Here are two of the questions we at KeepItSafe receive most often from businesses:
Are our competitors across the country taking advantage of continuity systems to strengthen their business operations across the supply chain? Should we do the same?
Our answer to both questions is yes. Here’s what we suggest.
There are four key steps any business should address to give itself the best chance of true supply chain resilience:
1. Identify as many of the potential risks as you can to your business’s supply chain.
2. Use technology to address problems early — ideally before you experience them.
3. Conduct annual risk assessments to determine your supply chain’s vulnerabilities.
4. Follow the ISO standards relevant to your industry and organization.
1. Identify risks to your supply chain
This is a key first step in strengthening your business operations. As our customers have discovered, a company’s mission-critical operations can be vulnerable not only to the obvious threats — such as cyber theft — but also to natural disasters like fires and floods, and even to simple hardware degradation and failure, or human error.
Your business continuity processes and disaster recovery solution should safeguard your operations against any and all of these ongoing risks.
2. Use technology to address problems early
Of course, even the most well thought-out disaster recovery and business continuity policies won’t help unless your business employs the right technologies to implement them. And you don’t want to discover a new vulnerability after you’ve suffered some sort of data disaster.
Ideally, you should work with a proven third-party technology expert that can help you with redundant offsite backups, the highest levels of security and support, guaranteed recovery and business continuity — and everything from crisis management to disaster response planning.
3. Conduct Annual Risk Assessments
Again, when it comes to something as important as your supply chain and your ability to continue business operations, you want to make sure you’ve addressed as many potential threats as possible. That means conducting regular risk assessments — at least annually.
Risk assessments can help protect your business’s bottom line — your profits, brand, public image and company valuation — against the significant negative impact of a supply-chain disruption.
A risk assessment can also give your organization more visibility into the reliability and potential financial exposure of key suppliers across your supply chain.
4. Adhere to Your Industry’s ISO Standards
The ISO standards governing your industry exist for good reason — they signal to your customers, shareholders and the public that your business’s products or services meet the highest levels of quality. But those ISO standards can also be an internal signal, a way for your organization to be sure that you are taking the necessary steps at all stages in your supply chain to ensure your business operations run smoothly and reliably.
Earning ISO certifications for quality assurance is a great way to mitigate the risks of vulnerabilities to your business’s supply chain.
Businesses are becoming aware of all of these potential issues and have begun to act accordingly. By investing in resilience measures, organizations have seen marked improvements in productivity and customer satisfaction.
Your customers expect your business to be available 24/7, accessible from whenever they are. Failure to provide your services, no matter how good your excuse, will be increasingly viewed as unacceptable. In other words, supply-chain resilience can directly affect both your business’s revenues and reputation.
Business Continuity Manager, KeepItSafe®