Whether you’re running a start-up, an SME or a large corporation, you’re at risk of facing an emergency situation, no matter how big or small. These days, alarm signals are all around us. Climate change, technological incidents and socio-economic issues are just a few examples.
Here are some examples of disruptive elements:
- Natural disasters (forest fires, floods, ice storms, torrential rains, tornadoes, extreme heat, etc.);
- Cyber attacks and data loss;
- Technological failures (breakdowns: IT, telecommunications, telephone, etc.);
- Failure of critical public infrastructure (power outages, major road closures, disruption of water, drinking water or sewage services, etc.) ;
- Incidents related to physical security (thefts, intrusions, active shooter, crime at the workplace and in its external environment, etc.);
- Supply chain interruptions (shortages of parts and raw materials, etc.);
- Labor shortages;
- Social and political instability (violent demonstrations, activism against the company, etc.);
- Emergence of new diseases;
- Risks related to teleworking and new work environments;
- Reputation damage (media, social networks, etc.);
We are currently witnessing an increase in the above-mentioned cases. This represents a real wake-up call for all companies to develop and implement various resilience plans, such as a business continuity plan, a crisis management plan, an IT succession plan, and so on.
These plans ensure that you are as prepared as possible should your company be faced with an emergency situation or disruption of operations. The last thing you want is to wait for such a situation to arise before deciding to act. It’s therefore important to take a step back and adopt a global approach by asking yourself these four questions:
- As a company, what risks do you face?
- What are the potential consequences of these risks, if they materialize?
- What mitigation measures can you put in place to alleviate these consequences?
- Are you prepared to handle such a situation?
A comprehensive, well-structured business continuity plan makes the process of resuming your operations simpler, and cuts costs and time, than if you dealt with problems one by one. A crisis management plan will ensure better coordination of your response (reaction) following a major disruption. Better risk management could also help to curb or cap the rise in your company’s insurance costs and maintain coverage. So go for prevention and proactivity rather than reactivity! It’s a good thought when we see that insurers have announced that some commons risks will no longer be covered in California after, for example, numerous claims due to major and recurring forest fires over the past few years. Quebec and Canada are no exception, and this reality could catch up with us much more quickly than we might think.
The common objectives sought by corporate executives, managers, directors and shareholders when it comes to risk management can be summarized as follows:
- Avoid improvisation when it comes to risk management;
- Protect interests and reputation;
- Protect and preserve the lives of employees and the integrity of facilities;
- Ensure the survival and sustainability of the organization;
- Limit material and financial losses and, ideally, maintain revenues;
- Reassure, retain and maintain the confidence of employees, customers, suppliers and investors;
- Maintain contractual, regulatory and compliance obligations;
- Mitigate the organization’s risks and vulnerabilities;
- Mitigate the impact of a major disruption (interruption of operations, disaster, damage to reputation, security problem, loss of data, computer breakdown, etc.);
- Maintain insurance coverage and limit premium increases.
But it’s not always easy to do it alone. If you need guidance in developing a resilience plan of any kind, Benoit Racette Services-conseils inc. is here for you! Contact us today for expert advice and personalized service: [email protected].