Is Your Business Continuity Plan Ready for Action?

Published September 25, 2022

Categories: Thought Leadership, Facilities Management, Stay Open Responsibly

Between climate change, cyber-attacks, and the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses today face more risk than at any other point in modern history.

Implementing a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is not just good business practice; it’s become a necessity for any organization that hopes to survive these volatile times.

In fact, a recent study by DataCore revealed that more than half of companies (54%) had experienced a downtime event lasting more than 8 hours in the past five years.

Most organizations have been so focused on maintaining operations through the pandemic, they haven’t been able to give their BCPs the attention they deserve.
With business resuming (for the most part) as normal, it’s the perfect time to establish or revisit your BCP and incorporate lessons learned during the past two years.

What exactly is a BCP? And what role should facilities maintenance play in its development? Flagship provides the definition of a BCP and offers tips for adapting your BCP in a post-pandemic world.

What Is a BCP?

A BCP is a set of processes and procedures for restoring critical business functions in the event of an unplanned emergency. The goal of a BCP is to continuously improve the preparedness of the institution to handle a disaster or business disruption.

It’s important to note that BCPs differ from Disaster Recovery Plans, which are designed specifically to enable the recovery of your technology systems following a disaster.

An effective BCP identifies any and all risks that could potentially affect your operations and outlines the measures to follow, including everything from data recovery and backup procedures to communication guidelines.

Why Involve FM?

All too often, the facilities maintenance function is excluded from the BCP development process. In some cases, it’s because the organization is too focused on IT dependencies and financial outcomes to consider the impact to facilities services. In other cases, facilities managers don’t grasp the full scope of their role and responsibilities and therefore don’t offer to contribute. Both are regrettable scenarios.

The facilities maintenance function plays one of the most crucial roles in business continuity. With expertise in building engineering, health and safety systems, security and monitoring, and compliance, facilities maintenance managers bring key insights and unique perspective to the planning process.

When it comes to post-pandemic operations, updating your Business Continuity Plan is just the first piece of the puzzle! The physical office space, training and communications, and roles and responsibilities must also be reevaluated.

Stay-Open-Responsibly-PDF-DownloadJust updated for 2022, Flagship’s Stay Open Responsibly guide will answer your questions about how to create and maintain a healthy facility while supporting employees as they learn to manage both remote and on-site work.

Download a PDF version of the guide here

The Role of a BCP in a Post-pandemic World

Undoubtedly, your operations have changed since the onset of the pandemic. Your BCP should not only be modified to reflect these operational shifts, but it should include a section on pandemic response that draws from your experience conducting business through the COVID-19 outbreak. Pandemic recovery steps might include:

  • Installing a contact center service that can support those in a work-from-home environment
  • Increasing data security, encrypted VPN, firewall, and authentication methods
  • Redesigning manual operating procedures identified by Business Impact Analysis as pertaining to social distancing, staggered use, hygiene, vaccination, and use of facial coverings

Planning for 2023 presents a great opportunity to revamp your BCP. Email one of our facilities experts for more information regarding FM’s role in planning for and facilitating business continuity.