A Breakdown in Communications

Loss of facilities can halt production and cause major losses. To prevent this, arrange alternate facilities ahead of time to make a change of location run smoothly. Assess alternate sites and decide which is the most appropriate. Keep in mind that this may mean allowing employees to work remotely from their homes. In the event of a disaster, move any undamaged equipment and ensure there is an internet connection at the new facilities. Transfer any digital files onto any new or leased equipment and try to resume operations. Be sure to remember to maintain payroll operations and communicate clearly with all staff. Let them know where they are able to move and when they should do so.

A Breakdown in Communications

A breakdown in communications means internal communications may become unavailable. External communications could be interrupted as well. Whether it’s a phone line down or a loss of your network, loss of communications can be disastrous.

Before a breakdown in communications happens, you should obtain and maintain key contact information for all employees, customers, vendors and stakeholders. Keep a physical copy of these onsite, offsite and in the cloud. Identify possible alternative methods of communication. This can include phone, email, social media or meeting arrangements.

It’s helpful to create a crisis communication plan. This includes a communications coordinator, message templates and procedures. Communication during a crisis can be very difficult, so it’s best to know your procedures beforehand.

When the event occurs, arrange alternate communication strategies. In the event of a power outage or internet failure, you will need to choose the most appropriate method to get your message out to all key personnel.

You may need to use a phone tree to share urgent messages with key employees. This can be effective to get important messages out to the entire organization quickly. If cell service is working us it to send out a mass email or text message. If you have access to your company’s website, distribute a message on the main page to customers and vendors.

Interruptions in Supply Chains

If supply chains are disrupted damage can cause unsatisfied customers, damage to your company’s reputation and eventually loss of revenue. It’s also possible you can incur penalty payments for contractual non-performance clauses.

Before an incident occurs, identify actions you can take to shorten the duration of the disruption. This can include alternate communications. Determine any human or technological resources that can be used to pivot operations ahead of time. It can be helpful to diversify markets and suppliers ahead of time.

Decide what will trigger the pivot to your alternative means of communications, markets or suppliers. For example, once you lose a certain amount of revenue or customers you will implement the plan.

Loss of Revenue and Customers

The bottom line when it comes to technological impacts of a disaster is loss of revenue and customers. The best way to do this is by maintaining operations as efficiently as possible and communicating clearly.

Keep customers and employers informed. Update them early and often about problems, loss of data or interruptions in service. Use any technological resources available to communicate. This can include your company’s website, email, social media or internal messaging software.

It is helpful to create a company-wide business impact analysis (BIA). This helps the business lines supported by IT identify the true impact of an outage event. This can include lost revenue, productivity or delayed sales or income. It can also include increased expenses such as overtime labor, outsourcing costs or expediting fees. Consider any regulatory fines, contractual penalties, damaged customer relationships and more.

Create a spreadsheet of potential risks as well as the impact they could have on the company. Rank them by likelihood and severity. Then concoct an action plan for the situations that will have the most likely and severe impacts on business continuity. This helps with prioritization and resource allocation later on.

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