Assuring the continuity of all operations is crucial for the manufacturing industry in order to avoid a costly production halt. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers are prepared to deal with adversity.
Producers may encounter a wide range of hazards, from natural disasters to data loss, that can disrupt operations for hours, days, or even weeks.
The consequences of a production halt
Every firm has experienced the terror of a production halt. If production lines are stopped because of an unplanned incident, products cannot be manufactured, therefore, scheduled orders cannot be delivered. Causing a domino effect of problems down the distribution chain.
These implications can result in a significant loss of revenue as well as a potential breach of customer agreements.
From there, it’s all downhill.
A malfunction in production equipment is one of the most common dangers in manufacturing. That is why producers make significant investments in human capital, employing qualified engineers and other professionals who can make repairs quickly when necessary.
But in the real world, malfunctioning machinery is not the sole cause of problems. Therefore, producers should be spending intelligently on security against other equally catastrophic threats. IT service disruptions or ransomware attacks are other variables that could cause serious damage to production.
That’s why is so important to have a strategy set up that contains all the procedures to follow if an unpredicted event affects the company’s normal, and this is achieved with a Business Continuity Plan.
What’s a business continuity plan?
A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a document that describes how a company can sustain or quickly resume its operations in the case of a major disruption. It lays out the procedures and instructions that must be followed, including contingencies for business processes, assets, staff security policies, and any other area of the company that may be impacted. Your BCP’s complexity and amount of detail will vary depending on the size of your company, but all BCPs should include the following sections:
- An introduction section that explains how the plan is organized, the components that make it up, and what your company’s key goals are.
- A risk management evaluation that includes a business impact study.
- An incident response plan including plan activation, as well as details on who will make up the incident response team, how to communicate in the event of a crisis, and a contact list.
- A schedule that shows when the plan will be tested so that proper evaluations can be made and the strategy can be verified to work as planned.
- The strategy should detail how the company will deal with the network, server, and personal computer outages. The goal is to get workplace productivity back on track so that critical operations may continue.
Why is a business continuity plan so important?
One of the key goals of a BCP, as stated previously, is to quickly restore IT systems within a company so that core business functions can continue, and normal activities can resume.
So, it’s critical to keep downtime to a bare minimum in order to avoid financial losses. Regardless of your activity level, the rent, internet subscription, and insurance bills will add up at the end of the month.
Up to this point, I’ve talked a lot about how a business continuity plan represents a huge competitive advantage, but let’s illustrate its action with a real-life experience from one of our customers.
John, a good friend of mine and owner of a steel processing factory, called me one Tuesday morning asking for help, he said it was an emergency and that he needed me immediately at the factory’s headquarters.
I got there 10 minutes later and after waiting for him to calm down for a moment he showed me his computer screen:
When I saw that, I told him to calm down and that he didn’t have to feel intimidated by this. Why?
A year prior to this incident we started developing his company’s Business Continuity Plan.
John took all the necessary precautions and took the time to sit along with an expert team like EmpowerIT to design his company’s business continuity plan. This allowed him to save not only a terrible headache but the financial wreck of paying the ransom.
We made this possible for him by ensuring that:
- Data backups are taken periodically, for example, every 8 hours.
- Each copy is stored for up to 15 days.
- There are at least three copies of the data stored in three different locations, one of them being on the cloud.
- All the copies are stored in easy access locations.
- IT Support from an expert team is available 24/7.
Like John, you can make it out of a situation like this, only when the right strategies are taken.
We never know when a storm can hit us. It can happen today, tomorrow, or a year from now, but we have an umbrella just in case. The same happens with business resilience. No one expects a data breach, but if that happens, is better to be prepared.
In a few words, it’s important to take a proactive approach in order to prepare your organization if disaster hits. We can help you accomplish this. It only takes a 15-minute call to start working on your business continuity plan.