Plan to Ensure Business Continuity
In most cases, natural disasters can neither be detected nor be avoided. Nevertheless, given that an organization always has chance to prepare a business continuity plan (BCP) or a disaster management plan, means that the same has a chance to pull itself out of the most disastrous situation. This is because the BCP spells out the organizational actions which should be taken in order to salvage the business in times of the crisis.
First and foremost, it would be important that the internal key personnel be all summoned, and those on leave recalled. The expedience of carrying out this act is that the internal key personnel fill the slots in whose absence the business organization may absolutely not be able to function. While this will automatically demand the meeting of the departmental heads and managers, it will also be necessary for the management to summon the key players in each departmental grassroots. Herein, the decision used to identify the key players is the job functions which continue to remain critical on day-to-day basis. However, given that it is possible to encounter setbacks bordering on ethics in summoning the top notch of the company back to work citing illness, the business may
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To the extent of the above development, those who fill these critical positions in the wake of the primary job holders being away have also to be recalled. This case may be instrumental in dealing with a desperate situation whereby a departmental head is ill or has resigned. This first step of remains critical for it allows room for the business to come together to be able to prioritize the manner in which the synergies of the business are supposed to be managed so as to pull the business organization out of the crisis.
In addition to the above step, the organization can then through the company secretary and the heads of the finance department present critical documents such as financial records, tax returns and certificate of insurance. It is at this juncture that the business can notify the insurance company on the occurrence of the disaster so that it can be indemnified if it was covered against national disasters. The importance of making accession and use of these critical documents is that they support the credit worthiness of the company, and as such, can help the business organization make accession easily to loans which would help it go through the tough times.
According to Doughty (2000), from this juncture, it is needful that the management gets to single out activities according to the order of importance. This may see the temporary halting of the expansionist programs such as the opening of new branches, the establishment of a niche in the international market and recruiting new employees. This act will ward off the straining of the little resources to be used in the reconstruction of the company, by for instance cutting off high employee turnover. This may be necessary though the implication may be that the idea of the business going global may have to be foregone temporarily.
While still considering the cause of the business’ priorities, as a way of ensuring cost cutting, the business may get its employees to make sacrifices for the company. In this wavelength, it may be necessary for the company to ascertain those who are able to telecommute or work from home office. This will be necessary following the destruction of the business’ vehicles which might have been being used to ferry employees to work.
Although the above measure may go against the organizational culture of the business, yet, it remains expedient as the company will still be on its knees. Still the same case applies to matters of ethics; and as such, the designating of those who are to telecommute is to be premised on consent, with the measure being legally backed up with a binding agreement to reimburse the or to give additional allowances of a specific value to the telecommuter on the company recovering from the impasse.
Not to be forgotten is the need to call for round table meetings with the business employees and staff in entirety. This is a time of crisis, and as such, interdepartmental pushing and shoving are the last elements needed. If anything, the most important virtue of the highest value is communication and teamwork. At this juncture, it is most important that the employees at the grassroots be told about the events which took place and what this portends, so as to ward off spates of confusion.
It is also through these interdepartmental meetings involving the rank and file of thereof, that the berth for the inchoate or otiose recovery policies can be attenuated. By extension, it is when there is collective soliciting of views that the cause of collective responsibility can be fostered.
Herein, another action of great value is the need to set up and follow contingencies which will help the business organization pull through during the perilous times. This will mandate the ascertainment of the status of the critical equipments available for the running of the business organization. Having determined the value and the number of equipments damaged against the number of those that the company needs to stay in operation, the business may now be in a position to set up equipments options such as borrowing, renting, or making new purchases.
Conversely, should the cost of borrowing and hiring prove expensive, the business may then take to consider outsourcing of the duties which require the expensive equipments. For instance, if the equipments in point were to be used for stationery purposes, then the business can enter into a contract with a vending company which deals in the issuing of stationery services.
It is also pointed out by economics pundits such as Wallace and Webber (2004) that the need to carry on with the culture of keeping proper documentation of external contacts factor herein. Among those making it into the rubric of external contacts are contractors, vending companies and partners who harbor close affiliations with the business. It is at this time of need that this chain of partners should be seen to yield fruit to the company. Therefore, obtaining these outsourcing deals at prices subsidized should not be hard to come by. In this vein, striking an outsourcing deal with a transporting company to make up for the damaged fleet of the business’ vehicles may come in handy.
The importance of following through the Business Continuity Plan is seen in the fact that it is clear that adverse effects in themselves are not known to wipe out a business into inexistence, but on the contrary, it is the failure to plan and to follow through, this Business Continuity Planning laid down. It is therefore given that given a short while, with the strict adherence to this plan; the business will be able to pick up well.
Doughty, K. (2000). Using Business Continuity Planning: Protecting an Organization’s Life. Colorado: CRC Press.
Wallace, M. and Webber, L. (2004). A Disaster Recovery Handbook: A Step-By-Step Plan to Ensure Business Continuity. New York: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Association.