We all play a vital role in the day-to-day continuity of our business. Right through the supply chain we rely on our staff & suppliers to deliver so that we can meet our customers’ expectations, but how can we mitigate the risks if this chain is broken through unforeseen circumstances? Technical failures with computers, telephones & power are just a few we have all experienced, but what happens if you are denied access to your own business site – could you survive?
According to a 2007 AXA report 80% of businesses that experienced a major incident, never re-opened or closed within 18 months. In many of these scenarios we cannot eradicate the cause, but we can reduce the impact; this is where a disaster recovery plan comes into action. Disaster recovery plans are more than an insurance policy against financial loss; they protect something you cannot value in numbers – your reputation & the reputation of your customers.
In 2008 Bandvulc developed a strategy to prevent, detect and correct potential disasters before they affected our customers. Our first step was to change our mind set when purchasing products and services; these only delivered value when they worked so initial cost was not the deciding factor. It was essential that where one system failed another could take its place; for example, where we purchased one phone system in the past we would now purchase two; if we normally purchased 4 servers we would now purchase 8, and so on.
The Buncefield explosion in 2005 was a fresh reminder when developing a strategy. This incident caused huge disruption to transport and devastated local businesses in Hertfordshire. To learn from this it was prudent to duplicate systems off-site and from a radius that ensured we had access to customer data & could still handle customers’ calls even if our primary site was lost. Bandvulc operates its disaster recovery site in Plymouth, some 15 miles away. This site is always on standby with a duplicated server room and call centre, thus ensuring exceptional customer services remains seamless.
However the disaster recovery site simply would not work without our employees and we consider the most important investment we have made is in staff training. Every year staff undergo a surprise rehearsal to ensure documented procedures are followed and that jobs in hand are managed instinctively, avoiding any panic and thereby saving vital time.
After 7 years our disaster recovery provision remains one of our strongest attributes; where we have experienced fires, false alarms, cut telephone lines and intermittent power failures the disaster recovery plan has paid dividends in an industry where every second counts.