Disaster recovery plans are something we at Shiply have had in place since the very early days.
You should always plan for the worst so that if and when the unexpected strikes, you are in a strong position to react quickly.
The importance of this was recently demonstrated by Australian courier firm Couriers Please. Whilst in Britain we haven’t seen anywhere near the level of natural disasters compared with Australia’s bush fires and flash flooding we do still have problems which arise, it’s a matter of when and not if.
You cannot plan for every eventuality, however ensuring the main boxes are ticked and you are prepared is critical regardless of whether you are a one-man-band or an international haulier operating hundreds of vehicles.
Couriers Please had their call centre in Homebush hit by a storm, wiping out their communications. At first they thought this would be restored in a few hours, it turned out to be 8 days! Imagine what that would be like here in the UK with BT!! You might be lucky to get connection back in a couple of months!
Using Couriers Please as a case study, they immediately forwarded calls onto their other call centres so customer service disruption was minimal.
And the flooding hasn’t been the last disaster, either. Alderson says there was another situation where head office burnt down and there have been other communication outages since.
“We knew exactly how to deal with it,” Alderson says. “What you think won’t happen, will.”
How would your business cope if your land line and Internet connection were wiped out? Do you have a backup plan to keep communication channels with your customers open? If your vehicle was involved in an accident, do you have access to other vehicles which could undertake the work? These are just some of the questions which are so vital. A couple of hours of thoughtful planning can really make a difference.
After all, would you rather plan now for 2 hours or work out how to recover when you are knee-deep in crisis and not thinking straight! It’s a no-brainer, everyone in the organisation should have access to these plans so that when the unexpected does strike you can react rationally.