How To Lessen The Clean-up Nightmare

Thursday 1st December 2011 | Business Report Thailand | Link

Flood recovery will be simpler if you approach the problem logically and methodically, writes Andrew Durieux

We have drawn up a few suggestions for recovery of your flood-damaged business. It is based on years of experience working with many clients suffering from various disasters:

1. Get organised
Allocate people to the recovery tasks. Make one person responsible for the recovery and give that person the authority to act as needed. Find someone with a cool head, who will not panic and who people will listen to. Ideally, this is not the boss as he or she will need to continue running the rest of the business.

2. Make a plan
Assess the damage, think through the various short- and long-term aims, prioritise these aims, assess options and choose one. The first plan may not be correct so be flexible and work on the aims. In some cases it will be pumping water out, for others it will mean waiting for natural drainage. Some will be able to move production to other facilities, others may look to start a temporary operation elsewhere. Break it down into time periods – hours, days or weeks. Then into different parts of your business – factory floor, accounting, customer service, IT, etc.

3. Find Resources for the plan
Once you have a plan, obtain the various elements needed to complete the plan. Physical equipment: New raw materials or normal component supplies may all need to be re-ordered.

Workers: You may need to add to your normal worker team for some specialist skills such as cleaning some of the key equipment or moving and re-commissioning machines. Some engineers may be needed to verify safety of electrical equipment or buildings, and some IT specialists may be needed to restore systems.

Planning early will mean you can book these people now. A key resource may be to find a recovery planning adviser/assistant such as Coverage if you or your team has never been through disasters such as this previously.

4. Implement the plan
Communicate to various staff, customers, suppliers or other stakeholders and keep them informed will get their buy in and assistance, as well as knowing when to expect you first batch of output. Measure how well you did and plan for the future.

5. Review outcomes and repeat
Measure how well you did and plan for the future.

Andrew Durieux is director and principle consultant for business continuity planning at Coverage –