of risk that may come into play but also develop and implement an effective protection campaign that keeps everybody safe without interfering with workflows.

Logistics: A business continuity solution can also focus on 24/7 management oversight, controlled transportation and other special measures in order to help ensure the production schedules and customer expectations are met as soon as possible. Lower cost options such as, for example unmanaged hotel accommodations and transportation can add uncertainty which can distract a company's management away from meeting their short and/or long term business objectives.

Risk management maintains shareholder confidence
Pro-active business continuity planning not only protects the brand, it also gives executives and shareholders confidence that physical risks are managed appropriately to minimize the impact of the disruption on revenues.

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