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Written by Adam Miller
How To Develop An Effective Business Interruption Plan, Part One

Winter Storm Jonas recently hit a large section of the United States, causing record levels of snowfall, flooding, utility outages and property damages across the East Coast.  Although Texas was spared from any severe winter storm conditions this time, the reality is that major weather events or disasters can strike our area at any time, throughout the year.  When this occurs, businesses of all sizes and industries are forced to shut down for a period of time due to road closures, power outages, flooding, and other major commercial property damages

According to FEMA, nearly 40% of all businesses closed because of a disaster or damages never reopen for business again. However, by developing and implementing an effective business interruption plan, businesses can significantly reduce their downtime and get back to full operation in a shorter amount of time.  In Part One of our blog series, we focus on documenting critical business processes that are part of your company’s regular operations.

Document Functions and Daily Processes

Creating business documentation is rarely included when preparing for business interruptions because of the time and effort involved, but it can greatly improve your chances for a full business recovery.  Key questions to answer include: What does your business do? What are all the jobs involved in making your business operate?  What has to happen from start to finish to make a product, sell an item, or complete a task?  What are the daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual goals?  Answering these questions in detail is the first step in documenting critical business processes.

Document Jobs and Skills Needed

Another key component to include in developing Business Interruption Plans are the specific jobs, roles, and skills needed to resume normal business activity.  There should be detailed job descriptions and training manuals that list out each key job function, from CEO/President to entry-level workers. What skills are needed for each role in the company, and what process, functions and training needs to be documented?  In addition, it’s important to delegate tasks for each key company leader so they know their roles and responsibilities in the event of having to close, rebuild, or relocate the business.  This simple step will streamline the recovery process and help ensure that there are no overlooked pieces as the business returns to normal. 

Document Suppliers and Service Providers

Finally, the last piece of documentation to include in your Business Interruption Plan is a detailed list of suppliers and service providers.  The list should include their contact information, primary contacts within those organizations, account information, current pricing and contract details.  By documenting this information, it can help reduce any delays in utilities, supplies, raw materials, deliveries, shipments, and other business-critical services as the company recovers.  It can also help deter any possible price spikes or gouging immediately after a disaster or critical event. 

When weather events or disasters cause your business to close for any amount of time, it’s critical to have the pieces in place to quickly reopen your business and minimize customer and revenue losses.  Hopefully this blog series will help companies of all sizes and industries recover faster in the event of a fire, theft, or severe weather catastrophe. 

Another way to protect businesses is through quality, reliable, and affordable Commercial Insurance coverage from Aegis Insurance & Financial Services.  Our agency offers a full range of exceptional commercial insurance solutions tailored to your specific industry and unique company needs.  Contact Aegis today at 713-850-7622 for more information about our Commercial Property, Commercial Auto, General Liability, Workers Compensation, and Business Owners Policy coverage, or go online to request a free quote!

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