4 CRITICAL STRATEGIES FOR ENSURING BUSINESS CONTINUITY IN THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY
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The manufacturing industry is currently undergoing a significant transformation with the advent of Industry 4.0. In order to optimise this transformation, manufacturers must prioritise resilience within their operations. Safeguarding production output and mitigating risks arising from cybercrime and supply chain disruptions are paramount.
In today’s environment, manufacturers frequently encounter disruptions within their supply chains. Having a robust business continuity and disaster recovery plan is crucial not only for effectively addressing critical events as they occur but also for ensuring uninterrupted product delivery to customers.
Considering these challenges, let’s explore some of the key strategies that manufacturers should adopt to secure their long-term success, even in the face of business-impacting events.
1. Assess the risks your business may encounter
To begin, it is crucial to comprehend the critical aspects of your business, their dependencies, and the duration for which you can afford to be without them. Simultaneously, understanding the recovery capabilities of these dependencies will enable you to identify potential risks to your business and its recovery. Conducting a thorough Business Impact Analysis (BIA) will help uncover this valuable information. In the manufacturing sector, typical disruptions include hardware and software issues, power failures, cybercrime, human errors, natural disasters, and fires.
Performing a BIA can be labour-intensive and time-consuming, but it serves as an efficient method for swiftly identifying operational risks that might otherwise remain hidden until an incident occurs. While conducting a BIA internally is an option if you have the necessary resources, many businesses choose to outsource this task to external experts. Daisy is here if you need us.
2. Establish your business-critical resources
Manufacturers possess a range of essential assets, including office buildings, warehouses, production lines, and transportation facilities. However, these assets are susceptible to various threats and disruptions. Therefore, it is crucial for your business continuity and disaster recovery team, along with senior leadership, to collaborate and assess which resources hold the utmost importance for your business. Creating a simple list of these business-critical assets, without the need for extensive documentation, will suffice. This inventory will enable you to determine which business functions should be prioritised for restoration in order to safeguard these vital resources.
Whether your focus is on equipment, IT systems, or production lines, the key lies in recognising what holds the greatest significance for your business. Once you have identified your critical resources, it is time to develop comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery plans.
3. Develop your business continuity and disaster recovery plans
Now it’s time to construct your business continuity, crisis management, and disaster recovery plans. It is crucial to understand the distinctions between these plans and how they can complement one another.
A crisis management plan enables your business to respond swiftly and in an organised manner to unforeseen or sudden incidents. It includes vital information regarding communication protocols with staff and key stakeholders, escalation and de-escalation procedures, as well as immediate actions to be taken. On the other hand, a business continuity plan outlines the steps necessary to recover and resume critical operations at a predefined level after any disruption that affects the business’s functioning, regardless of its duration. A disaster recovery plan primarily focuses on restoring the business’s critical technology infrastructure and encompasses procedures for managing the recovery of IT and communication services to support the business after a service disruption. If needed, a crisis management plan can be integrated into the broader business continuity plan.
Top tip – prioritise smart planning over excessive planning!
Throughout our experience, we have observed numerous organisations attempting to prepare for every conceivable situation. However, the truth is that it’s impossible to anticipate every single thing that “might” happen. Therefore, it is crucial not to burden yourself with that expectation.
A successful plan isn’t one that dictates actions for specific scenarios, but one that empowers you to make well-informed decisions in any situation. A useful plan is one that is actually utilised because it provides assistance. When creating your plan(s), consider what essential information is necessary for guiding your decision-making process. Anything beyond that is likely unnecessary, as it only complicates the plan and renders it impractical. If you find it necessary to have a plan tailored to a specific scenario, ensure that it focuses solely on that particular situation. Most importantly, make sure that everyone understands the purpose of the plan.
4. Harness external resources
No business is impervious to cyber threats, operational risks, and the unpredictable nature of life! When faced with adversity, having a well-tested business continuity plan and reliable business continuity services can make a substantial difference for manufacturers. At Daisy, we excel in both of these areas, and we are here to offer our assistance.
Given the intricate nature of business continuity and operational resilience, it is understandable that many companies seek outsourced solutions. This approach ensures that you benefit from the expertise of professionals experienced in crafting comprehensive business continuity plans. It also grants you access to cutting-edge solutions based on industry best practices.
Our team of BCM/OR consultants is equipped to oversee your entire business continuity management program, relieving you of the challenges associated with in-house management.
Our ultimate goal is to assist manufacturers in optimising efficiency, streamlining costs, and effectively addressing present and future industry challenges, all while safeguarding your customers and infrastructure in the ever-expanding online marketplace of today.