How to Recover from Manufacturing Disasters
From earthquakes to server outages, a number of catastrophes can beset a manufacturer and create devastating downtime. For small to midsize manufacturers, recovering from the damages proves especially difficult. The Small Business Administration found that approximately 90% of companies shut their doors within a year if they can’t resume operations within five days after a disaster. Without the extensive resources of large enterprises, how can SMBs recover from destruction?
Fortunately, manufacturers of any size can put together a disaster recovery (DR) plan to maintain business continuity. Over 75% of small companies don’t have a documented DR plan, and it’s this lack of preparation more than the catastrophe itself that leads to failure. We’ve compiled a brief guide to disaster recovery that any small manufacturer can follow.
Prepare a Risk Assessment
You can’t put together an effective DR plan if you don’t know the disasters your company is most likely to face and how they could impact your bottom line. That’s why it’s crucial to undergo a thorough risk assessment. List out your mission critical assets and operations, and consider the environmental or man-made damage they could potentially incur. These assets could include:
- IT and industrial equipment
- Data and documents
- Inventory and products
- Buildings and furniture
From there, you can begin calculating the costs of particular disruptions and determining how long a machine or operation can be down before your business is severely impacted. With an internal and/or external disaster recovery team, start defining recovery time objectives (RTO). This metric states the maximum amount of time that your business can tolerate an asset being down after a disaster. Auditing your biggest risks will help you put together a recovery plan with the appropriate rigor.
We often notice that businesses forget external factors when performing risk assessments. If communication lines are down, how will you reach out to customers or suppliers? How will damaged goods in a warehouse impact deliveries? Remember that fires and system failures don’t just impact your employees and processes. Without the right strategies in place, you could damage relationships with suppliers and customers.
Prioritize Assets and Processes
From your risk assessment and RTO calculations, you can start prioritizing assets and processes. While some operations and equipment might not require immediate recovery, others must be up and running as fast as possible for business continuity. Bring together decision makers across multiple departments to ensure you haven’t left out any mission critical resources or functions. Don’t rely on assumptions. Use testing and hard data to gain an accurate understanding of how long your business can tolerate certain systems or processes being down.
Prioritizing requirements is especially important for SMBs looking to stay within their budgets. For example, if some of your operations can easily be performed remotely, you don’t have to worry about instantly investing in another office space post disaster. However, if some core operations require up-to-the-minute data, you’ll need a reliable backup and recovery plan for your software to avoid exorbitant costs after an outage. Straightening out your priorities can help you steer clear of unnecessary expenses and ensure you have your most vital assets covered.
Seek Expert Help
For small manufacturers, the greatest challenge of creating a DR plan is simply finding the time and resources to do it. Employees at an SMB wear enough hats without adding on backup and business continuity strategies. Furthermore, companies of all sizes tend to lack internal expertise in this area. Businesses should seek expert help when planning for disaster recovery. To proactively protect your organization against natural disasters and facility damage, reach out to first responders and utility providers for their input.
When it comes to safeguarding your IT investments, team up with a premier consulting firm. Datix has over two decades of expertise in providing software solutions and services for manufacturers and distributors. Our certified consultants understand the challenges associated with downtime and outages, particularly for SMBs. That’s why we developed EverSafe!, the most comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solution.
While many small businesses believe their data and software are covered by cloud providers, they have some major gaps that leave their investments susceptible to risk. Cloud providers don’t have the disaster recovery expertise that our team has. EverSafe! backs up files more frequently than cloud software, so your system can get back up and running minutes after a disaster. With backup, disaster recovery, ransomware protection, on-site and off-site virtualization and more in a single solution, your technology is secure with EverSafe!.
To create a cost-effective and comprehensive DR plan, SMBs can’t go it alone. Datix is an Epicor Gold Partner, making us leaders in ERP software. Our large array of solutions and services makes us a one-stop shop for all your software needs. EverSafe! and our dedicated team of consultants will ensure your IT investments are safe and sound from start to finish.
Don’t let a disaster close down your business. Contact Datix today to learn more about our disaster recovery and business continuity solutions!