Is this business continuity management?

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Chesney Bradshaw, Lead Implementer and Auditor of ISO 22301, on Business continuity management

A business sits with more than R8 million worth of perishable stock three days before the lock-down period. What’s to be done?

Like other businesses of all sizes similar troubles arise.

Some losses have been unavoidable, but there are always things to do to minimise the impact of business disruption whatever the scale.

Questions start popping up from all directions.

What should we do about maintenance of our operations during the lock-down?

How can we continue to promote our business while customers cannot visit our stores?

What about paying wages and salaries?

If we run out of cash, what are we going to do?

Which employees are essential to our operations?

How are we going to deal with retrenchments?

Where can we reduce unnecessary overhead?

What if this lock-down takes longer than expected?

Did any of these businesses take time to think about business continuity management rather than stumble along in survival mode?

If they had, they would have been far better prepared.

A business continuity management system need not be onerous on management time and resources.

All it takes is coming up with a plan that identifies risks, assesses the potential impact of key risks and describes what will be done to recover after the disruptive incident.

If you need external assurance of your plan, a lead ISO 2301 auditor can run through your plan and system to determine gaps that need corrective action.

Instead of waiting for the next business disruption why not seriously consider calling someone in to help you with your business continuity planning. It would be far better to do this than wait for the next big knock that may knock out your business for good.

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