What Goes into an Effective Business Continuity Plan?

A continuity plan can help your business survive all kinds of calamities. The right plan should feature clear-cut guidelines for what your organization must do to continue operations in case of an unforeseen event. It should leave no doubt about how to organize staff and move forward. It must also clearly demarcate the different types of responses depending on the severity of the emergency at hand.

Basic components of an effective business continuity plan

Outline the Goals and Objectives – Since every business is unique, first identify the objectives and goals that are most critical to the way your company operates. This goal-driven trajectory helps you reflect on the overall planning needs, potential recovery strategies, and risk assessment.

Establish a Team – Select competent cross-functional leaders or managers who can be a valuable addition to the team. Ensure you appoint someone as the lead to keep things going smoothly and make informed decisions when necessary.

Perform Business Impact Analysis and Risk Assessment – Identify the significant risks to your business. Discuss with your team and analyze the consequences of modifying, eliminating, or reducing essential functions or services in emergency conditions. Study all identified issues and their impact on the business.

Identify Predominant Ecommerce Related Business Functions – Determine how your company will effectively maintain its essential functions/services in case of an emergency. Here are some of the necessary functions and services that you will need to plan for:

  • Supply Chain and Inventory Management Continuity
  • Shipping Deadlines and Order Fulfillment
  • E-Commerce Platform Functionality
  • Maintaining Customer Service

Prepare a Plan for Necessary Services and Functions – Create unique plans to address the needs of stakeholders and essential functions during an emergency situation:

  • Customers
  • Suppliers/ subcontractors
  • Team members
  • Shipping
  • Inventory

Make sure you have plans to change your current supplier to ensure that you don’t have inventory limitations. Also, know your options in case your supply chain faces disruption.

Focus on Documentation and Reviewing

Ensure you have the following aspects in writing:

  • Business risk level
  • Impact on customers and employees
  • Financial resources in case of a calamity
  • Community partners or external organization who can help build a mutually beneficial relationship during a disaster

Present your continuity strategy/plan to your stakeholders, perform trial runs and be proactive. This allows you to identify any weaknesses or missing features. Once you make the necessary updates, start to train your staff, test, and revise accordingly.

TCI can help you select and implement disaster recovery and business continuity solutions to ensure your business stays connected and operational during any emergency. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

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