Why a Business Continuity Plan is Crucial
It’s no secret that keeping your business up and running during tumultuous times can be no small task. That’s why it’s vital to have a solid business continuity plan (BCP) in place to ensure stability for you and your staff. In short, this plan will essentially help protect your business should a potential emergency or threat (natural disaster, epidemic, cyberattack, etc.) arise.
What we’ve learned to be extremely important to our customers is that they have the ability to easily send their employees money should a major disruption occur. Some may still need to be out in the field, while others may need to obtain supplies to work remotely. With PEX, you can quickly and easily distribute the necessary funds to your employees in real-time.
There are a few essential steps involved in creating a solid business continuity plan, which are outlined below.
Determine the Scope
What is absolutely crucial to keeping your business running smoothly? What is desirable? Your scope should include a range based on your main objectives, which will help guide the plan.
Identify Key Players
It’s important to first assign a Business Continuity Coordinator – ideally someone who’s sufficiently knowledgeable regarding processes – to delegate and maintain the BCP. You should then determine who from each department must be involved to maintain critical business functions.
Keep Funds Accessible
The last thing that should halt your business during a crisis is the fact that you have no way to get your employees the funds they need to keep things moving. Now's the time to think about adopting an expense management system, like PEX. You can issue and cancel cards via the web and mobile platforms, fund and defund cards instantly, set spend controls to limit where funds can be spent, and much more. Overall, we can't say it enough: simplify the complex. Getting cards into staff’s hands doesn’t mean more spend. It means less time responding to requests for headsets or printer paper or fuel. It means less time dealing with messy reimbursement processes. And it means more time focusing on your business.
Create a Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
It’s important to understand the varying risks that are specific to your industry and location. Do you live in an area where earthquakes and flooding are common? Is your industry prone to data hacks? Your BIA should take all of these factors into account. Once this analysis is completed, it should be reviewed with senior management and any key stakeholders.
Outline Recovery Strategies
Once everyone has signed off on the BIA, it’s time to identify and document all resource requirements. It’s important to determine any gaps that may exist between these requirements and your business’ existing capabilities. You can now create recovery strategies specifically for your business, which should then be documented and implemented.
Develop a Plan
How your business responds to a disruption should be determined based on your BIA. Some of the details to include in your BCP are:
Workplace relocation details, such as an alternate job site or giving employees the option to work from home. We’ve outlined how to successfully set up your team to work remotely in this helpful article.
Critical processes that still need to take place, even if they can be tweaked a bit to adjust to a specific situation.
Important data that must be restored, as it is necessary to maintain business functions.
Communication strategy to ensure team members, customers and necessary third-parties have a way to communicate during an emergency.
IT disaster recovery procedures to ensure crucial IT processes are restored.
Manual workarounds in the event all standard processes should break down.
The most important part of creating a BCP is making sure it can actually work! The only way to do that is to create a test plan and exercises to ensure its success. Results should be documented and the BCP should be updated based on lessons learned. Be sure to also schedule training sessions for the key people involved in implementing the BCP.
Don’t wait for a crisis to occur. Create your specific BCP today, and let PEX be a part of your plan everyday.