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The Supply Chain and Business Continuity

Posted on Mon, Dec 19, 2011

The primary purpose of a Business Continuity Plan is to minimize operational, regulatory, financial, and reputational impacts of a business interruption to accelerate the time frame to return to “business as usual”. In a recent Forbes magazine article entitled, “Why Verizon Has its Own HAZMAT Team", Dick Price, Chief Business Continuity Officer at Verizon explains the company’s business continuity planning exceeds any set regulatory requirements developed for the telecommunications industry. 

"Unlike most companies, Verizon needs offices with racks of telecommunications equipment in several major and minor cities throughout the U.S. and other countries. Therefore the company must work with landlords and various local officials with the buildings it uses. If someone has a fire, and it knocks out our equipment, it’s a problem.”.
           -Dick Price, Chief Business Continuity Officer at Verizon

As with many companies, Verizon’s critical processes includes the stability of their suppliers. Disruptions in supply may be outside of a company’s domain, yet can severely impact the ability to provide “business as usual”.

The Business Continuity Institute recently release its “Supply Chain Resilience 2011” study which examines supply chains and their effect on business continuity.  According to the study, supply chain incidents led to productivity loss for almost half of businesses surveyed.

The statistics emphasize the need to develop a business continuity plan that identifies critical suppliers and alternate resources. Factors to consider in the identification of critical suppliers are complex and extend well beyond first glance analyses, however, they may include those that provide:

  • Certain business specific products
  • Sole source services or products
  • Electrical power
  • Water
  • Fuel
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation
  • Staffing
  • Waste Management
  • Facility or facilities

A business impact analysis can identify potential supply chain vulnerabilities that may erupt in a crisis situation. Companies need to consider the consequences of supply chain failure and associated key business components that would be affected.  Through this process, alternatives can be explored and a business continuity plan can be produced that reduces the impacts of supply chain disruptions.

For a sample Emergency Response Checklist, download our helpful and informative guide.

Tags: Business Continuity key points, Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness, Crisis Management, Supply Chain, Extreme Weather, Hurricane Preparedness