BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLAN member will handle which items and then the team moves forward through the steps .
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
“ What ’ s the craziest thing that could happen ?” Powell prompts , relating that the first iteration of their business continuity plan didn ’ t account for pandemics because the possibility seemed so far-fetched . “ Think of the most unexpected situations you could face ,” Powell says , “ and how you would adjust your operations . Document them , so you have details laid out in your plan in case you need to pivot .”
For example , if you rely on seasonal staff from other countries and travel is shut down , who will work in your business ? If your supply chain cannot provide the products you need to operate , what is the alternative ? If you must change your business hours , how will you let the public know about this ? Powell reminds us , “ You never know .”
During the planning process , account for all technology — hardware , software , phones , and other systems necessary to work in a remote environment . Deeley recognized during the rapid transition from office to home that not every team member was equipped with a laptop . So , desktop computers and monitors were sent home with some employees . ( Adapt and overcome .) However , when revisiting the plan to address what worked and what did not , the company made plans to migrate all staff to laptops .
STAY CONSISTENT , YET BE FLEXIBLE
With a business continuity plan in place , everyone understands how to respond when an interruption occurs , whether big or small . Messaging is crucial when communicating in-house , and to vendors , customers , or other stakeholders . “ Consistency is critical because we want to walk clients through difficult times and deliver the same message ,” Jones relates .
By their nature , business interruptions are unexpected and can introduce a range of variables . A continuity plan that allows a business to shift from one scenario to the next helps maintain consistency while staying flexible .
“ While we were following the plan to address the pandemic , a tropical storm stirred up along the East Coast and came over top of us , putting us in a position where we had to activate a different part of our plan ,” Jones says . “ The reality was , we had to implement two phases of our plan simultaneously , which speaks to the importance of outlining different scenarios . We were able to hop onto a different phase to address the new incident .”
REVISIT THE STRATEGY
A business continuity plan is a working document . You ’ re never done . Deeley is committed to reconvening the Business Continuity Plan Assessment Team twice a year to thoroughly review the plan and identify areas to improve .
Jones reflects , “ If I had to score how we did with the continuity plan during the pandemic , I ’ d put us up there at a nine out of 10 . We stayed current with what was happening through reliable media sources , we passed viable information on to our people and posted on our social channels , and we transitioned and implemented the plan . This allowed many of our associates to work remotely and communicate with clients without interruption .”
By putting the work in ahead of time and adjusting when necessary , Deeley ’ s customer service never lapsed . They were always connected , always available .
THE TIME TO PREPARE IS NOW
A Business Continuity Plan can give you peace of mind knowing that your business is ready — no matter what lies ahead .
Ready to take the first steps ? Deeley can provide you with sample plans and templates to get started .
Already have a plan ? Make sure you update with insights you gained during the pandemic . And focus on thinking outside of the box — what details you can add to help execute your plan with fewer hiccups . +
NUTS & BOLTS
Key areas in Deeley Insurance Group ’ s business continuity plan :
INTRODUCTORY GOALS & SETTING THE TONE
• Single event isolated to the facility lasting under 2 hours
• Single event isolated to the facility
• Catastrophic event
• Preparing for and dealing with a pandemic
• Dealing with absenteeism
AGENCY / BUSINESS RESOURCES
• List of internal and external resources
• Known or anticipated threats and emergencies with warning
• Unanticipated threats and emergencies ; no warning
PHASES OF EXECUTION
• Phase 1 – Evaluate risk in advance of anticipated emergency
• Phase 2 – Preparing for imminent emergency
• Phase 3 – Priorities during the first 24 hours of the emergency
• Phase 4 – Execute plan after the first day through end of emergency
• Phase 5 – Transition back to normal operations