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What is a Business Continuity Plan?

business continuity plan, ISN, ISNetworld

Did this RAVS® requirement pop up in your ISNetworld® account? If so, you’ve come to the right place. JJ Safety will create a Business Continuity plan for your company that will pass the RAVS® review process. However, maybe you’re wondering what a business continuity plan is. Well that’s what this article is about. 

Investopedia describes a Business Continuity Plan as “the process involved in creating a system of prevention and recovery from potential threats to a company.” Safeopedia defines it as “a plan that describes how a company will continue to function in the event of some kind of emergency, disaster or incident.” And Wikipedia defines it as “the capability of an organization to continue the delivery of products or services at pre-defined acceptable levels following a disruptive incident.” Either way, the idea is that it’s a plan for the company to continue operation in the wake of events that would normally cause disruption to business. Requirements for Business Continuity plans skyrocketed in 2020 as the onset of the COVID-19 continued to disrupt business operations nationwide and well worldwide in actuality. 

All businesses had to adapt to the “new-normal” and even as we come out of the pandemic, many businesses continue adapting to meet “new” customer demands. One such demand is that a business continuity plan is in place. What makes up a business continuity program? A Business Continuity Program or BCP might include some of the following components:

  • Business Impact Analysis
  • Recovery Steps
  • Communication
  • Roles and Responsibilities 
  • Organization Team
  • Training
  • Testing and Maintenance

Objectives of a quality BCP will normally include:

  • Facilitating the timely recovery of core business function
  • Protecting the wellbeing of employees, and customers
  • Minimizing loss of revenue and/or customers
  • Minimizing loss of data
  • Minimizing the critical decisions needing to be made in time of crisis

The reason for a Business Impact Analysis is to predict the consequences of disruption to business functions and processes and to gather information to develop recovery steps. Being able to evaluate and determine impacts of disruption to business operations helps the business plan recovery steps. It should reveal cost including lost or delayed sales and revenue, expense increases due to labor, outsourcing, repair, loss of contracts, customer dissatisfactions etc.. 

After the Business Impact Analysis is complete, we can assess what’s needed for Recovery. What resources are needed. People are normally the most important resource, but facilities, equipment, materials and information are also needed. An analysis of resources can aid in the plan’s success. Some recovery strategies may include moving product to different facilities, increasing overtime allowed, contracting with 3rd parties, increasing production at a facility to compensate for lost production at another etc. 

An Organizational Team and outline of roles and responsibilities is essential in the success of the overall BCP as well. The organizational team will usually include members of management and outline responsibilities during crisis/emergency situations and the like. Roles and Responsibilities should be clearly defined so everyone can react quickly. The organizational team should have clear communications established. It may be necessary to have a separate communication plan that includes a comprehensive approach to communication in a disaster or emergency. 

In addition to developing the BCA, there needs to be a way to test the plan and ensure effectiveness. Personnel and customer should be informed prior to a test run being performed. Realistic scenarios can be used to test the plan. Managers and Employees should carry out the steps outlined in the plan. dpanies should be open to adjustments as plans often need to be adapted after a test run. 

Of course, Training is always important for any company policy, and nothing is more important than keeping workers safe. Employees should be trained in all policies and procedures of the BCP. Creating awareness of the Business Continuity Plan among staff will help them understand their roles. Members of the team should also complete exercises that go over the plan and strategies. Training will improve the resilience of the company overall. 

If you are looking for a Business Continuity plan or any safety program, give us a call. We are here to help and look forward to answering any questions you might have.

Call us at 866-627-3850 or email us at sales@jjsafetyllc.com to learn more.

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