It is a crisis! The river overflows and your production building floods, the electricity short circuits, and a fire starts.

It is a crisis! Your only molding machine was set up to run your major customer's part and took the brunt of impact. Fifty percent of the plant is damaged from the fire and the water. What are you going to do?

Sure, you have your emergency action and fire plans, as required by 29 CFR 1910.38. Under your hazardous waste permit, EPA says that you have to have a contingency plan and emergency procedures as detailed in 40 CFR 264.50. How is any of that information going to help you and your company getting back up and running again? How is that going to help?

Talk to any large company about the procedures they have in place in the event of a fire, flood or other disaster and they tell you that the computer department keeps back-ups of all files off-site and they have a contract with a company to provide computers and office space for the duration of an emergency. In addition, they will tell you that there is a telephone chain and that customer service workers know that they should report to a special location away from the regular manufacturing area.

But what about manufacturing!? What about the one department that is responsible for making the products that brings in the money? What are they supposed to do during this emergency?


Welcome my friends to the world of Business Continuity Planning (BCP). Traditional business continuity planning usually includes the computer department (IT), customer services and telephone services. In today's presentation, we are going to discuss specific steps that you can do to work on developing BCP for manufacturing.

Of the companies who suffer a disaster, 51% go out of business in 2 years and 43% never reopen. Those are not pleasant statistics.

This is going to be a workshop for you to begin to work on developing your own BCP. Here's your first exercise.

Causes of Business Downtime

The Disaster Recovery Journal talked about the sources of business downtime. Power outages accounted for 29%, storms for 11%, floods 10% and terrorism/sabotage for 8%, with other causes making up the balance.

For your first exercise, make a list of the various causes of downtime for your business. Use the items from the examples above and whatever is specific to your organization and location. Next, attempt to quantify the percentage of time these occur and estimate the length of time involved. For example: blizzard, 10% occurrence, closed down for 2 days per incident.

What is the Plan for Rebuilding?

BCP and planning will be your road map for this rebuilding. You will need to prioritize the items above and need to work on developing plans to over come their impact. But more on that later. Let's begin by looking at what BCP is.

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